New Site. New Direction. (and how I did it)After having built even 2 or 3 redux’s for some clients, my own site’s overhaul was long over-due… it was Web 1.0 in a Web 2.0+ World… and we were rapidly approaching Web 3.0… Drastic measures were called for…
Over the years, I was always surprised how my site drew both compliments & business. After a couple years in, I personally hated the design. But the messaging & info were good, and people continued to tell me (unsolicited) that they liked it. So, it moves down the list a little, and you get busy… and you become like the proverbial Cobbler – Who’s own shoes are worn, due to being so busy working on the shoes (sites) of others.
But let things go for even a couple years too long on the Web, and you will look dated & behind-the-times. And even though my work for others was very-much up-to-date, you wouldn’t get that impression from landing on my site (it still had a Flash Landing Page, even! UGH!!!). I wrapped-up another new site for a client and vowed the next would finally be my own! I drew the line in the sand. You shall not pass (Old Site)!!!
So, what to do…? I know I wanted something more colorful, creative and interactive. And a little weird & whimsical, like myself. Less traditional & “box-y”, visually (since I do plenty of those). I wanted the site to serve as both a presentation to prospective clients, but also a repository for other info on my work & business. I wanted to also work in a Content Management System, since I believe in them strongly, but wanted to use a different approach than usual. Not easy to get that all into a single site… so, why not have 2? Sort of.
For the /more expansion area, I knew I wanted a CMS, for all the usual reasons; Easy Content Creation & Updating, SEO Value, and Easy Extendibility (adding functionality via Plug-In Apps). But in the spirit of doing new things, I decided to not go with my usual defaults of Joomla! & RocketTheme, and instead to turn to my usual (strong) 2nd choices for both publishing platforms and supporting design technologies, WordPress and YooTheme. It’s good to do new things, and to build new Tech Muscles, even if they’re less familiar & comfortable. THAT‘s how you get better!
So, that’s about it. The rest is A LOT of Brain-Storming, Designing, Re-Designing, Testing, Re-Testing, More Testing, and Writing… A LOT of writing (which I enjoy, but doing it well can be very time-consuming…). I won’t bore you with all those gore-y details… BUT, I WILL let you in on my secrets just a little more, from a technical standpoint, if you’re interested… with a List of Ingredients!
Used for both Home and WP
Home Page – prettyPhoto
CMS – Widgetkit
CMS Theme Framework
Front End CMS UI
Core CMS Extensions
WordPress JetPack (Extends wordpress.com goodies to self-hosted WordPress installs)
BackWPup (Back-Up and Migration)
Better WP Security (Security)
Better WP Security