How I Built This Website With Astro (

by Cade Brown <>

A guide on how I built this website with Astro.

Motivation / Background

Recently, I decided to recreate my website ( from scratch. I had been using Jekyll for a while, but got annoyed with some of the quirks and lack of extensibility. I also wanted to use fancier component-based UI development (since I’ve been writing a lot of React lately). Upon researching on the web, I found Astro, that supports static site generation. I really liked that it supported basically every feature I needed:

Also, the DX has been amazing so far, so part of writing this post is to give a shoutout to the Astro team for making such a great tool. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to build a static website. I haven’t used it for dynamic websites, but it does support Server Side Rendering (SSR) that looks really slick.

So, let’s get into it!

The code for this website is all located at

Getting Started

I got started with a a minimal Astro project, and locally inspected a few templates I found online:

I ended up coming up with my own structure from scratch, but these gave me a good starting point. I’d recommend just cloning one of these and modifying it to your liking (or you can take mine!).

Design Philosophy

I am extremely opinionated on how software should look and behave. I’m writing for a specific audience, so I make a few decisions that probably don’t apply if you’re going for mass appeal. For example:

  • I like plain HTML wherever possible, minimal JavaScript
  • I like monospace fonts for everything (code, text, etc.)
  • I like dark mode (I will support multiple themes, though)
  • I like minimalism, in form and function

Basically, I just want a motherfucking website.

Project Structure

Overall, the structure of an Astro project is fairly simple:

  • astro.config.mjs: configuration file for Astro
  • public/: static assets (images, audio, etc.) for the website
  • src/: source files (Astro, JS, CSS, etc.)
    • src/pages/: the pages that will be the routes of the website
    • src/content/: contains just the content, in markdown
    • src/layouts/: contains all the reusable layouts
    • src/components/: contains all the reusable components

What I like about Astro as opposed to Jekyll is that it’s not so opinionated about being structured around a single “posts” collection. For example, Jekyll requires that all your content be in the _posts/ directory, and that you use a specific naming scheme for your posts.

With Astro, if we have content/blog/*.md that we want to map to*, but also content/projects/*.md that we want to map to*, then Astro makes it easy to define different routes.

Developer Experience (DX)

As far as DX, Astro is amazing. The basic workflow to setup the project on a new computer is:

  • Ensure you have requirements installed (NodeJS, npm)
  • Download the repository
    • git clone
  • Install project dependencies
    • npm install
  • Run the development web server
    • npm run dev

I’ve only used Ubuntu so far, but Astro should be cross-platform. So far, my experience with VSCode has also been flawless, the suggested extensions make development fast with auto-completion, type-checking, and more.

GitHub Actions for Deployment

TODO: write this section

Design Decisions

Now, if you’re still reading, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how I built this website, UI-wise.