When your preparing to go on a treasure hunt. It’s important to have a plan. Some important questions to consider are; What’s the weather going to be like? Should I bring and unbrilla? Will there be any dangerous animals I need to look out for? Who’s going to pick me up after I find the treasure? You don’t want to get to the island and start off all willy-nilly looking around searching for clues. You want to have a clear plan. You will need to have skills like hunting, swimming and camping. And the first thing that you will need to pack is the pirate’s treasure map. The map is going to give you clues to the starting point, landmarks, obstacles and the ending point that marks the location of the buried treasure. It basically points you in the right direction.

Redesigning a site or building one is similar to preparing for a treasure hunt because it requires several skills, from programing, design, to copywriting once these skills are all combined properly they can blend into an product that is not only easy on the eyes but communicates it’s messages clearly and functions with ease and grace.

The main steps of a website redesign are:

Research & Planing, Sketches & Wireframes, GIT Version Control, Content & SEO, Design, Code, Optimization & Quality assurance testing, Google Analytics, A Strong Pre Launch Announcement, Publish and Analyze.

Recently I redesigned my portfolio website here’s the before image dianefrierson2015portfolio

I found this great site online Marketing Grader it documents your site’s current performance. This tool gave me glimpse of where my current status is and where I want to take it.

First I thought about what worked well and what didn’t. The big background image on the home page was popular in 2014, I thought the progress bars on the skills page was a cool touch. The site being on a single page was nice, the single project pages presented a closer look at the project to the viewer which worked well. On the other hand the scrolling effect was difficult to navigate, and there were some transition issues with some of the web graphics on the portfolio page.

After some thought my vision for the redesign was clear, first I started off by making a list of what I wanted the end result of the redesign to be.

I focused on these 17 goals:

Sketches & Wireframing
Build a Custom Dynamic WordPress Website
Redux Framework for a custom admin options
Responsive Layout
Website performance
Content Strategy
User usability perspective
Modern minimal design
Multi-browser compatible
Evolve and improve
Highlight unique values
Google Analytics
Increase conversions
Incorporate a single call-to-action that encourages visitors to signup
Baked in features

Keep in mind these are my top 17 goals are for a portfolio redesign. Goals will change depending on the website type.

Goals to consider for various website types:

• Ecommerce – Purchase Conversion, Order Size
• Lead Generation – Conversion, leads into actual customers, Registration, Dropouts
• Customer Service – online support, average cost per
• Advertising – Page views, click ratio, Visits per day, week, month
• Subscription Sites – active subscriber, average subscription length
• Branding – average time spent on site

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Denise's is from sunny California, she specializes in front end development. Since 2011 Denise has used WordPress with 99% of her projects. For the last several years she has focused on building responsive custom WordPress website. Her diverse experiences has allowed her to be involved on all aspects of a project from start to finish.