I spent the whole of yesterday to focus on website redesign. It’s just a minor tweak here and there.
Two bug fixes in the form of 1) realigning my comments section, and 2) restyling my pagination. I didn’t deal with these two when I worked on WebGrrrl.net 3.0 two years ago.
I like using built-in WP functions, instead of customizing and specifying every single element. Whenever possible, I will choose convenience over aesthetics. Given that when you’re working on a CMS such as WordPress, its periodic updates may break your design or function. This is why it’s safer to stick to what’s already default.
My comments code looks like this:
<?php if ( comments_open() || get_comments_number() ) : comments_template(); endif; ?>
Those few lines handle both displays of the comments as well as the comment form.
As for my pagination?
<?php the_posts_pagination( array( 'prev_text' => __( '« Newer', 'textdomain' ), 'next_text' => __( 'Older »', 'textdomain' ), ) ); ?>
Nevertheless, these functions generated a different set of CSS classes than what’s defined by Material Kit, the theme I’m currently using. This causes the comments and pagination to look really ugly without the proper CSS. However, fixing them at version 3.0 point wasn’t my priority, so I left the fix for another day.
They look decent now, of course. By the way, I coded and customised Material Kit to work with WordPress from the ground up. Or, rather, make WordPress to work with Material Kit.
This makes the current WebGrrrl.net an original website, and NOT based on any Material Kit WordPress themes that’s out there for download.
Because I’m awesome like that.
Website redesign focus: Latest posts
The home page is where most of the action is. I decided to put summaries of my blog posts, called Latest Posts, not above the fold but still part of the front page, because why not?
At least now there’s one more reason why people would hang around this website (hello, bounce rate!). Besides, I also noticed most personal brands have websites where it’s not just used as a leads page, but also to share some snippets and updates.
Content strategy: blogging or landing page?
The need for website redesign comes as I analysed this site traffic for the past two years. Before this, I discussed at length in Steemit about my decision on where and how to post my content.
I can justify the reasons for externally blogging instead of blogging directly in WebGrrrl.net. External blogs have better discovery and ways of attracting online traffic, like what I’ve experienced with Steemit and LinkedIn. Of course, they’re not organic (search-resulted visitors) but they’re still your readership.
If I aim for improved organic traffic, then blogging directly at WebGrrrl.net is the better way to go. My organic traffic result ain’t that impressive, unfortunately. I am definitely to blame due to the lack of content. When I used to blog there, at least I could use long tail keyword discovery to improve my blogging reach and results. Doing summarised blog posts of my external content may help alleviate the site’s lacklustre performance. For now, I’m happy that my redesigned site is more focus on call-to-action rather than as a blog, and I would like to think that I’m aggressively re-building my portfolio as a way to improve WebGrrrl.net’s online presence.Me on Mulling over my blog decentralising strategies
I highlighted the last sentence of the quote because this is THE main reason why I wasn’t actively blogging on WebGrrrl.net. I decided that WebGrrrl.net could be my landing page to generate leads instead of just a blog. Clearly now, it seems that being just that is not enough. Hence, my website redesign.
Strategies can change. They must. Otherwise, how do we improve? I know that traffic to this blog will definitely improve once I blog often and have the right content. Sure enough, WordPress has plenty of plugins that can support SEO and drive traffic organically. Yoast SEO has never failed me, and I’ll continue to make this plugin my go-to tool for improving my website.
WebGrrrl.net has come a long way, baby. Cheers to many web dev and blogging years ahead.