Well, here we are! It is January 16th and for the last 15 days I have spent time populating this website that you are reading now with all of my cataloged challenges from 2015 until today. The site kind of looks average at this point, but I will spend the last half of the month cleaning it up and providing an experience that I want people viewing this site to have.
Here is the actual challenge – spend 1 hour per day working on this site. My favorite part about this challenge is that I have a committed comrade named Sam who is dedicating an hour per day to a cool project idea that he has had for a while. It is awesome to watch each of our ideas actually come to life in the form of a website and a wire frame. It is also nice to have a peer that is doing the exact same thing that you are.
How did you create a website from scratch?
Here is my step by step guide to actually creating a website:
- Conceptualize what you want the website to look like – I had an idea of what I wanted this site to be about and look like. I dedicated the first day and a half to combing through WordPress themes and seeing what might fit into my idea set.
- Decide on a theme – You will never find a theme that fits exactly what you are envisioning for your own site. You have to pick themes knowing that you will likely alter them to match your style and vision. This website was built on a theme called Januas. There are a lot of similarities to the base theme, but I have tried to make this site my own.
- Customize – The theme that I settled on is a theme that is meant for conferences and other big events. I knew that there was going to be a lot of work involved in breaking away from event terminology and crafting that to be more in line with challenge terminology. I spent a good solid day and a half playing around with my theme to see everything that I could do within the site. I figured out really quick what I liked, disliked and was going to change. My background in SEO marketing has enabled me to have enough knowledge to be almost dangerous as it relates to coding a site. Additionally, having friends that are excellent at code helps. I stripped things out that I didn’t like and fiddled with formatting to get a look that made sense to me.
- Create the content – A website without stellar content is like a car without an engine. I spent the first half of the month populating the website with content. I will likely spend the back half of the month crafting that content to be interesting to my audience (among other things that need to get done to set this site live).
- Even more tweaking – Even though I spent a lot of time in the customization phase, there is still a lot more that needs to get done. The back half of the month will also be spent working out those kinks.
- Ship it! – I had to give myself a deadline to actually launch the site, otherwise, I was going to find all sorts issues that I couldn’t get over, paralyze myself and doubt my work. Giving myself a deadline forced me to put everything I had into the site and whatever I couldn’t get to, oh well. I will get after it later. (UPDATE…I can’t follow my own advice. It is April 1st and I was supposed to set this live on February 1st. So I am adding a 7th bullet).
- Don’t be too hard on yourself – Occasionally I miss deadlines, ergo this site. It is easy to fall into the trap of giving up on yourself. You have to fight that feeling. Too many people give up, a lot of times right before the finish line or they won’t do something because it isn’t perfect. Don’t do that!
One of the major reasons that I was so delayed on this challenge was because my site was infected with malware. Huge headache and even bigger cost.
January is always a busy time for challenges and resolutions. Not just for me, but for other folks as well. In addition to the site, I have also started/continued a few more challenges for the year. Check them out here!
No Tech Tuesday
Waking up before the sun (until June 1st)
Fitness challenge (stay tuned for more info on this in February).