What is Hacker News worth?

Twelve thousand hits, over thirty emails, seven comments on the post, and over a dozen new beta testers. That’s what getting a blog post featured on Hacker Newsbrought us. We’ve been slowly developing Myna over the last few months, but this gave us the impetus to completely revamp the website. As you can see it’s still quite minimal, but it is certainly an improvement over the old site. Here are a few technical details that might be of interest if you’re trying to quickly build out a site:

The basic design of the site is Minima from Theme Forest. Well worth spending the $9 to get the general layout and some graphics.

We’ve heavily modified the Minima theme. It has a bunch of things we don’t need and didn’t support pages with lots of text. We used Less to get some abstraction over the CSS, which makes large changes a lot easier. Use it or use Sass. These tools are basically equivalent, so just pick one and move on.

We were lucky enough to find a public domain picture of a myna bird on Wikipedia. If we hadn’t, we’d simply have bought one from iStockphoto. We retouched the image a bit in Pixelmator, which does the bits of Photoshop we want at a price we can accept.

Finally, the site is built with Jekyll. Jekyll gives us some abstraction over HTML, making site wide changes easy. It also fits into a text-editor-and-version-controlworkflow we’re comfortable with.

Now it’s time to get our new users live. Thanks, Hacker News!