Project: Website (Re)launch – Ms. Guery

Been gone for a minute, now I’m back with the jumpoff relaunch.

So I learned how to create custom themes during my #100DaysofCode challenge, and I decided to put my new skills to use by redoing my website.

Custom WordPress Development project + website launch for @msguery

For my last two themes, I used the Genesis Framework (Workstation + Twenty Seven Pro) so I wanted to keep the same minimalist style. And what you see here is the final-ish product.

Website Goals

I got carried away by adding a whole bunch of features I didn’t need last time when all I wanted to do was share resources and put myself out there. So I used a few of this designer’s tips and website goals for 2018 so I can stay on track and focus on the important things.

I used my starter theme I created as a base, then I worked on:

Making it secure
Siteground fortunately has a free SSL certificate with Let’s Encrypt which was super easy to set up. (Go from http:// to https:// to get that “Secure” connection)

Related: 6 Simple Things That Can Help You Secure Your Online Business, Web Hosting Providers with Let’s Encrypt Support (Let’s Encrypt)

Faster load time
I didn’t check the speed before this update, but the last year it took longer than 5 seconds to load. #nobueno

So after the update I tried pingdom and GT Metrix to check my website speed and performance.

screenshot of website speed and performance from

The good thing about using Pingdom is you can download a report so you can know how to improve your site before your next update.

Changes to the site
– bigger font size, darker color text for main content, light colors for icons and buttons
– back to top button (less clicking for longer posts)
– the design looks similar in Firefox, IE, and Chrome
– fixed navigation (easily find what you’re looking for)

I used this checklist from StayinTech to improve accessibility and user experience, and create a better layout + navigation. Plus, checked for errors with the Theme Check plugin.

Related: Web Accessibility Checklist (WUHCAG), Basic Accessibility Requirements (WordPress)

Site Updates

– to grow email list I added email course sign up form
– added what I do and who I work with, plus links to book with me and look at my portfolio
– read the latest post and share with others

Related: How to Improve Your WordPress Website + Get it Client-Ready

I was avoiding this for a while, but I finally created one with the help of my bro. All I have to do is upgrade my selfies to professional pics and I’ll be good!

I removed the sidebar, cleaned up the categories, made it shareable – add buttons on the right side instead of the bottom of the post, and added freebies to a few related posts.

Still going over this to make it look more organized. (Code talk ahead: created a plugin for my custom post types and portfolio page templates + layout.)

Related: Guide to WordPress Custom Post Types (Sitepoint), How to Create Custom Post Types (WP Beginner)

Had a resources library for my subscribers but I moved all the freebies to my resources page. All of the freebies and recommended tools to use for your business and blog will be there – no sign up required. Instead of the freebies, I will be creating video tutorials for subscribers. These videos will be about managing + using WordPress and other business tools. Sign up here to get notified.

My services page has been revamped after my lessons learned last year and I added a new service for web designers: WP Development for Designers.

Related: 4 ways remote designers and devs can collaborate better (Invision App),
How designers can work better with developers (Invision App), 4 ways to ensure your developer collaboration goes smoothly (Erin Flynn), 11 Tips for Collaborating with Designers (A Developer’s Guide) (Elegant Themes)

Next steps

There are a few of things I need to do, so I’ll keep making weekly improvements as I go (and grow with the new skills I learn). My goal now is to create more content and share with my peeps on Twitter and Pinterest. And I’ll also work on posting on more Facebook and Instagram.

Would love to hear some feedback from you – tweet me or leave a comment below.

Interested in upgrading your DIY website? Let’s team up to relaunch your WordPress website. Start your project!

About Marjy

Atlanta-based Digital CX Consultant. Loves long walks at record stores + providing front-facing and back-office support to solo service providers and software + tech startups. Liked this post? join the Brief Gems email list to get more tips delivered to your inbox! Let's be friends on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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