As some of you may have noticed, there’s been a few changes to the site. Well, a lot!
The previous setup caused a few headaches. I’d put up with it for a while but thought it was time for a change. It wasn’t responsive for mobile devices, the image dimensions were too small and the framework didn’t really let me do what I wanted. To give it some credit, it lasted four years, doing well in the early stages when all I needed was a basic portfolio.
New Hosting – Krystal.co.uk
I’d been with the US based JustHost for a few years, and honestly, for $5 a month it really was a great service despite many giving it serious criticism. I had basically 99.5% uptime with no serious problems for the lifetime of my contracts.
However, it had become a little slow as my site grew, and their upgrades were pretty pricey.
I came across Krystal.co.uk and their Ruby (basic) plan looked similar to what I was getting with JustHost, except it was based in the UK, all on SSD’s and easily upgradable in future. Although I didn’t deal with the migration itself, everything seems great and I would recommend them to anyone looking a UK based ISP.
We have rock-solid reliability, and a great uptime record. Our 99.9% uptime guarantee means that if our uptime statistic isn’t above 99.9% on your server, in any given month, we’ll refund your hosting fees for that month if you contact us. That’s a promise.
New Theme – Divi
Using Classica for a few years, the annoyances I had with it only really came to light in the last couple of months. It wasn’t responsive for mobile, and with 20% of traffic coming from phones and tablets, it would be stupid to overlook that demographic. The fonts were too small, and due to some weird, hidden CSS issue/bug, colours simply refused to display properly.
Apart from looking beautiful and offering real customisation, the drag-and-drop page builder is as amazing as Squarespace’s setup (which I had also considered).
I think they’ve put their prices up since I purchased but I would seriously recommend Elegant Themes for their WordPress themes. Support is great with an excellent group of admins in the forum, giving one-to-one assistance for free.
Previously I had my store as a subdomain off the main Inkbot Design site, which seemed like a good idea at the time. Initially, that was due to Classica not supporting WooCommerce but overall, it being treated as a separate site meant I didn’t spend as long working on it as I did the main one. Google furthermore didn’t pass along any authority to the store from the main site as it considered it unrelated.
Divi integrates WooCommerce perfectly. Now my store is more coherently connected to the main page (previously it had a totally different look) and better integrated as well. Whilst not all designers agree that selling stock logos or ‘templates’ is professional, I’ve helped quite a few people with lower budgets find something unique to brand themselves with. Everything is 100% custom, unique and only sold once.
Classica treated the portfolio like ‘image posts’, only allowing a little room for writing a description or background info. Divi on the other had accepts as much content as you wish, presented in as many layouts as you can imagine.
It also allows for full-width images, sliders and videos, something that may sound ‘standard’, but wasn’t an option in the last site.
Have a look at my graphic design portfolio to see what I mean.
Transfer between hosts was handled by Richard Bruce, a genius web developer who was also kind enough to lend me server space for initially building the site. There were basically no problems at all, emails propagated within 24 hours, and with a little optimisation, the new site was snappy and quick with standard caching.
The new site, along with new hosting will put things in good standing when traffic grows. I’m planning to be much more active with the graphic design blog, getting some really interesting content out there on a regular basis.
So if you notice any weird bugs, errors or 404’s please let me know. If you want to leave feedback below I’d be really grateful, whether it be positive or negative. Is there something you would do to improve things? Thanks for reading.