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Hosting a Front-end: Building and Deploying Your Portfolio to Code Capsules

Portfolio Cover Image

Publishing your portfolio online requires a solid technical background – managing servers can be challenging. You need to choose a server's operating system, maintain and update the server, and figure out where to host the server itself.

In this tutorial, we'll work with an alternative to the traditional method of hosting a front-end (content that visitors see when they load your website), called Code Capsules. Code Capsules is a service that hosts front-end (and back-end) code online. Furthermore, Code Capsules:

  • Manages all of the technical details – no server management required.
  • Integrates with GitHub to deploy your code with a single git push.

First, we'll take a look at choosing a portfolio template and personalising it. After, we'll push the portfolio to a GitHub repository and see how Code Capsules connects to GitHub and makes your portfolio visible to the world.

Requirements & Prerequisite Knowledge

Hosting a portfolio on Code Capsules requires no previous knowledge about servers or front-end development. To personalise a portfolio template and deploy it to Code Capsules, we'll need:

Creating a Portfolio

HTML5 UP provides HTML site templates for free. We'll use the Massively template – an easy to modify and elegant HTML template.

Follow these instructions carefully:

  1. Download the Massively template.
  2. Create a directory somewhere on your computer, then enter it.
  3. Within this directory, create another directory, and extract the Massively template files into it.

This last step is necessary for hosting a web-page on Code Capsules. The file structure should look something like this:

myPortfolio  
    portFolder 
        + assets
        + images
        + generic.html
        + elements.html
        + index.html

The index.html file contains all of the HTML code for our portfolio – any changes to this code will result in a change to the portfolio. To view changes you make as we begin to modify the template, double click the index.html file to open the portfolio in a web-browser.

Personalizing the Template

This tutorial will following the creation of a portfolio for Abraham Lincoln – the 16th president of the USA. We'll take a closer look at some things Abraham Lincoln wouldn't want in a portfolio – and maybe you too. The next few sections will cover how to modify the following elements of the portfolio template:

  • Any not personalized text.
  • The "Generic Page" and "Elements Reference" tabs.
  • Pagination.
  • The email contact form.
  • Personal information (address, social media account).

Let's start with the title and subheading of the portfolio. Open the index.html file in your text editor. You'll see the following block of HTML near the top of the file:

<head>
    <title>Massively by HTML5 UP</title>
    <meta charset="utf-8" />
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1, user-scalable=no" />
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="assets/css/main.css" />
    <noscript><link rel="stylesheet" href="assets/css/noscript.css" /></noscript>
</head>

Change the text within the <title> tags to whatever you'd like, such as: "Abraham Lincoln". This is what will appear in search engines and browser tabs.

Now we'll change the text that displays at the top of the portfolio. Scroll down in your text editor, until you see the following code:

<!-- Intro -->
    <div id="intro">
        <h1>This is<br />
        Massively</h1>
        <p>A free, fully responsive HTML5 + CSS3 site template designed by <a href="https://twitter.com/ajlkn">@ajlkn</a> for <a href="https://html5up.net">HTML5 UP</a><br />
        and released for free under the <a href="https://html5up.net/license">Creative Commons license</a>.</p>
        <ul class="actions">
            <li><a href="#header" class="button icon solid solo fa-arrow-down scrolly">Continue</a></li>
        </ul>
    </div>

<!-- Header -->
    <header id="header">
        <a href="index.html" class="logo">Massively</a>
    </header>
  1. Customise the words wrapped in the <h1>...</h1> tags – this is the large text that displays at the top of the portfolio.

  2. Change the text within the <p>...</p> tags to edit the subheading of the portfolio – the <br /> tags and the <a>...</a> tags are safe to delete.

  3. Delete the "Massively" button that appears as you scroll down the portfolio by deleting the three lines under the <!-- Header --> text wrapped in <header>...</header> tags.

Save the file and open it in a web browser. Our portfolio should now look something like this:

image2

Next, we'll take a look at deleting the date entries above each portfolio piece, removing the "Generic Page" and "Elements Reference" tabs, and modifying the social media links.

The default layout for Massively is designed for a blog or news website containing articles. To look like a portfolio, we should delete the dates above each article entry. Do so by locating and deleting all lines beginning with <span class="date"...>.

To make this a single-page portfolio, we can delete the "Generic Page" and "Elements Reference" tabs by finding:

<li class="active"><a href="index.html">This is Massively</a></li>
<li><a href="generic.html">Generic Page</a></li>
<li><a href="elements.html">Elements Reference</a></li>

and deleting the last two lines. While we're at it, alter the title of the main tab by changing the "This is Massively" text.

The code for social media accounts is located at the top and bottom of the index.html file. Starting at the top, find this block of code:

<ul class="icons">
    <li><a href="#" class="icon brands fa-twitter"><span class="label">Twitter</span></a></li>
    <li><a href="#" class="icon brands fa-facebook-f"><span class="label">Facebook</span></a></li>
    <li><a href="#" class="icon brands fa-instagram"><span class="label">Instagram</span></a></li>
    <li><a href="#" class="icon brands fa-github"><span class="label">GitHub</span></a></li>
</ul>

Delete any social media account you don't need – Abraham Lincoln doesn't have Instagram, so he would delete the following line to remove the Instagram link:

<li><a href="#" class="icon brands fa-instagram"><span class="label">Instagram</span></a></li>

If you'd like to link your social media accounts, enter the account link in place of the # in href="#". For example, to link Abraham Lincoln's Twitter account, you'd edit the Twitter line like so:

<li><a href="https://twitter.com/Abe_Lincoln" class="icon brands fa-twitter"><span class="label">Twitter</span></a></li>

The social media code at the bottom of the index.html is nearly identical – follow this same process to edit the code at the bottom.

Removing unnecessary content and further personalisation

In this section we'll:

  • Remove the contact form

  • Remove pagination pagination

  • Update or remove contact information

1.Remove the contact form found at the bottom of the portfolio by deleting the following code:

<section>
<form method="post" action="#">
    <div class="fields">
        <div class="field">
            <label for="name">Name</label>
            <input type="text" name="name" id="name" />
        </div>
        <div class="field">
            <label for="email">Email</label>
            <input type="text" name="email" id="email" />
        </div>
        <div class="field">
            <label for="message">Message</label>
            <textarea name="message" id="message" rows="3"></textarea>
        </div>
    </div>
    <ul class="actions">
        <li><input type="submit" value="Send Message" /></li>
    </ul>
</form>
</section>

2.Remove pagination by deleting:

<footer>
  <div class="pagination">
      <!--<a href="#" class="previous">Prev</a>-->
      <a href="#" class="page active">1</a>
      <a href="#" class="page">2</a>
      <a href="#" class="page">3</a>
      <span class="extra">&hellip;</span>
      <a href="#" class="page">8</a>
      <a href="#" class="page">9</a>
      <a href="#" class="page">10</a>
      <a href="#" class="next">Next</a>
  </div>
</footer>

3.To delete specific contact information sections (the address section is shown below), delete the <section> tag, the information you want to delete, and the corresponding </section> tag.

<section class="alt">
    <h3>Address</h3>
    <p>1234 Somewhere Road #87257<br />
    Nashville, TN 00000-0000</p>
</section>

If you'd like to personalise your contact information instead, edit the text within the <h3>...</h3> tags and the <p>...</p> tags.

Personalising portfolio pieces

Our portfolio is almost complete – we just need to personalise the actual portfolio pieces – customising the images, button links, and other text. Let's start with the images.

Gather any images you'd like to replace with the default images. Then, place your images in the images directory, located in the same directory as the index.html file.

You can swap images by finding lines wrapped in <img.../> tags, like the below line.

<img src="images/pic01.jpg" alt="" />
images is the name of the directory where you placed your image. To change the image, replace the text "pic01.jpg" with the name and file extension of your desired image.

Once we've replaced the images, we should change the text for each portfolio entry. Find code blocks wrapped in <article>...</article> tags, such as:

<article>
    <header>
        <h2><a href="#">Sed magna<br />
        ipsum faucibus</a></h2>
    </header>
    <a href="#" class="image fit"><img src="images/pic02.jpg" alt="" /></a>
    <p>Donec eget ex magna. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Pellentesque venenatis dolor imperdiet dolor mattis sagittis magna etiam.</p>
    <ul class="actions special">
        <li><a href="#" class="button">Full Story</a></li>
    </ul>
</article>
You can:

  • Change the entry's title by editing the text within the <h2>...</h2> tags.
  • Personalise the entry text by editing the Latin wrapped in the <p>...</p> tags.
  • Customise buttons by finding the <li><a href="#" class="button">Full Story</a></li> lines and replacing the "#" with a link to your portfolio piece.
  • Replace "Full Story" text with something more appropriate.

If you would like to remove a portfolio piece, delete the <article>...</article> tags and all the text wrapped in the tags.

Once finished with the portfolio, we need to push it to GitHub. After, the portfolio can be deployed to Code Capsules, making the portfolio publicly viewable.

Uploading to GitHub

If you already know how to push code from a local repository to a remote repository on GitHub, push the sub-directory containing the portfolio to GitHub and skip to the next section.

Otherwise, we'll push (or send) our portfolio code to a GitHub remote repository (a place where your code stores on GitHub). Once complete, Code Capsules can connect to the repository and automatically "deploy" the portfolio online. Let's create the remote repository now.

Creating the remote repository

Follow the steps below to create a remote repository on GitHub:

  • Go to www.github.com and log in.
  • Find the "Create new repository" button and click it.
  • Name your repository anything (in this picture it was named "myPortfolio").
  • Copy the URL given to you under "Quick setup".

    image10 Locate the link to your repository under "Quick Setup"

Sending files to the GitHub repository

We've created the remote repository – now we need to push the portfolio to GitHub.

Open a terminal and navigate to the top-level directory containing the portfolio. This directory should contain the sub-directory that has all the portfolio files.

If your file structure looked like:

myPortfolio  
    portFolder 
        + assets
        + images
        + generic.html
        + elements.html
        + index.html

You would open the terminal in the myPortfolio directory. Not the portFolder directory.

Enter each command in order:

git init
git add .
git commit -m "First commit!"
git branch -M main
git remote add origin https://github.com/yourusername/yourrepositoryname.git  
git push -u origin main

Replace the URL above with the URL to your remote repository (copied in the previous section).

Now you can see the portfolio code in your GitHub repository. Your repository should look similar to the below, where all of your portfolio code is contained in a sub-directory (in this image, the sub-directory is "portFolder"):

image11

Now Code Capsules can host the portfolio.

Deploying to Code Capsules

To deploy the portfolio to Code Capsules, navigate to https://codecapsules.io/, create an account, and log in.

After logging in, you'll be greeted with a page that looks like the below.

team

Notice the "Team Personal" at the top left. Every new account starts with a "Team Personal". Code Capsules provides Teams for collaborative development – you can invite other people to your Team and Team members can view and edit your web-applications. You can create other teams - but the default "Personal" team is fine for now.

At the center, you'll see a clickable box, labeled "Personal". This is called a Space. Spaces act as a further layer of organisation. Spaces can contain one or many Capsules (more on Capsules shortly) and can help organise large projects. We'll take a look at this space soon, but we first need to link Code Capsules to Github.

Linking the repository

We need to give Code Capsules access to our portfolio. Click on your profile image at the top right of the screen, then find the "GitHub" button – click on it. Code Capsules will redirect you to GitHub.

GitHubButton

Then:

  1. Log in to GitHub.
  2. Click your username.
  3. Press "Only select repositories".
  4. From the drop-down menu, type the repository's name containing your portfolio and select it.
  5. Press "Install & Authorize".

    permissions_git

Now we can deploy our portfolio. Return back to your Team, and enter the space labeled "Personal"

Creating Capsule, and viewing the portfolio

The last step to deploying the Portfolio is creating a Capsule. Capsules provide the server for your application or code – in our case, we'll create a Capsule that'll host our portfolio. Click "Create a new Capsule for your Space".

You'll be prompted to choose a Capsule type – our portfolio contains only front-end code, so choose a "Frontend" Capsule and:

  1. Select the "Trial" product type.
  2. Click the repository containing the portfolio.
  3. Press "Next".
  4. Leave the build command blank and enter the name of the sub-directory containing the portfolio files in the "Static Content Folder Path" entry box.

Creating a capsule

  1. Press "Create Capsule".

Your Capsule is now building. This process will make your portfolio visible online. After it has deployed, click the "Overview" tab, then press the link under "Domains" to view your portfolio.

image15

Conclusion and Further Reading

finished_port

We've created a portfolio, pushed it to GitHub, and made the portfolio visible to the world. In the future, we'll take a look at "Backend" capsules. These "Backend" capsules will enable us to host back-end code and provide additional functionality – like implementing the contact form we removed at the beginning of the tutorial.

We'll also take a look at customising your domain, so people can view your portfolio by typing something like https://www.myportfolio.co.za

If any of the HTML code was confusing, or you'd like to learn more for further customisation, check out this tutorial written by Mozilla.

For any help with GitHub, take a look at their documentation.