First Official Post on a Gatsby Netlify Site

April 24, 2020 :: Darren Odden

I put this up originally on Netlify using the Iceberg Starter by Diogo Rodrigues back in 2020 February. I wanted a solid Netlify i18n Gatsby build, and I indeed found it.

I got wrapped into fixing code that was affected by Apple Safari and Google Chrome cookie updates, which deployed just before the SARS-CoV-2 lockdown. We put out a message just after the lockdown that we released an update for our clients' embedded shopping carts.

Since our clients are wineries, meaderies, and cideries, it became imperative for our customers to move their sales online, and we had to support them. Most of the first week was helping our people that updated the code on their website. Most were Wordpress websites that put their embed code in using the Classic Editor. The bonus is that the Classic Editor treats a blank line in the <script> as a paragraph break, causing the embedded shops to fill in a 404 iframe.

I put out updates to the install instructions and created some canned responses, which allowed for fewer calls and faster responses.

Then came the report updates needed to submit for taxes. Each state has different rules for taxes, and updates are necessary.

I still have many reports to put together, but the good news is that the hottest ones are ready to send... barring any changes.

Plans for Darren by Design

I am always looking forward and moving to future developments. At work, we've discussed moving parts of our platform to ReactJS. I took this as a catalyst to try out React in some capacity, which has been thought-provoking, just not time effective for my purposes.

So I moved DarrenBy.Design to ReactJS via Gatsby and Netlify. I let my Odden web address take on my primary WordPress duties and will use it to create new plugins, themes, etc.

I have Squarespace, Shopify, and Wix sites I work with for customer needs. I can try things on the platforms before attempting to do them with client sites, so we don't break their stores.

With Darren by Design residing on Netlify, I am trying out multi-language capabilities and look at how to get better at ADA capabilities, making the site more comfortable to use for differently-abled people.

I'm sure I have much to improve with the initial release from screen readers, visual needs, and more. Plus, I am also attempting to make this a bit more multi-language friendly. Even so, I will likely be making some grammar failures in Spanish and Norwegian. I'm learning both and know I will be relying on translation services as a crutch.

That said, if you take pity on my faulty linguistics, I would appreciate any corrections you find.

What is the Focus

I am looking to take a closer look at the work I do and create working examples of some of the code I am writing to help others. More importantly, I am writing these examples so I can help me. It is handy to have references to work I have done so I can have a better resource moving forward.


I write PHP for my job to output reports. These are Excel, PDF, and XML reports.

Additionally, I am using PHP to support WordPress plugin and theme development. I have a couple of WordPress plugins I have planned to support WooCommerce API Integration of our shop and a regular Plugin for our most common Shop integration.


I have been working in design since forever, and genuinely enjoy keeping up with different trends. I live in graphic and web design with a strong focus on user experience. My passion has been in using type and lettering going back to high school.

I don't let my passions keep me in my lane. I love typography so much; I created, Gillespie, a revitalization of Richard Nebiolo's Aphrodite for Photo Lettering.

I find inspiration in comics, fashion, interior design, architectural and structural design, and industrial design. I love that the small seaside town I live in has multiple disciplines of design represented.

  • We have NHS, which brings us Santa Cruz skateboards, Independent, and other brands.
  • Santa Cruz Bicycles is internationally known for their mountain bikes.
  • Zero Motorcycles operates out of Scotts Valley, as does Bell Helmets.
  • Numerous local designers work with the likes of Google, Apple, Microsoft, and many more.

Santa Cruz County is full of design in its many forms, and it is likely due to our proximity to Silicon Valley and our town naturally draws creatives.


Of course, I can't operate a ReactJS website and deal with Javascript and not log what I am doing with Javascript. I still am dabbling in some AngularJS, but it looks like we might start migrating soon. I'm hoping it will hold to ReactJS. It would be convenient since WordPress is an area of plugin support we want to provide, and they are already using React integration in many ways.


I'll look at writing any CSS thoughts and references I come across. I have not worked as closely with CSS since coming to my current employer. Just busy with many other things.

In Conclusion

I'm excited by the prospect of getting a bit dirtier with ReactJS and perhaps see what I can learn along the way.

At one point, I was running full tilt at Vue and just getting into it when I got pulled to other work that took precedence.

Then I was supporting Angular, so I threw my focus at that and started to write about that.

Of course, I have written about WordPress and Drupal. I worked deep in their code, supporting intense projects, but I got restless, and the articles got archived as I changed focus.

I can focus more since my move to my current employer. May it last a long time. I enjoy the people I work with and the people we are supporting.