I'm creating a new personal website. I'm starting from scratch, and I'll document my process.

Many folks have asked me to create a website for myself: clients, friends, members of my community. I've got loads of experience building websites, working with small businesses, and startups, so I figured I'd share my process, and "let 'em know."

I've built literally hundreds of websites, thousands of pages, and dozens of custom software solutions, but it's been over 5 years since I've updated, or even touched, my own personal website.

I'm horrible at representing myself.

I don't advertise (I tend to under-value myself), but I've got useful skills. I'm much better at representing others than I am myself. My clients know it. Folks who've worked with me know it.

It's time for me to change old habits which no longer serve me.

Here we go.

I'm using this as an opportunity to test my knowledge and expertise. Most of my clients these days are folks I've worked with for years already, or folks who've come to me looking for a better solution. I haven't started from scratch in a while, so this will be fun.

My first priority is to create what I call a, "glorified business card."

To that end, just a handful of pages will suffice:

  • Home
  • Services
    • Web Development
    • Fire Performance
  • Blog
  • About Me
  • Contact Information

We'll see how much progress I make on a single lonely evening.

The more savvy web developers may notice I'm using Squarespace. If folks want to know why I'm not using WordPress, let me know (leave a comment), and I may follow up with another article on that topic later. Until then, let me just discuss the here and now... before I do, I need to backtrack just a little...

My hosting provider updated their servers sometime last year, and my old stack (a complicated cluster-fuck of custom technology, hand built, and pieced together, by me) stopped working. It's not really a fault thing, that's just what happens when servers update (which is necessary), and custom technology is no longer compatible (which happens over time). Custom full stacks sometimes must be maintained, and I haven't bothered to fix mine. After literally over a decade of making a living off of the web, I've become a lazy programmer, and I no longer wish to build, nor maintain, so many things all by myself.

I don't have time to build from scratch by hand, so I'm working with an "out of the box" solution.

Many services offer "out of the box" solutions, but Squarespace has some really nice looking templates to start with. My eyes are formally trained in art and design, and the visual qualtiy of Squarespace templates caught mine, so I'm staring here. As an artist, aesthetics matter to me, and I want my clients and customers to learn this about me upon first impression.

I'll re-evaluate, and take a closer look at other factors (SEO, ease of customization, portability) for other "out of the box" solutions later, but for for now, my priority is:

LET 'EM KNOW!!!

That means: just make a damn web presence.

So, without further ado...

Here are a few images of a template mock-up (test design) of my last website:

Photo Slideshow, Light. Notice this image and the next image, both depicting the same slideshow. This one with a "light" color scheme, the other with a "dark" color scheme. Visitors could switch styles, and the site would remember their preference.

Photo Slideshow, Light. Notice this image and the next image, both depicting the same slideshow. This one with a "light" color scheme, the other with a "dark" color scheme. Visitors could switch styles, and the site would remember their preference.

Photo Slideshow, Dark. Notice this image and the next image, both depicting the same slideshow. This one with a "dark" color scheme, the other with a "light" color scheme. Visitors could switch styles, and the site would remember their preference.

Photo Slideshow, Dark. Notice this image and the next image, both depicting the same slideshow. This one with a "dark" color scheme, the other with a "light" color scheme. Visitors could switch styles, and the site would remember their preference.

Services Offered. It's really important to be specific, and describe exactly what you have to offer.

Services Offered. It's really important to be specific, and describe exactly what you have to offer.

About Me. A little personal touch can make clients feel more comfortable working with you.

About Me. A little personal touch can make clients feel more comfortable working with you.

Contact Me. Always have a way for folks to get in contact with you, multiple methods is even better.

Contact Me. Always have a way for folks to get in contact with you, multiple methods is even better.

I'll edit this post later and show what I've got going on with the new website when I'm done for the night.

Day One Progress