circlecube Relaunch

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.

circlecube logo
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. circlecube-sketch-3Well, 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!

circlecube-sketch-1My 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.