05 May How To Build A Website, Like My New One
So I haven’t posted on here for a bit, mainly because I have been building my new web design, digital art and graphic design website, and after about 3 days actual production she is finally done. Well mostly finally done. There are still a few prickly pears in the gears which need to be ironed out (what a fantastic layering of metaphors right), but all in all she’s a beaut. I give you, eyepudding.com!
The old website was alright, but I got bored with it, and I thought, if I’m bored with it, then other people are probably bored with it. That and I was feeling a bit creative again for the first time since I quit smoking, and where better to unleash that creativity than on something which expresses mwah to the world (in particular those members of the world who need a new website).
The development of eyepudding.com followed a similar vein to most of the things I create. I start with a basic idea of what the website is about, what it is trying to sell, and how it is trying to sell it. In this case I am selling websites, digital art and graphic design. The website in my mind is about selling unique, interesting web design that functions well. The web is full of clones which say next to nothing about their owners or their owners products other than “We sell this.” Websites which have been built purely for the sale. This is fine if it works for them, but I want to build stuff which is unique, which has personality, and which goes beyond “menu bar, list, logo”. whether I have achieved that or not I will let you decide.
As for how it is trying to sell, well it is trying to sell in a way which I think matches my personality. Aside from the occasional mad hatter post about the world being bleak because I couldn’t get a nicotine hit. I am a pretty chilled guy and as my misses and my travel blog will tell you, I have a rather blunt, sometimes brutally honest/morbid sense of humor, I think I’m a fun guy (who doesn’t think they’re fun though right). As such I wanted the site to look chipper, I wanted it to have an element of randomness, and I wanted the color and movement to convey levity. Again I will let you decide if I achieved this or not.
From there it came down to deciding which of the myriad of web development options the internet offers I would choose. I decided on my favorite theme for wordpress.org, Weaver II pro. It is extremely malleable and allows for a lot of variety in design if you put the time in to learn it and aren’t scared of getting into the nuts and bolts of wordpress. If you want a unique site that doesn’t look like it came out of the cookie cutter, this is the theme.
I decided I wanted motion in the site, but didn’t want to use flash because it sucks for SEO and browser / device compatibility. People don’t like being told to download a plugin to view a site, and it doesn’t work on most mobile platforms. So I decided on using a parallax slider plugin which allowed me to implement html, css and linking into its layers. Usually you would use something like this just to highlight posts with images on your front page, but I like to mix it up. So I used it at full size as a responsive slider and it became 90% of my site content.
I used an assortment of my own artwork as backdrops and chose them on “feel” as opposed to any real thought pattern, I think it worked and the respective pages and colors emphasize their content nicely.
Lastly I ensured the site had good security throughout, included a great SEO plugin, and used W3 Total Cache to keep the speed of the site up. This last part still needs tweaking but the homepage loads at around two to three seconds right now (in comparison this site loads in about 1.3 seconds, which is damn good compared to some of the stuff out there), which for a site that will be full screen and crisp in HD (1920×1080) is pretty damn good. Most sites are scaled to about 1280px wide or less, which means when you look at them on a good monitor there is a lot of dead space either side. I decided I don’t mind an extra second of load time for a site which looks good at high resolutions, after all that is the way technology is heading and I can keep working on the speed.
And that is the thought process and structure I use to build a website. I figure out what you want to sell the world. I figure out how you want to sell it. I figure out what sort of personality you want your site to have, and then let the bizarre inner workings of the brain take all that info and run it through its gelatinous interior. Bounce it round a few billion neurons and hey presto. A website built for you!
I hope you like www.eyepudding.com, it was a labor of love. I look forward to your opinions and thoughts. And if you find any little bleeps or bloops that shouldn’t be there. On phones, tablets or computers. Please let me know so I can doo hickey it into perfection. And of course if you or someone you know needs a website, art or graphic design work done, you know where to find me. Peace.