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Thread: My portfolio site - Freelance

  1. #1
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    Current Rating

    Visual Appeal:
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    Website Speed:
    3.0 out of 5

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    My portfolio site - Freelance

    I'm a web designer out of Minneapolis, Minnesota who tries to keep things simple. I love feedback, particularly the constructive kind


    Tim Brown - Web Design Minneapolis

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    First things first: you have graphic design talent. The kettlebell logo in particular is quite clever.

    Second: smart to use https everywhere, even though this isn't a site that necessarily requires it.

    Third, and most importantly, you're falling into a trap that a lot of graphic and artistic people fall into...your approach to your website is understandably uncreative and based on follower logic. What does that mean? It means three things:

    1) You're using a template from underscores.me. Unless you've significantly customized it, and I don't know what the original template looks like, this isn't a good idea. You're supposed to be creative, original, and a web designer. Using a template doesn't demonstrate these things, and depending on how you wish to be hired you could run into problems down the road.

    I just broke an offshore design company that was using a template on a client's site without the client's prior knowledge. The arguing that ensued was something that I wanted no part of...and I was the person who was in the right. Imagine if you're the person in the wrong. Do you want that kind of hell? (Trust me, you don't.)

    2) Your SEO copy. SEO is like makeup...the key to applying it properly is to put it on so that no one can tell it's there. For example, you keep mentioning "Minneapolis Web Design". I understand why...you're from Minneapolis and you're a web designer. But who uses that phrase in regular conversation? Almost no one. Good SEO copy works in keywords and phrases while still sounding natural. This is an extremely difficult skill to acquire, however.

    3) This is partially related to 1), and partially related to WordPress in general...it's not SEO-friendly. At least not as much as everyone seems to think it is. In fact, most templates are decidedly SEO-unfriendly. I'm going to show you something you've probably never considered before...you may not have even known about this. With that said, here's how Google in particular sees your site in terms of page speed/load times, which is an SEO factor:

    https://developers.google.com/speed/...%2F&tab=mobile

    Look what it's saying about your mobile speeds. More specifically, look what it's saying about the "render-blocking Javascript and CSS". Even the "out-of-the-box, oversimplified" WordPress templates have a tendency toward HTML/CSS bloat and often load far more than they need to. When you get into templates that you find online, this effect tends to become more magnified. You get jQuery. You get Javascripts for form plugins. You get your CSS for your social media plugins. You get Javascript/CSS for this, that, and the other thing. Before you know it, you get a bloated mess of code that you're using in some spots but not others. This is a fairly typical, yet unspoken WordPress phenomenon and one of the reasons I'm what some would call a "sharp critic of the platform".

    The best solution to this particular problem is to start your site over from scratch without the WP platform...but since I suspect that's probably an unpalatable option, the next best thing is to remove any and all scripts and add them in one-by-one, as needed, and not in the head of the document. Either way, you've got a nasty job ahead of you.

    Hopefully you can take what I've shown you and run with it.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  4. #3
    Senior Member Vapr_Arts's Avatar
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    I can't see the link to your site on my phone (its not your fault its the way my app or the forum translates to mobile) ,but Game is spot on as far as WP bloat goes. I just got the opportunity to show a client this exact same thing after they decided they needed something changed on their WP site.

    I wont link the site for obvious reasons, but I will explain what I mean. Their homepage was pretty simple, had a slider up top and a few paragraphs of copy below explaining what they do and why they do it best. It took almost 3 sec. That may seem quick until you consider how fast a page this simple should load.

    I recreated their homepage to show them how slow WP was. I was able to get the load time to under 1 second and I added some bells and whistles just to show them that it was WP and not just how the page loads.

    They had an abundance of scripts and code that didn't benefit the site at all loading up for things that werent on the page. It was a horrible mess and quite honestly I am glad that their site was not a very complex site. Their simple site was a chore to go through and I can only imagine how it would have been if they had more features and things implemented on the site.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    https://timbdesign.com/

    Try that, Vapr_Arts.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  6. #5
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vapr_Arts View Post
    I can't see the link to your site on my phone (its not your fault its the way my app or the forum translates to mobile) ,but Game is spot on as far as WP bloat goes. I just got the opportunity to show a client this exact same thing after they decided they needed something changed on their WP site.

    I wont link the site for obvious reasons, but I will explain what I mean. Their homepage was pretty simple, had a slider up top and a few paragraphs of copy below explaining what they do and why they do it best. It took almost 3 sec. That may seem quick until you consider how fast a page this simple should load.

    I recreated their homepage to show them how slow WP was. I was able to get the load time to under 1 second and I added some bells and whistles just to show them that it was WP and not just how the page loads.

    They had an abundance of scripts and code that didn't benefit the site at all loading up for things that werent on the page. It was a horrible mess and quite honestly I am glad that their site was not a very complex site. Their simple site was a chore to go through and I can only imagine how it would have been if they had more features and things implemented on the site.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    This is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about. WP creates a unique set of challenges in that the bloat is both client-side and server-side. The server side is covered in the PageSpeed report I linked to in that the initial response time was 1.2 seconds, although that could partly be explained by the SSL. The rest could be explained by the host....GoDaddy.

    That sound the rest of you heard in the background...that was Vapr_Arts' head exploding at the mention of his least favo(u)rite host!
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  7. #6
    Senior Member Vapr_Arts's Avatar
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    My favorite indeed! I just found another reason to hate them just this week. Apparently they block any SMTP ports that are used by other companies forcing you to use theirs, and then theirs is buggy and damn near impossible to get connected to their SMTP servers.

    Not meaning to get too far off topic just after you mentioned that I couldnt help but vent a little! Good thing is come Monday I will have a new host and come the end of January I will be done with GoDaddy.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  8. #7
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    You picking who I think you're picking?

    If you are, I'm in the process of upgrading my server with them. Started on Thursday and I'm almost done.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  9. #8
    Senior Member Vapr_Arts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGAME1264 View Post
    You picking who I think you're picking?

    If you are, I'm in the process of upgrading my server with them. Started on Thursday and I'm almost done.
    I am unless something better presents itself before tomorrow.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #9
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    I can dig it. Underscores is actually the most basic unstyled theme created by the people that make WordPress for developers, but I do have a ridiculous amount of bloat on my website and that's my bad.. Time accrues and I've installed too many plugins. That and the JavaScript all over that needs to be minified or removed. I really appreciate you and @vapr_arts thoughts on this. Thank you for taking the time and reminding me I need to do this. As for the out of the box time WordPress adds, I'm afraid I'm not as CMS agnostic as I'd like to be, in the past couple years WordPress dev has been good to me as far as paying the bills. But I will consider your thoughts on this. Thank you
    TheGAME1264 likes this.

  11. #10
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Become a developer, brother. As soon as you do, you'll be a CMS atheist.
    Vapr_Arts likes this.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)


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