DevWP Redesign – UX Recap and Content Planning Flows

The last redesign of DevWP was about a year and a half ago (give or take), but I’m really happy to announce that we’ve done some minor updates in the internal structure plus a brand new landing page for the main domain:

devwp-new-design

Our previous redesign (again by our Creative Lead Alex) did follow my overall idea, but wasn’t as functional as I wanted it to be. My initial goal was staying closer to what the internal pages print (overall structure and a sidebar) in order to be consistent, but that led to various limitations – either repetitive information in sidebars and the landing page, or keeping two different sidebars that had nothing in common at the end.

Information wasn’t trivial to find across different sidebars, and there were missing actions in the navigation funnel – both across the landing pages, sidebars, and internal pages. Most of those were rectified with the new look-and-feel with several CTAs and the lack of sidebar on the homepage, which is retained through the internal pages.

From a usability-standpoint, the initial look-and-feel was very consistent and pleasant, relying on a WooTheme theme:

 

previous-devwp-version

Apparently it didn’t have the mechanism to outline specific areas properly in the form of landing pages, but back then the blog was the main thing and this was a fairly smart and usable choice for the time being.

Content Production Was Blocked, Too

The most interesting thing with the previous design was that it served as an actual blocker to my writing efforts. I took a break from writing for a while, but wasn’t able to get back in writing shape here, despite of my actual motivation. I was still producing guest posts and copy for DevriX or some of our customers, but the overall structure of the site was standing in the way, which was quite problematic at the end.

Additionally it felt as if all of the high-end topics I was writing about was exhausted, and already covered in my previous publications. Whenever I had a title in mind, there was already a post covering a good chunk of that theory, and there was no need to write about it. At the same time DevWP means “WordPress Development” which seemed oddly limiting at some point, and broader topics weren’t as applicable as they would be for a more generic site. As a final excuse, I’ve been spending more time at the office brainstorming with the team and less time focused on writing things down, but since I’ve upgraded my hardware with a new awesome and powerful ThinkPad notebook with a splendid keyboard and 9-10h of battery life, I’ll be slightly more portable and capable of writing more often.

New Content Branches

That said, after rebuilding the Articles section at DevriX, I figured that following the same model applied there was logical. Why?

DevriX is a WordPress Development company. DevWP is a blog on WordPress Development, too.

However, DevriX is a full-service agency that provides technical PHP and JavaScript development on top of scalability, security and performance work in all layers, but we don’t stop there. We extend the creative efforts toward the front-end of our applications, but also reflect the marketing and branding needs of a business. Our team of content writers produces over 50 articles a month, and we unify and distribute those content efforts across different channels. Additionally, we do business and market research, craft marketing strategies, build sales funnels, measure conversions, improve user experience, monitor SERP rankings, issue feedback polls and analyze customer feedback, provide support, maintain infrastructure when scaling is needed, translate technical to business requirements and support business needs as a whole.

top-level-categories

And even when we provide purely business or marketing services, WordPress is our go-to tool.

  • A campaign website? That’s WordPress here.
  • New product offering? Design and build a new landing page.
  • Automate business processes? Build plugins, refactor the admin, integrate 3rd party services.
  • Increase the traffic? Plan for new content, and publish it in WordPress.
  • Too much content everywhere in chaos? Let’s recategorize, fix the tagging system and build some sane archive or cornerstone pages.
  • Run some campaigns? Sell stuff through the eCommerce with coupons, or offer freebies through a WP page template with an email sign up form.

Basically whatever we need to do, WordPress happens to be a good solution, and we leverage it through the different channels and our combined skill set and efforts. That’s why I’ll expand the content here into the three main categories (also outlined in the new homepage):

  1. Business – content oriented for business owners. I see a lot of potential here in the higher market, especially when it comes to why WordPress is a suitable platform for large businesses. A lot of successful businesses stay away from WordPress due to the newbie content online, the race to the bottom and the large pool of low quality solutions, DIY tutorials, influx of blogging themes and what not. That “category” may cover the other side of the coin given our solid experience with enterprises and large multinational businesses using WordPress.
  2. Marketing – articles marketing directors and experts in a need of WordPress solutions, as well as Inbound Marketing case studies by us and some of the tools and services I’ve been playing with as a part of our Retainer packages for our best clients out there.
  3. Development – purely technical copy, from programming advice through code reviews, bad practices in existing solutions, technical recaps and more for the engineering group of readers.

Since I’ve asked my readers a couple times about topic suggestions – I keep these in my archive, and I still don’t know if answering those would be applicable to you or the other readers, but just keep in mind that I haven’t forgotten or ignored you and I do appreciate your candid feedback. Hopefully the new high-end content categories above would be more suitable for some of those entries.

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