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JANUARY recap – Personal website build 365-workhours challenge

  • Post last modified:2022-02-22
  • Reading time:4 mins read

64 workhours done ~

I’ve spent approximately 64 hours building this website from scratch (nearly nothing) towards a minimum presentable version in the course of January. That is 17.5% of the total annual time-budget i have for this (~8.3% would be the sustainable amount per month, if we split the workhours evenly). Ambitious’ start, at least, hah-hah.

Some experiences and conclusions worth sharing here:

First, That was a Ride! 🙂 I clearly couldn’t stop at the 31-workhour mark (obviously i didn’t even notice when that happened). Since i more than doubled it, it shows how great quality of FLOW i got, and how much i enjoyed the developing process. Pushing ourselves in hardcore flow and new territories always feels great. I definitely feel alive (at least mentally, lol). It’s kind of a luxury though for me nowadays to do ‘crazy’ stuff like this. Since it’s not a paid/sponsored time of my life. It’s considered free time. Only expenses, no income (at least not directly). So, i quickly learnt to cherish and value this project, lol.

Challenges / Questions that arose during the building process in January

#1 Can the website be successful if it’s personal and professional parts are under one site?

In other words: should i separate them into two different websites & domains? Or how to handle the two in the best possible / most ideal way inside I mean, both strangers, potential website clients and my friends are checking the site at the same time. How to satisfy everybody? ..

This situation calls for serious design-consideration of the welcome screen both on desktop and mobile. Numerous variations must be born in February and chances that I’ll have to do some A/B testing on this important question.

#2 SEO – Do the search engine crawler bots like this current ‘non-standard’ site-structure?

Can they navigate and find all subpages and links efficiently?

By design most parts of the website are hidden from the user at the beginning*. That might make the crawlers struggle to find every link or use more crawl-budget on the site than what is optimal. However, many sources state that there is no problem, if the user can reach the hidden content, the crawlers can reach that too. I’m not fancy of seeing my website get indexed less frequently than a standard website. Will see, but if that’s the case, i will have to change the UX (grrrrr) to make it more standardized OR to find some special solutions. I don’t like to compromise. I want the special user-flow and site-navigation structure that i “dreamed” on paper. Thanks to the large amount of custom JavaScript interactions ‘gates’ and ‘switches’, that often hide some menu-options, links, this is a hot issue to keep my eyes on.

*Although most of the content exists in the DOM from the beginning (initial page load) which is probably still a ‘friendly gesture’ towards google bots and so.

Plans for February

  • To gain clarity at the above-mentioned personal/professional ‘symbiosis’ question and also to see how the crawlers are dealing with indexing the site.
  • I should improve the content for both pro and personal sections. Uploading some more completed customer website project references
  • To dust off my personal blog and gradually update & improve the few pages and articles that are already there.
  • Thinking about the best way of the translation logic (Eng–>Hungarian) for the static / hardcoded parts of the site (the front-page.php template for instance where i put a lot of the site’s html content for SEO purposes.) The standard blog content will be translated by the good old WPML plugin though.

Plans for the rest of the year

To develop a website that is amazing and has more impact on the world (positively) than yet i can imagine. 🙂 Increasing the organic visitor number from nearly zero to the daily hundreds at least. To find my optimal (sweet spot) speed at producing new BUT quality posts.

Good luck to me! 😀

Iwan Wilaga

Freelancer web-developer from Hungary. All about Wordpress & WooCommerce mainly. Sustainable, "reasonable" / slow life supporter.. Street-workout enthusiast. Ex-model. FLOW & Ikigai hunter. Blood-donator. Enjoys playing poker and specific games from the 90's.

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