My personal website ( http://www.oldmuleysroundhouse.com ) has been up for for a quite a while and although I’ve updated content, the layout has remained the same. It’s feeling a little stale, and I’d like to update to a more modern look. At the same time I want to pare down the content to be more focused. What I’d like to do is something similar to the wanderer theme, but I’m nervous about how to start. I’m not sure how to approach this short of completely starting over. Any advice?
I’m not a designer by trade but to me both sites are very similar. They feel very web 1.0-ish; blocky, squared-off, centered layout etc. The only real difference is the scrolling foreground in “wanderer”.
There are tons of themes and examples that have been posted on this forum; I’d take a look around. I think you can do much better than the example you’re pointing at.
Welcome to the Sparkle Community!
First up, you should make your website mobile friendly.
Some people like to make a site with the 320px and 960px device width, that’s fine for a personal site.
However, if you are hoping for improved Google search results or you are monetising your website in one way or another, you should (but don’t have to) opt for:
- Portrait Smartphones 320px
- Portrait Tablets 760px
- Desktop 960 or 1200px.
You could use all device types if you wanted but generally that is not necessary with Sparkle.
Take your time to manually arrange your 320px layout to suit the mobile format.
For your menu system it makes life easier later to set up two menus at the beginning:
Desktop Menu (horizontal)
Mobile Menu (vertical)
- Hide the Desktop menu on the Mobile (and maybe the tablet layout)
- Hide the Mobile menu on the Desktop (and maybe tablet layout)
- You decide which menu you want to use on the tablet
Text tip: Make your body text 16pt each device type you use and that should cover you. Adjust your heading sizes accordingly.
That should get you started!
Looks like you have lots of pictures, and this could be a fun rework. I like to physically draw my website out, page by page, pencil and paper.
Gather the photos you want to use. Pare down your amount of text and start designing.
@OldMuley, A great time starting afresh!..
Although it can be daunting , with a few things in place you could get it going in the right direction very quickly by answering these questions…
- what is my story? [There is no other like yours!]
- who is my targeted audience?
- what is the purpose of my website?
- what is the primary action you want your ideal client to take?
Then I would suggest as @Woodrow has, grab a sheet or two of paper and draw out your site’s tree structure and the “user-flow”, aka how you will lead/guide the user to the ultimate goal of your website.
I think the above would be a really good start and will give you a foundation in building your site out.
As @producerguyaz mentioned the design you are looking to go with is somewhat outdated and clunky which wouldn’t suite your potential website.
Interaction with a mobile device (mobile and tablet) now out ranks desktop so the advice from @Chris is very important to note as you build out your website.
So good luck with it all! …