The day i deleted my website

And started over. My old site was countless hours of code, design, and building the content. Then, one day, I threw it away.

Mike Reed  –  published Jan. 5, 2019

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My old website going into a trash icon

I deleted my old portfolio website a few months ago. And it was suppose to be the main driver of my freelance business and getting landing a full time job after Best Buy. Then, in one hit of the keyboard, gone (exaggeration, by the way).

Then I told my wife what I did

When I told my wife that I was ditching my old website, she didn't get angry. She didn't show frustration. All she said was:

"You know what's going to work. Go for it."

A site I'd spent over a month putting together. A site that I'd designed from scratch and worked countless hours on the content. In one decision, I decided to start over. All she did was support me in this and show confidence in me.

The feedback was...bad

By the time I finished my old site, I started to user test it. Based on the feedback deep down I knew the users didn't like it. It was ok. It did the job. In some ways, I actually looked nice. But, I kept getting feedback about it and the feedback was always polite. Too polite.

"Nice! Sort of old-school."

"Oh, that's where the nav is at."

"It's very gray. But I like gray!"

But the one section I needed to get right, my portfolio, wasn't doing what it was suppose to do. I knew my work was pretty good, but the section made it look bad.

Failure, learning and starting over

The old site and initial effort wasn't a complete waste. It got something up for people to see and react to. It functioned well in terms of the development, the code was solid, I built a lot of libraries I reused. I resued a lot of the content. But I knew I needed something better than "ok." I needed to put my ego aside.

I took a few days off, then took a hard look at the site. It wasn't visual enough. It was sort of flat, boring. Uninspired. Everyone said the homepage navigation was hard to find.

The next day, I started over.

And the result

Image of my old site compared to the new one

15 days later, and a lot of sleepless nights, I'm finally happy with the results. I feel confident about showing my work around. I feel like I finally accomplished what I set out to do.

Don't get me wrong, it was an extremely difficult decision. I hated the idea of throwing all that design work away. I detested firing open Sublime Text or Sketch again. I just wanted to be done.

But I had to listen to feedback. And I had to listen to the user feedback that was saying..."START OVER"