Hey, thanks for all the really nice support yesterday! I feel a lot less like a freaky weirdo.
So after a year of blogging there have been many transformations: writing style wise, photography wise, content and layout. I wish I could pick one layout and just stick with it forever. I am a tortured re-designer, constantly learning how to code little things in css or making layouts/effects in GIMP (free version of Photoshop available online). I am constantly reading other blogs and gaining inspiration while figuring out what layout/design is a reflection of my work. As my work sorta changed, so did its face.
You can see today’s layout. let me show you the progression of the blog. WARNING: it starts out embarrassingly primitive.
- Some of the first headers. I made these on Powerpoint! I know, you’re super impressed and want to know how I did these. I’m shrinking as I post them.
- One of the first layouts. A purchased theme that I tweaked and customized a bit. This is from before I knew how to take a screen shot! (Shift + command + 3 on a MAC). Oh the purity. I remember learning how to install and modify widgets. Those precious early days of frustration. 🙂
- An early profile picture taken on our couch by Chris with a little Sony point and shoot. I kind of fixed my hair. I thought putting on a bit of liquid foundation here made it very professional. I may or may NOT be wearing pants here.
- I hired a website designer to help! She creates this logo from a few concepts I have. I photograph and email a pen and ink drawing of how I want the logo and menu to be set up. She does a really good job.
- My friend and celebrity photographer/stylist Jen Kleiner takes more professional photos of me for this headhsot to match the new look of the site.
- This is a screen shot taken while some kinks were being worked out-BY ME, after the web designer had done what I asked. I am a constant tinkerer. It can be challenging trying to convey to someone the image that you want to portray online. I was frustrated every time I had to ask the web designer to move a space here or change the font size there-it would take days and if I knew what to do it could have taken seconds. The impatience really motivated me to learn skills that would allow me to translate my ideas myself. I was eventually able to make small adjustments and then I took on bigger challenges as I got more confident.
- Here is the layout as of about 2 weeks ago. You can see some more changes…then I started a few more little changes. I wanted a more minimalist look from the start but didn’t know how to get there. I slowly transitioned into it. Finally, I bought a decent camera, learned how to edit a bit, then learned how to put text on photos and do layouts.
- Jen took some more photos of me being more “myself.” I learned how to make this brush-pen logo from Coco Mingo and this tutorial for scanning hand written text.
…and you get what you see today. I wanted less with the layout/background so I would be motivated to take better photos and have the focus on that.
I totally recommend wordpress.org as a platform to set up a website. I’m happy that I used it from the start. It’s very easy to learn and use. There is a tutorial for everything and using little drag and drop widgets is the easiest way to personalize your site. Once you get comfortable with that, you can start cutting, pasting and tweaking code to do even cooler things like make buttons that lighten when you hover etc. I borrowed SO many great little widgets and looks along the way and I still do all the time!
The best advice I could give to someone starting out with a website is to just get started and do so inexpensively. Unless you can definitively look at an existing site and say, “Yes, build me a site JUST like his/hers,” or “I completely trust your vision as a designer to make something perfect for me.”
Build your content. As you develop as a cyber-being, see tons of other cyber beings and find out who you are on the internet, look to hire a professional who you can work closely with in translating your vision. Find someone who has a portfolio full of the types of looks that say “you.” Along the way, learn how to make adjustments to your existing site-this will save you $$ as designers may charge for any changes after a certain point after the main design is complete.
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horror stories lessons below if you would.
Linking up with Glossy Blonde and Karly Kim today.