Not just a redesign but a whole new site and location! After having built loads of sites for clients/friends I kept learning things I wanted to employ on my own site, but the cobblers kids are always barefoot right? I kept implementing new things and knew that they were making my clients lives easier and I wanted it easier as well.
I’d already updated my logo a number of times since my last redesign and I wasn’t happy with how my collection of sites all looked different and required repetitive work to maintain. Well, I did some sketches and committed to working on it just a few minutes a day. I really work best as I visually think through a design so sketching is always the first step in my designs. After I nailed down the basic elements and concepts I needed in the site through sketches I installed a new wordpress site, the thematic framework and then got started on a child theme. I really surprised myself and in a mere couple weeks I had a short list of things to do before I could “flip the switch”. The hardest part by far was trying to do 301 redirects from all the old posts which lived on either my blog or portfolio sub-domains. But thanks to my friend we were able to iron that out and I learned more than I ever wanted to know about mod rewrites and such. I was able to combine my blog and portfolio and my home page all into one site. I always felt weird pushing friends/potential clients and everyone else to my blog or my landing page or portfolio… but now they can all simply go to the same place!
My goal was to enable all content to be updated in the back-end, I didn’t want any content in the theme. And I didn’t want to have to redo the css or layout to move something from the header to the footer or sidebar for example. I placed a lot of content in widgets and a few pages that were wholly widget areas. I also needed a portfolio section that displayed a little gallery of images and possibly flash content automatically. It needed to be easy if I were going to ever update the portfolio, so I used custom post types and custom fields to attach images and other data to each portfolio item. Then one of my favorite pages is the social page, it’s just a collection of my social feeds all displayed neatly in one place.
While I’d love to release the theme for everyone, I cheated and used quite a few plug-ins to accomplish my designs so the theme itself doesn’t include all the functionality and I’m pretty sure it’s bad for to require plug-ins and set up to get a theme functional, but if you’re interested, let me know.
As usually happens though, I learned some more tricks as I built this site. So I have a list of things I’m ready to write and share about on the blog: custom post types, custom taxonomies, thematic customizations, css tricks, fancybox, custom fields, jquery, widgets, htaccess, importing/exporting wordpress, new favorite plug-ins and more… So be excited!
My only regret so far is the lack of texture on the site so I may come back and apply slight noise to the site background to make it more tangible. But I also like the clean look. Well, to see snapshots of the site I added the circlecube redesign to the portfolio section of this site (cheesy to include my own site in my portfolio? yep, but I’m excited to use the feature and I always retrospectively wish I’d documented site updates).
Still, there may be a few things that don’t fully connect, so please, please let me know if you see anything broken or experience a broken link. But stay tuned for some posts since I’m not spending time building the site I’ll put a little time each day into putting content on the site again.