Careful! This post is looking a little old and could be inaccurate in many, many ways
As you may have noticed already my old site trans-fusion.co.uk has regenerated in a Doctor Who style into keanrichmond.com. Keanrichmond.com is essentially the same great website but with a new name and a shiny new face. For the moment I want to explain some of the reasons behind the changes I have made to the website, and why I’ve made these changes after only a few months since the last design was launched.
Probably the biggest change to the website is the rebrand and domain name change from trans-fusion.co.uk to keanrichmond.com. Usually I would never recommend a change in domain name as it can wipe out any work done in establishing an online brand using the previous domain name.
Why then would I not take my own advice? Although I have owned trans-fusion.co.uk for a few years now I had never created much of a brand with it and the traffic was minimal with figures only rising when the blog was introduced in March. With the new site coming I had planned to start promoting the site more, raising its profile and my own, if I was to change domain name it had to be now.
trans-fusion.co.uk had little meaning or connotations about what the site was about, by changing the domain name to my own name it would give visitors more of an idea of the site even before they saw the website. Using my name as the domain name would provide a brand for the website and me as well as ensuring the site keeps it’s rankings for my own name which the previous site does, but with a different domain name may take more time to establish.
The previous site build (v6) suffered from poor planning, and when I decided to start again to get it right from the start I saw the opportunity to refine the design that was now months old even before the site was launched.
In the new design these were all addressed, although a smaller font size is present in the design the main content all has a larger text size with a greater contrast for easier reading. The calendar is gone replaced by a more simple and effective archive system. The colour scheme has also changed. I always wanted to keep the cream background rather than a sharp white; therefore I needed a heading colour that provided a better balance. Eventually the result was a blue/purple colour with pink highlights. This colour scheme actually had more in common with the v5 design of trans-fusion.co.uk which used purple and pink. As the layout has remained largely the same from the v6 design the new design can be viewed as a combination of the previous two designs, bringing together the best ideas of each to provide a more consistent movement through the designs used in each iteration.
I had decided early on in the design process that I wanted to use Sifr to give the headings of the site more visual impact. At present there are few options available to web designer in using non standard fonts. Sifr provides an accessible way of providing non-standard fonts on screen.
Even in its third version Sifr is not perfect, however due to the lack of alternatives I have elected to incorporate it into the design.
The portfolio has always been the main focus of my website in previous iterations. However in v6 it was never completed before the live went live and therefore it was important to incorporate it into this iteration at launch.
It may appear strange that when the portfolio is the main focus of the website it sits as internal page rather than given focus on the home page. The reason behind this is that by having a more content heavy homepage that a blog provides helps draw more traffic, without traffic the portfolio is useless. By utilising the blog I can promote new additions to the portfolio, and I also display a selection of portfolio work on the side column of the home page giving users another entry point into the portfolio.
Over time I will hope to talk about how I put this website together and how I personally build websites. I think by showing the processes I use that I might help others learn and also find out new things myself.