After 5 years it was time to change the website!

A lot of months ago I switched my main domain from mte90.net to daniele.tech but it was only the first step.

First of all I chose to do the same workflow that I do with my customers.

I am the customer of myself so let’s use a workflow that works. The only problem is that the feedback part is with myself again so there is not a big amount of exchanges.

First step

To see the old theme go to Waybackmachine, looking for te old domanin you can find also the old templates during the years.

  • Analyze the actual website and see what I don’t need anymore and what need to change to improve the usability for the actual standards.
    • The loading background image was slow
    • Carousel for article is useless
    • Promote better my articles
  • Ask to people what they think in a way to get more feedback.
    • People was complaining of the readability because of the colors used
  • Analyze what I want to keep.
    • Guest post and menu items

Second step

Check the website of competitors, in my cases I look to other developers that I admire/follow or I know personally for their skills and knowledge from various backgrounds.

Anyway from similar interest and of course that they have an update website and not an old one and abandoned.

This it the list (random order):

  • Alain Schlesser – For his involvement in WordPress and WP-CLI but also for his advanced explanation of OOP/PHP/WP internals
  • Andrey “Rarst” Savchenko – For his projects and interesting discussion on Twitter
  • John Blackbourn – For his tools (like Query Monitor) and involvement in WordPress
  • Pascal Birchler – For his involvement in WordPress in L10N and WP-CLI
  • Igor Benić For the interesting articles about development
  • Pippin Williamson – The first dev that I found when I joined with a lot of interesting articles about how WP works and his company
  • Giuseppe Mazzapica – For the high quality explanation on WP Stack Exchange and in the WP Italian community
  • Luca Tumedei – For the experience on Unit testing (and patience) in WordPress also on doing talks
  • Marco Chiesi – For the high quality of explanation about the dev life and many other things
  • Dominik Schilling – For the experience in WordPress and also on leading GlotPress
  • Greg Ross – The leader of the GlotPress project
  • Jean-Baptiste Audras – For the WordPress leading but also on helping GlotDict
  • Tom J Nowell – Leading the VVV project
  • Alessio Placitelli – For the high quality of internals explanation of Mozilla Telemetry world
  • Marco Bonardo – For the long experience inside Firefox
  • Edoardo Viola – One of my best friends with better design skills compared to mine
  • Jovica Ilic – For his high quality VIM content and tips
  • Chris Bailey – For the marketing/promotion about productivity

Special entry:

  • CommitStrip – I love this comic strip, so what else?

As you can see they are from similar backgrounds or groups but I didn’t want to study only the design but also the content and their writing style.

Like for the Bio or the articles itself, in a way to improve my writing style and more aligned with the actual content style compared to mine that is more like “chatting with a friend” (that in few contexts is perfect) but to be more professional I need to evolve.

Third step

Let’s do a wireframe of home page and pages after all this analysis on paper.

Redo it from scratch because I write very bad and because of changes.

In another paper write all the content/settings/features changes that I want to do for the new website.

Fourth step

Develop with calm the new template, upload it on GitHub like the previous one.

During the development put in backlog features that right now are not required and test the work on the most important.

Compress the few images with TinyPNG and Squoosh to get the best size for them.

Cleaned all the categories that I am not using anymore, configure the cache on the website with Google Pagespeed rank as 92 and Mozilla Observatory a B-.

I found also a bug in one of the libraries of the WordPress Plugin Boilerplate Powered Project, and did a new release.

Removed the old Crayon Syntax Highlighter plugin and switched to EnlighterJS that is maintained, develop and add support for many other things.

Removed the native support for emoji by WordPress/ClassicPress by theme and removing a theme dependence.

Use the DNS preload support in WordPress to load few domains used for CDN.

Also, I modified 2 plugins that I am using that are not maintained, Swifty Bar and Simple alert for Old post, to adapt to my new theme and avoid custom CSS. I hate to edit plugins but because of these cases was the only way.

Ship it and get ready to write new content like the book review section that right now is empty.

The last step is migrate WordPress to ClassicPress!

Cleanup the database from stuff of old plugins because they are left something in the database, and I am kind of perfectionist.

Conclusion

The new design is a motivation for me to improve my English (Thank to languagetoolplus browser extension that is open source and integrated with TinyMCE).

At the same time to still write articles in Italian and English. In Italian when the focus is for Italians and when I want to write events reports and English for technical article like tutorials.

I am already using a widget to write notes for new ideas for article, but I am looking for someone better that is not using post types for that also because I need only one big note.

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After 5 years it was time to change the website!

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