Web Design

Setting the stage for 2015

What I want to learn and how I want to grow in 2015.

It’s the start of a new year when lots of folks make resolutions. I’m not big on new year’s resolutions myself, but I do want to think about what I want to learn and how I want to grow in 2015.

I had a great 2014.  My client base expanded from working mostly with holistic practitioners to small businesses, food bloggers, and even a professional music venue! I built several large projects, a few personal projects, and added to my existing skill set.

As a web designer and front end developer, I continue to learn and expand my skill set so that I can provide the best products and services to my clients. I am also continually refining my work flow and client management processes.

So, here’s my intentions for 2015.

Process Improvement

Improve my workflow and client management processes.

  1. Development / deployment process using ServerPress.  I have in the past developed new sites on new hosting accounts or staging sites within the hosting account, but I need a local development system in place that allows easy and stable deployment to live servers.  ServerPress is the ticket.
  2. Blueprint install (i.e. already have my basic settings , favorite plugins, etc.) that I can copy for new projects. I’ve been using WPQuickInstall the last year and love the options it provides — automatically install designated plugins, change wp-config.php settings upon install, change WordPress database prefix, and more but a Blueprint install might be easier.  Still thinking about this.
  3. Improve client workflow process (explore this).  My client workflow process is continually refined as new client and project management tools are released. Project Panorama is one tool I want to add to my existing project management flow. It will allow me to visually communicate project progress to my clients.

Blogging / Newsletter

I do not blog regularly or as often as I would like (gasp!). I know, it’s hard to say that out load, since I encourage my clients to set and honor a regular blogging schedule.  Problem is, I’ve never been able to define my audience. Is it existing and potential clients? Is it other web designers/front end developers? I honestly don’t know, which is why I’ve set these intentions:

  1. Define / decide on my audience — who do I want to help? How will I best contribute? What do I want to write about? When do I want to write (set a schedule).
  2. Create a weekly newsletter format. I want to provide useful information in a user friendly format.  So decide what I want to share, who I want to share it with, and then create standard weekly newsletter format.

Skill Set

  • Continue learning Compass / Sass and begin using Scout.
  • Continue learning on iThemes (SASS, PHP, PODS)  — I am loving iThemes Training.  Well worth the annual cost. Large and diverse library (includes both technical and business related content) that grows every month.

Stay Focused and Present

So happy to learn recently that the idea of multitasking is a myth.  I’ve known forever that I’m lousy at it and have noticed over the years how easily I become distracted.  Working on one project, get an email from another client, start thinking about it, lose focus on what I was working on, etc. And that’s only about emails. What about social media?!  How easy it is to get distracted.

So I am committed to changing my work environment to allow me to focus on — and stay focused — on one task / project at a time.

Create work environment that helps me stay focused and present.

  • Close email tabs when working.
  • Check email only at designated times throughout the day.
  • Create work and learning schedules and honor them.  Thanks Gioconda for the Visual Calendar.  I have it on my desk and reference it often to keep me on task.
  • Eliminate Facebook entirely during the work day.
  • Block off time DAILY for play.


This may be at the bottom of the list, but it’s actually a top priority for me in 2015.  To connect, in person and online, with other WordPress / Genesis designers and developers.

I spent a lot of time with Troy Dean this year via his WP Elevation Weekly Podcast.  Have learned so much and plan to continue. I’ve also enjoyed Carrie Dil’s weekly GOH Podcasts and Matt Medeiros and the Matt Report

But here’s the thing. I want to connect in person in 2015. Which is why I intend to attend at least one WordPress camp this year.

That’s a Wrap

Well, not entirely.  There’s a lot more I want to do in 2015, lots more I want to learn, but this provides a guideline that I can refer to as the year unfolds.

Here’s to a fun, inspiring, and successful 2015!

Posted in Web Design

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