I have made quite a few personal website revisions throughout the years. When I first started learning about web design and development, responsive websites were coming into the picture, and I thought WordPress was something only bloggers would use. Now many years later, things have changed tremendously and show no sign of stopping.
I remember having class discussions about the possible advancements in web design with the introduction of HTML 5 & CSS3. I was excited when they finally became a standard and was able to build more while utilizing them.
Again, I find myself exploring different ways to build websites. I have found that while HTML websites provide great versatility, they are missing out on some of the benefits of plugins and integrations that can be incorporated into a WordPress site. I have found that more app companies are offering code embeds that work on more platforms than just WordPress. From what I have seen so far, the overall design of each has been about the same.
Planning the Redesign
Initially, I had planned just recreating my old website design on a different platform, but after getting started, it was clear it was time to make a few changes. After getting more of a feel of features, it was time to step back and draw up a few changes, including usability in certain areas and information formation.
Old Dog New Tricks
A theme is currently being used as the foundation, but I plan to implement more code in the future. This build has been similar to some other builder-type sites I have helped with but with more options. With great power comes great designability (or things to break).
Incorporating My Brand
Just as my website has evolved over the years, so has my brand. I started as Mike Jensen Creative until I realized how many designers shared the same name. In the end, I went with Lionize because I felt its definition was perfect for my message. The overall style of the site borders on my brand and my favorite design styles. I am trying to find a balance of being fun and professional while not coming off as an agency since I am running under a DBA.
The new site is to tell people about myself and provide a point of contact. Another aspect will be to provide a hub to my various social media and selling platforms. Beyond that, I offer freebies that consist of old designs that I no longer use with hopes that someone will still find them valuable. Then there is also the blog, of course. It will provide different flavors of design news and offer more of an insight into who I am.
Overall once I got a feel for where all the settings were, it because a little easier to make the changes I needed. The global settings have taken some getting used to as I had undone some of my work on accident. While I have worked with PHP and databases in the past, it has been a few years. It is interesting messing with all the settings for the posts and portfolio. However, the more settings mean more can get missed if you are not careful.
I am always looking for different ways to give my clients a better way of doing things that won’t stretch their budget. Most of them tend to be sole proprietors, small businesses, and non-profits. In the past, I have had some ask for a website where they can make changes without having to change the code. I can see where the ability to change a couple of numbers or some text would be beneficial. Most likely, I will begin to offer more WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix websites in the future.
Okay, back to putting the finishing touches on the site and working out the bugs before launch. I am planning to transition my old site into the new one. No crazy launch party or anything.
Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog post on my new site. Let me know if you have any questions or something to add.