Documenting the process of me redesigning, rebuilding my website from the very start to the very end when it launches. I did originally think about doing this all in one just as like an overview of how I built it, at the end, when eventually that happens, but I feel like I’m going to be able to show you more of my process along the way if I’m doing this article in chunks for like each part of the process.
You’re gonna be able to see more in-depth how I work, and, yeah,
just get more of that behind-the-scenes, and hopefully more learning as well, so. I hope that sounds good to you.
The planning phase
Planning the site map, planning what pages I need to design. This is a really important part of the process. It’s maybe not the funnest part of the process cause it’s not when you’re, like, arranging pixels on the page and doing cool designs. It’s a lot of the thinking and the planning that goes into it, beforehand.
Before you get to those stages, but I think it’s just as
important, and it’s just as important for you to see, so, I’m excited to plan along with you today. I’ve got my iPad, got my Apple Pencil, and let’s get going. First off, let’s take a look at my current website as it stands, I guess?
So this was designed back in… I can’t remember now if it was 2014 or 2015, but I just know that it was a while ago. And so the design needs some updating. I’ve changed my branding since then, slightly, and also this website just doesn’t really fit to my needs anymore? It doesn’t really fit what I need from a website?
I used to write pretty regularly on a blog, as well, on my old website. Not in the past year or so, but, before then, I was. I’ve decided that I’m not going to be porting this blog over to my new website. Which, by the way, I’m gonna be building in Webflow. I guess it’s more of a visual way to build a website so you don’t actually need to know how to code it from scratch to be able to make it in Webflow. And they have a really great CMS as well, it seems really powerful, so, I’m excited to try that out.
My current website is built in WordPress, and they do have a way that you
can, like, bring all your WordPress posts over to Webflow, but, I’ve just decided I’m not gonna bother. I’m gonna, like, leave those in the past. There is a couple of posts that I might transport over to my new blog that I’m gonna do, which I’ll get into in a second, but yeah.
For the most part, this site is going to be completely revamped. I want my new site to be a little bit more flexible. I want it to do a few more things, as well. The first thing is I want
it to be my content hub. This was kind of my idea for the previous one, but it didn’t really turn out that way.
It was mostly just the blog posts and links to my latest on the home page, but I want to be able to have my videos on there, podcasts on there, blog posts on there, and all be searchable together so that if you want to learn about a certain topic, I will be able to have a page for that with like, this blog
post, oh and this podcast that you should listen to, on the topic.
So yeah, the first thing is bringing all my content together, cause right now it is just all separated out. The second thing is, obviously,
because I’m a designer, I need to have my portfolio on my website, and it’s not only my design work that I want to have a new portfolio, I also want to have like a speaker’s page. Like a portfolio of my public speaking and workshop efforts to try and attract more of that.
I am also planning on starting to blog again, as I alluded to before, but this time on a slightly different topic. I really want to write about the behind-the-scenes of my business. So, posts about, like, what it’s like to start up an LLC, and working with an accountant, income reports, perhaps, something I’m thinking of doing.
These things I feel don’t particularly fit with my YouTube channel, which is more design-focused, but they’re still things I want to put out there. So, I feel like writing about them will be a good fit. So that will go on my new website. And then, lastly, eventually
I want to bring a store into this website.
Right now, my online store is on a separate platform. It’s a completely different brand, as well, but, in the future I want
to bring that in, and, have it all in one space. I’m not going to worry
about that for now, however. So, we’re just gonna focus
on, yeah, the content and portfolio side of things. So, with that in mind, let’s start planning.
And the first thing I’m gonna do is write down on this page, actually, I’m gonna write content or hire me. Cause this is the two frames of mind of, like, what people are looking to do
when they come to my website, as I see it. They’re either looking for content, to learn about something from me, or they’re, like, interested in hiring me for a certain thing. With those in mind, let’s start planning what pages I’m gonna need as part of the site.
The first one is obviously a home page. I feel like I’m gonna
want a page that’s, like, a content hub. So I’m just gonna write content. That’ll be, perhaps that’ll be some
categories listed, and like, suggested to you, but instead of just being, there’ll be blogs and podcasts as well. And then, as part of content, I’m also going to need three different templates, basically.
how I became a designer when I can’t even draw a box neatly, but, hey. That’s how it works. I’m also going to need my portfolio. And in that I’m going to have, like, an individual project. Obviously I’m going to need a template for that, as well. Gonna add my speaking page in here as well that I mentioned.
Then there’ll be the basics, that’s like, an about page, and a contact page, too, probably. Actually, as part of contact, it would be a good idea for me to have a form on my website for my portfolio review series I think. Right now my instructions are for you to email me with a specific subject line and include the information, you know, in order for me to review your portfolio in that series But, not everyone uses the right subject line, so it doesn’t go into,
like, the right folder in my inbox, and not everyone
gives all the information that I need as well.
So, I think having some sort of form on my website, where you can just fill in your details and submit that, will make the whole process a lot easier for everyone involved. A page that’s quite
highly-visited on my website at the moment, thanks to a
video that’s quite popular is where you can download
my screen printing guide.
Basically it just has the video and a form and that’s where you get the guide sent to you. So a lot of people come over from that. I thought about having that page as part of this new website, but what I think I’m actually going to do is have screen printing as a
category in my content, here, so it’ll be, like, part of this? And, that way the form will be on that page for you to download, and
also see any, like, videos or blog posts, or whatever that I’ve written about screen printing too.
So, actually, as part of this, kind of in between here, I should also put… I’m just gonna add it next to it anyway. Like a category page? Content page is, like, the home of all the content, and then a category page is that playlist, I think, where it’s the audio, video, written. Thinking more about this contact page, too.
I think I’m also going to have, like, a freelance form submission, so, if there’s a project that you’re interested in me working on with you, you can fill this out with, like, information about the project. I’m also going to want,like, a plain page template that I can pull out whenever I need to for giveaways.
This is something that I like to do in the middle of logs, every now and then, it’s just, throw up a giveaway. And to do that, I get people to fill in a form so that I can, like, pick the winner randomly from there. So, yeah. Plain page that I can just duplicate whenever and make a new giveaway will be really helpful. Thinking about what else is on my current website that I might want to bring over. The only page that I really am not considering, here, and not adding in, is my newsletter page.
So, I just have a page about signing up for my newsletter. I don’t think I’m gonna do that, because, to be honest, I haven’t been super regular with sending out a newsletter, lately, and I think instead of having newsletters, like, the reason for people to sign up, I instead would rather have a form on each content category page that they can fill in there to get a certain, I don’t know, PDF opt-in, something or other that I’ll create.
And then they’ll, they can get emails about that particular topic, in general, and they’ll also be added to my list, if I do send a newsletter. I think that’ll be a better way of going about it than having a dedicated newsletter page. I think I should really move this. I don’t know how to move things in this app, so I’m just gonna erase it and write it again.
But I think home should be seen as above all of these other things. Because my home page will be the hub of everything. Perhaps some things won’t be connected to home, like, I’m gonna, actually
remove giveaways from that. But, everything else, I think, will be coming from the home page, and the home page will be designed to lead you into the right thing.
With these two things in mind, in particular: content, or hiring me, as the main thing that you’re looking for. So that’ll be the first
decision that I make someone make. (laughs) Make someone make when they come onto this page.
It’s kind of like this is the content stuff, this is the hiring me stuff, and these two pages are kind of fitting with both. Now this seems like a lot of work, right? Like that’s a lot of pages that I need to design. So, to start with, to stop me from getting overwhelmed, first I’m actually going to just do an MVP of my homepage. So it won’t have all of these sub pages.
It will just be a homepage that links off to various things. So, it needs to link off to my YouTube, social media, I think I won’t have a
contact form even on it, to start with, I’ll just have my email address, bio, and, maybe in place of building out a full
portfolio, I’m going to have a link to my Dribbble on there and I will make sure I update that a little bit, cause that’s also something
I don’t do very often. So this way, people willget access to my content, they will know how to contact me, they will learn a bit about me, and see a bit of my work.
But without me having to put in all the work of doing all these extra pages, just yet. So that means I can get my new site, like, up and running. In designing this page, I guess I’ll be able to develop a design system for it, and kind of like a brand for my website as well
that’ll make it easier to design these other pages.
And, just in general, I think it’ll be a good start to the project. (laughs) So that is my very messy plan for my website. It’s pretty simple, but, it’s really good to do this thinking about what you might need, rather than getting halfway through, like, starting and then you know, the project keeps expanding from there.
Especially this piece of figuring out what people are going to be coming to your site for, I think is really important to get down. So, if you have a website project that you’re working on, I really encourage you to do this step first, just to figure out exactly
what pages are needed. If you’re working with a client, you’re gonna need to do this, anyway, to scope out the project and how much design work is gonna be involved for you.
But it also just really helps me to see it, and to know what work is coming, and I’ll be able to, like, tackle these section-by-section, I think. Hope you found this interesting to see, anyway, and that was useful in some way to you.
And that you’re excited, too, about this new series of mine, redesigning my website. I’m very excited about it, and I’ve been talking about it for a long time, and I think that making about it is going to actually, finally, help me get it done, because I’m gonna have you to keep me accountable. All right? (giggles) That’s it for now. And, I guess the next video will be the wireframing and possibly design of this MVP homepage.