Site Update 2.0
Hello ✧˚ · .
If you are only now discovering my site, then welcome. For those who have followed me prior and are familiar with my site, I hope you notice some of the changes I made! Can you believe it took me a whole week to do this?? I actually started working on this because I was a little burnt out from drawing the new Fontaine characters and wanted to procrastinate on the Fontaine background.
I had been working on a staged copy of my site (like a webdev) this whole time, so none of the changes were public until I deployed the changes to this site. I thought that was really cool. It’s a new feature from my host and I will definitely utilize it in the future! The changes are not as noticeable at first glance. I didn’t change my theme as a whole though. Just modified the current theme and added more content/photos. Some of the features and core parts of this theme are a little outdated but there are enough tools to let me still make it work thankfully. Most of my pages are actually built on an old, unsupported page builder, but after trying to switch to a newer one IT WAS SO MUCH WORSE. It was just so….yuck. So I will continue to use the old one until it actually breaks I guess.
Overall I think the whole process went fairly smoothly with maybe one or two minor bumps along the way. I usually enjoy thinking about working on little side projects like this, making videos, and taking product photos. But then absolutely loathe it when I am actually doing the side project because it takes away my drawing time. But I think after this week, to be able to just sit down and work on my site was really enjoyable and therapeutic. I actually would have been close to done yesterday but Friday night, there was a hiccup? of sorts, and I lost that entire day’s progress. What I had lost however was only product listings and updates. None of my new webpages were affected, which was my real concern haha
I’ve built sites since I was a kid with platforms like Wix and Weebly before. (Ah the days when we all had oc sites before TH came out….those were the days) It’s something I kept telling myself for years that I would get around to doing, but there was always something that would come up. The beauty of this site is I have nearly 0 limitations to what I can do, so as long as I can imagine it, I can add it. (It’s also waaaay cheaper than anything else that could offer even some of the same features) That’s why I never considered Bigcartel, Shopify, or even Etsy, despite all of their respective benefits. And it feels so much more satisfying to know that excluding the site theme and the site core, everything is my own design.
Anyway, I want to try and highlight some of the important changes/improvements I’ve made:
The navigation was one of the biggest things I wanted to tackle with the update. It was always something I was hesitant to add to because I didn’t want to clutter it with useless stuff. But at the same time, it was barely functioning as a proper navigation in the first place. Especially after you compare the before and after you really gotta ask yourself, “How the fuck did she look at the old version and think ‘Yep this looks fine’ and proceed to leave it like that FOR 4 YEARS…” It’s a crime, honestly.
For reference, this is what it looked like before the update:
But of course, in order to improve the navigation, I would first need to change my webpages…
To make things simple, here’s a quick list of every new page I created:
- Site Changelog (Keep track of minor site only changes, for myself mostly)
- Shop Updates (Just a homepage for my blog posts like this one)
- Preorder Progress (Customers can now track at what stage my preorder items are at in terms of production and fulfillment)
- Genshin Standees (A whole dedicated page to my standee set because there are A LOT now and I wanted to try and keep all of their important information together in one place)
Here’s a breakdown of all of the already existing web pages that went through significant edits:
- About (Short intro for me, upcoming con information, contact form)
- Original characters (Short intro blurbs for some of my most drawn OCs)
- Store Policies
- “My Account” (Login page for customers)
I hope you will check out everything and find the browsing experience more enjoyable!
This was a very spur-of-the-moment, last-minute idea I had during the update and it became one of my favorite changes!
This dropdown was sufficient a year or two ago, but as more characters came out, I think it became more and more difficult to use for customers. I never heard any complaints directly but while building my site I thought about the customers who come to my table at cons who aren’t that familiar with the characters. Usually, these are people who want to buy a gift for their friend. It made me think how hard it must be to pick characters by their name only. And then I started to think about how I could improve this experience online.
What I ended up finding was a plugin that lets customers choose the variation via images or buttons, instead of a dropdown. This was exactly what I needed! Extra points that it makes the listing look so colorful now too. And there are even other style versions that better suit other products such as my mini bases, and sticker sheets. I especially love this new design with my cover charms, where customers can pick the animal cover for their charm.
Going forward there are still little changes I want to continue adding to my site and improving the overall efficiency. This experience has certainly opened me up to features I wasn’t familiar with before and expanded my knowledge and understanding about the interworkings of my site as well. I hope you will take a moment to take a look at everything and please look out for my next updates about my shop opening and new product announcements!