It's been about 5 years and I finally have a completed website and boy am I happy with it!
I've always wanted a personal website with a blog, projects portfolio, tools, and whatnot but I was never able to complete a site for some reason. I'm not sure if I just didn't like the designs I came up with, didn't know what all I should include or how to include things, or a combination of the both. However, I seem to have found a style and feature set for the website that I think turned out great.
The overall design is somewhat inspired by older website designs where they have a single column of "content" on top of a background image (usually seamless). I've always had a thing for nostalgic website aesthetics so I decided to create my own modernized design. I call Candy. It features bright colors on a default dark color scheme, all straight edges, and big header images looming over the content.
My main inspiration actually came from the Ninja Kiwi website:
Next, I moved on to adding my own touches to the skeleton.
The rainbow navbar tabs started out as a simple gimmick, but became more than that. I thought it would be a nice touch to make each tab's page be themed after its color, and I did just that. Each page has its header, links, buttons, and even text selection background themed after its associated tab color.
Each iteration of the website has always ran on the Laravel PHP framework. I've always loved PHP, despite some hate it may get. I was amazed when I found out about Laravel; I could do so much that I wouldn't have ever figured out how to do with vanilla PHP! Not only has Laravel allowed me to make pretty much anything I had dreamt of, it also helped me learn a lot more about PHP in the process.
The very first iteration from 2017, Cloudsinger, was built upon Laravel 5.3 and included things such as an admin panel, file/downloads manger, blog + comments, custom static page system, an API (for some reason), and what appears to be the beginnings of a forum.
Over time, the framework version would steadily climb with each new iteration until we get to present day. However, this website isn't derived from old Cloudsinger. Kiko, this project's codename, actually borrows a lot of code from my TF2 community's website (Lemur), but with significant improvements and additional features.
The CSS framework that Kiko uses is a heavily modified version of Bootstrap v4.2.1 with my own mini CSS framework layered on top. The JS framework also follows the same theme of using Bootstrap's JS as well as my own little framework. I also use a couple of other vendor libraries like LazyLoad, Lightbox, and Clipboard.js.
Seeing how well Kiko turned out, I plan to keep iterating upon it and improving not only the design but its features. I currently have no plans of open sourcing the project in the near future, it is certainly a possibility but don't count on it.