Last Spring I wanted to update my shop page. What started out as a simple request turned into a 10 month crusade to rebuild my entire website from scratch on a new platform with a different e-commerce site.
Now, before I explain the reason for this massive undertaking, I want to explain how my website came to be in the first place.
A long time ago I chose to work with Todd Morrissette of After Five by Design which is a website design company that offers developing and hosting services. He took the designs I drew up for my website and made all my dreams come true when he built my first website. He customized my site to my every wish.
At the time my site was first built it was amazing!
However, the functionality of that site quickly started to diminish due to the rapid growth of technology for mobile devices.
You see, I had my first site made back at a time where all we used were desktop computers for all our internet needs, and it was common practice to build a static website.
It felt like I woke up one day soon after that first site was made, and everyone had a smart phone or iPad. These smaller devices with all their different screen sizes changed everything!
It soon became clear to website developers that static websites were no longer a viable option. This is because a static website didn’t accommodate for different screen sizes. Web developers solved this problem by building responsive websites. Responsive websites adapt to all sorts of screen sizes by stacking the information, images, and adjusting the font size to a size best suited for devices it’s displayed on.
Todd suggested I rebuild my site on WordPress and use WooCommerce for my online shopping needs. I took some time to do a little research on WordPress, which I discovered was no longer just a blogging site, but had grown into the # 1 choice people picked for building their own custom website.
I also looked into the advances of template sites. I knew I could make a website much faster using a template site, but would never really own it, and instead pay a monthly fee to rent a website on their server using their templates. My favorite two template sites were Shopify and Square Space.
Ultimately, I wanted to keep the look and the feel of my own website so I went with Todd’s suggestion and paid to have my entire site re-built on WordPress.
I really like that my customers thought of my website as an extension of my booth at shows, and felt they were in my booth talking to me even when they were on my website.
The reason why my site had to be completely rebuilt from scratch was to make every single line, shape, image, and text responsive. Everything had to be rebuilt so it could properly resize to the screen size it’s displayed on.
Making my site mobile friendly became a top priority for me!
It took some time to move all my products, photos, and post over to a new site.
Another important benefit I gained with a responsive site was the ability to have all my text, titles, and descriptions SEO friendly across all devices. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s vital to have if you want your website to be discoved in Google search. The original platform my website was built on was Joomla with Mojo for my e-commerce, and this combination was slow, not SEO friendly, and didn’t allow for updates due to the way my site was built. My old site was quickly becoming obsolete when it came to finding it on Google.
Lastly, I really wanted to be able to update the images and text on my site all by myself. It’s a lot of works, but it’s important for me to keep the messaging on my website authentic to who I am.
I feel like I’m just at the beginning of a brand new journey with my art. For the first time I look forward to the future, and the new challenges I face when it comes to growing my own personal brand as an artist online:)
I would also like to shout out a BIG THANK YOU to Todd and his team at After Five by Designs for all their hard work and patience when it came to remaking my site!
I highly recommend this company to anyone interested in owning and running their own website.