So if this isn’t your first time visiting my site, you may have noticed it looks a bit different. While I was happy with my website, blog, and online store a few years ago when I set it up, it was showing it’s age and I really felt it needed to be consolidated and streamlined. I’ve been wanting to do a major framework and design overhaul on it for the last couple years, but being a web designer by day, the last thing I’d want to do in the evenings or on the weekends is work on another site.
After a few frustrating issues with my online store, I finally realized I had to bite the bullet and get to work. One major thing about my site that made it difficult to manage was that I had everything set as a separate entity- my main website was a standalone set of hand-coded pages, my blog was based on the WordPress platform, and my online store was based off Zen Cart. Since I use my website to promote my toy artwork and not my web design, I figured for ease of updating and management I will try to run the entire thing through WordPress. I knew that the contents of my main site and my blog would be easy to condense, but my online store was another issue. After doing some research it seemed like there were a couple of decent shopping cart plugins for WordPress, and eventually I narrowed it down to WP E-Commerce. It seemed to handle most of what I wanted and best of all- it’s free. There was also the matter of a design for the site. While I hate to use canned designs, I didn’t feel it made sense to try to create my own WordPress theme from scratch. I was also interested in making my new site responsive, which would throw another wrench into the mix. So the goal was to find a clean, simple, responsive design that I could repurpose and customize to make it my own. After playing around with three or four designs for about a month, I finally found one that got the job done.
Fast-forward past all of the headaches and long nights, I’m happy with how it’s turned out so far. I’m still playing around with different image gallery options and configuring my online store, but if all goes well they should be in place in the next few weeks. In the meantime my old online store is still available. So have a look around and let me know what you think!