A New Website for a New Year

My main focus for this past week was updating my existing portfolio website and revamping it’s style to match that of my work. I use WordPress as my platform and my plan was to use a film style template I found and tweak it to my projects and specifications. This required above all buying a server to host my site on so that I could implement the fully customizable version of WordPress from WordPress.org. I completed this initial step by using Hostgator and installing a stock wordpress theme.

Initial wireframe for the redesign based on preconfigured pages of the template (left). List of projects to showcase (right).

Taking a look at what the WordPress template offered, I created a wireframe of what I suspected would serve my content the best from a navigational and user perspective. Implementing this design to its full potential has taken upwards of 30 hours at this point and I’m still working on some technical and aesthetic issues.

Part of my update experience required me to learn a little bit of PHP code when necessary due to certain parts of the WordPress theme being uncustomizable. This process took a descent amount of trial and error but was accelerated by my familiarity with HTML and CSS document structure and functions. Overall, I found myself navigating the PHP documents relatively smoothly following context clues from code structure rather than proprietary syntax. Most of the other time spent was dedicated to the content creation of my pages and plugins associated with aesthetics and navigation.

I’ve had a couple people user test my site so far and it seems my initial design worked from a user perspective but had a ton of bugs as was expected dealing with the scale of my site and simultaneously tailoring to multiple browsers and multiple devices. Some of the issues I was able to dismiss on my own with some research. However, there will likely be a handful of issues I will have to get outside help on to troubleshoot. Otherwise, I look forward to having my portfolio site completely polished by the end of this week!

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