It almost feels as though we just redesigned our website—actually, that is not too far from the truth. Rough Pixels was redesigned just back in the summer of 2020. Now we just did another new website design—again!
I seem to have this habit of changing the design of websites too often. My mindset is that this website needed to be better. That isn’t something that will make a huge difference for some people as long as you can easily find the information that you want.
But with that said, Rough Pixels actually needed changes to prepare you for next year based on where WordPress is going. I could see that things were no longer viable for 2021, so the decision was made to shake things up.
Old Rough Pixels issues needing a new website
To be honest, the previous concept and style of Rough Pixels were not really that bad. I mean, I knew there is always room for improvement, especially now that I know where WordPress is going as it relates to themes and the editing experience.
1. The problems with the old design
You probably feel web design is subjective, and I would say that you are correct. I was happy with the concept that was done where we had the dark blues in contrast with white and yellow accents. However, the colours just didn’t seem to fit in with the direction Rough Pixels is going with minimalist design concepts.
At the end of the day, minimalist design is here to stay for the long-term. The fact that WordPress is going to continuously change, themes need to be more simplistic. We are also focusing our effort on blogging themes with cleaner design concepts. With this in mind, the Rough Pixels website should coincide with minimalist design concepts.
That was my primary reason behind overhauling the site.
2. Our new website business model
Back in the day, theme shops are/were known for having huge selections of themes. Great for everyone because it gives an ongoing choice of themes; bad for the theme shop to maintain every theme.
Over the last couple of years, the market continues to change. Rough Pixels came to realize that we don’t want to have to build and maintain a massive portfolio of different themes. When you consider the amount of work to maintain each one while offering premium support, it no longer becomes a viable business model. Too many themes mean product and support begin to diminish—something we do not want to happen to you!
Theme shops are now moving to a flagship (or single) theme business model. This makes a lot more sense so that theme shops can put more focus on one or a few themes while offering additional premium upgrades and add-ons. This gives you a much better experience with more benefits! We’ve decided to follow a similar path as well and work on a smaller selection of themes.
We also decided to begin designing dedicated themes for ClassicPress; a newer platform if you decide you want nothing to do with the Gutenberg editor and where WordPress is going.
3. Speed and Security
Since Rough Pixels began a couple of years back, we had older scripts and stuff running in the background. Even the website itself had more code than it really needed. With the previous new website redesign, we cleaned out much of it, but unfortunately, there was still legacy code left.
I remember the days when I was building and working with Joomla; long before WordPress. Sites rarely needed a bunch of extra plugins (extensions) installed. However, I’ve always had reservations when it comes to WordPress and the sheer number of plugins you need to install. Security is always an issue, not to mention website load times.
This time around, I eliminated several third-party plugins, to lessen the dependency to achieve certain results. In turn, this helped limit the number of stylesheets, scripts, and other things so that we can make the new website faster!
To give you an idea of how the new website redesign helped with speed, here is a quick snapshot of Google’s Insights for both mobile and desktop speeds! Of course, this depends on the time of day, but I think we’re off to a good start!
Security is also a major concern, and although the WordFence plugin worked great, I opted in for something else. Something that I used to use on the Joomla side of things for many years. There are, of course, other elements to enhanced security, but I will keep those items secret 🙂
A Peek into our New Website redesign
As mentioned, design style can be subjective, but I think the newer design style is cleaner and puts more emphasis on what we offer.
Front Page – The Old
It’s colourful yes, but we felt it took a little too much from the showcase of our themes that are rotated on the front page.
Front Page – The New One
With more emphasis on what we offer, the front page now has a cleaner minimalist style.
We should also mention that on the front page, there is a section that showcases 3 free themes. As more free themes are released, this section will display 6 themes; adding more visual impact to the front page.
Other Sections – A few of many redesigned pages
Of course, not only did we give some attention to the front page, other sections of the redesigned Rough Pixels website had changes.
A lot more lighter in visual aethetics and cleaner layout; or so I believe. However, I would love to hear what your thoughts are as it relates to both the older style and the newer style! Give your feedback in the comments below on what works and what doesn’t.