Launching the re-design of leevanstone.co.uk

I am immensely proud of my new website. It is been a lot of hours of work to put together but I have learnt a lot throughout. This is something that I love about being a Developer and working in the Web Industry.

Category: Career Progression | Read time: 15 minutes

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They say designing and developing your own website is always the hardest with lots of ideas going through your head. The only limitation really, is your imagination and most importantly providing a site that works well for all potential clients.

I wanted to my new website to reflect the journey within my career and to show my progression. As a passionate WordPress Website Developer I am always keen to learn new things to keep current and up to date with the fast based industry.

My previous site

The current site that I have just retired was only my second ever portfolio website. It outlasted my first one which got me into the industry and was very of the time. Those were the days when responsive design was not the norm and tables were thankfully avoided for website design. Looking back I have come a long way.

That website allowed me to post blog posts on topics of interest and things I am passionate in championing. I also used it to post articles which were some of regular questions I had answered in my role as an organiser of WordPress Oxford.

As a wannabe fictional book author and a regular mentor in my current employed role it was a great outlet to learn, develop and horn my skills.

New look for my site: Changing things up

New Branding

I was very fortunate to have a colleague kindly offer to produce me a set of logos for my branding. This really helped elevate the professionalism I was trying to bring across to my freelance business. I am really pleased and it is so versatile. I have had some lovely comments regarding it too, so it is nice to at last have something more official.

Eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed my branding on my Social Channels: Instagram and Twitter. I introduced the branding back at the start of December to coincide with my advent calendar tips campaign.

Branding in-situ

Professional branding assets

All assets that I create will have consistent colour palette that compliments the logo.

With the different logo combinations I can easily overlay my logo where appropriate. Giving me scope for adding to other assets such as documents and literature.

My recent Instagram post is just one of the selection of different templates I have created.

If you haven’t already, follow my Instagram and say hello or start a conversation on a post.

New website

During the summer of 2019, I had decided that when time allowed I would re-develop my own website. At this time I took on my second client , “The Akeman Benefice“. This led me to begin collating ideas at the start of 2020 (We all know what happened next).

As a creative individual, I had lots of ideas for the website so I decided it was important to produce designs ahead of building. This allowed me to get the overall look and feel right to define what vision I had for the site. Images were going to be important but for my industry and expertise, imagery needed to complement the content.

Improvements: What is now present

Projects

With being a full time employed Developer for over 9 years I have built many different websites in my roles. For my own portfolio of work, I wanted to build up my own list of projects (case studies). That I have managed and developed with my own clients.

Each project is written as long form content allowing me the opportunity to add a story behind each project. Having flexibility to write in the format that suits the work. Not fixed on headings and number of blocks.

Some of my projects are purely WordPress Support clients that I have worked with or are currently working on an ad hoc basis. Giving me and them flexibility with being there when they are in need.

Check back in the next few months for some new additions and future projects that are in the works. March and April were extremely good months so I can’t wait to show them in future months.

Insights

Now the new website is live I am keen to write more regularly about topics of interest, events I attend and many other topics.

Building on my insights section from previous website I have chosen to go down a different format. I am keen reader of many bloggers but Paul Boag is someone I have read quite a bit. He most recently produced a Video series where he critiqued websites.

The key takeaway from the video was that peoples behaviours with blogs are much different now. Lots of people are not loyal to one blog anymore. The conventional chronological list of posts doesn’t lend itself to being the norm for everyone. Most readers come from a Google Search so the first page they visit on your site could be an article not your home page or landing page.

The insights section now has:

  • Featured” section where I can promote a particular post giving me flexibility to change it as and when.
  • Most Popular Posts” section which is based on views to the article will change depending on traffic.
  • Reduced list of recent posts for those looking for them. Plus a link to view all of them.
  • Category List Allowing me to separate and display the categories in a more engaging way. Allowing me to add descriptions and also being able to only show the 3 most recent posts for that category.

“Skills Space”

“Skill Space” is an opportunity for me to show my acumen with my development skills. As well as attracting new clients, I want to show my progression and capabilities through my site. This is something that I want to add to in the near distant future. I have lots of ideas.

Final Result

With the new website there is a lot of ways I can continue to grow the site and its offerings. Thank you for those who have supported me so far with it. I have really enjoyed working with different clients and supporting them digitally with their websites.

It has been really nice to receive some really lovely Google Reviews from some of my clients. It is is something I am really grateful for and take pride in giving back to my clients.

I found Lee by asking local community for a recommendation of a good specialist who can resolve tricky problem on WordPress. Lee was excellent in his technical knowledge but also very professional and with great communication skills. He kept me up to date with every stage of the work ( it was a lot ) and fixed all and above the required. Highly recommended. Will be using Lee’s services again.

Iryna – Oxford Bespoke Gowns

Keep your eyes peeled on my socials for future additions and upcoming articles. I have a few events coming up alongside my WordPress Oxford MeetUp. If you would like to have a chat about how I can support your website, leave me a message via my contact page.