After much deliberation, I have decided to build my own website, alfredlua.com.

This blog has been running on WordPress.org for the last three years, and managing it has been easy. The free WordPress theme made the blog look great without much work from me. Publishing an article or adding a new page is as simple as clicking a button. I could focus on just writing my articles. (Awesome work, Automattic!)

But as I want to learn designing and coding, I have decided to build my website from scratch. I’m sure it will be challenging but I don’t want it to stress me out. This will be a side project that I’ll work on whenever I feel like it. No deadlines. No “I’ll spend an hour a day on this project”.

Today, I bought Sketch and tried to design my website’s home page. I wanted to play around with the design before diving into the code. Here are a few observations from creating my first design:

  • Designing is hard. Even though I had a rough design in mind, my first design looks way uglier than I expected. Haha. (See the image below.)
  • It’s easy to keep wanting to spend more time improving a design but actually not doing much. Maybe a break will be helpful.
  • It’s helpful to watch someone else design. I picked up several tips from this video (e.g. creating a Styles artboard, using rulers and layout, naming and grouping layers, etc.)
  • Creating something (even though it might be ugly) is fun and satisfying.

First design for my website

I might play around with the design a little more before writing the code as I’m not too satisfied with this design. Do you have any suggestions or advice?

I’ll be sharing my progress here until I build a basic blog for the website. I’ll be tweeting about my progress, too. Till next time!

  • Best of luck, that’s exciting! Stoked to see the outcome 😉 coding/developing things locally, yet?

    • Thanks, @scottmathson:disqus! It’s still a work in progress as I haven’t quite found the time for it since I wrote this blog post ? I did a mobile site locally, though! Here: https://cl.ly/2E3B2O2Q101K

  • Anja Skrba

    I think it’s great that you’re doing this…you’re expanding your knowledge and work on your skills.

    Btw, I know you’ve being busy with creating content for Buffer blog, so I just want to use this opportunity to praise that as well – I just read your guide about Instagram analytics and the effort I see you’ve put in its creation is amazing! As one content creator to another I KNOW the time and the research and everything else that’s necessary to create such a detailed piece of content like this guide! So know that your contribution is valued!

    Take care Alfred 🙂

  • Jamie Carmichael

    Nice Alfred! I did a similar thing so drop me a line if you need a hand!

    • Oh, awesome! Thanks for the offer, @jamie_carmichael:disqus! ?