Thursday, 26 May 2016

Website redesign and changing web hosts

Over the last few months I have been working on rebuilding my website, from scratch, and this week I was finally ready to make it go live!  In this post I'm sharing some of the reasons behind rebuilding my website and my experience of changing web hosts, which I hope might be interesting if you are in a similar situation with your own website.

My old website was hosted on Moonfruit and had served me well for several years.  I used their free package, but had found this no longer suited me for a couple of reasons.  Being free, it had always had advertising for Moonfruit on.  This had been more discreet in the past, but had changed to a big green banner at the top which I do not like.  I also found the number of pages and storage space allowed was too restrictive for my needs - so it was time I made a change! (You can see a screenshot of the old website below).

My website, old version May 2016 - Hazel Fisher Creations
I looked at Moonfruit's paid plans and did some research into other web hosting options.  I decided that it would be best for me to move my website to another host. I was nervous of moving though, because my technical knowledge of hosting is quite limited - all the options and jargon is quite daunting!  In the end I chose TSOHost because they had the best price for the storage space and bandwidth I need and found they had very good reviews for their customer service.  So far my experience of using TSOHost has been good.  It was quick and straightforward to buy and set up the hosting (I went for their Lite Cloud Hosting plan).  I was able to redirect my domain (which is registered with another provider) easily too.  I did have some problems getting my website to go live, but found TSOHost's help articles and videos very useful and managed to work out what I was doing wrong. (It was quite a simple solution - I just needed to move my website's files to the correct folder!)

My website hosted on Moonfruit was built using their website builder, so leaving them meant that I had to build my website from scratch (again).  I have done this before using Serif's WebPlus program, but not for several years so it meant that I had to refresh my memory in using WebPlus!  I find it's a fairly easy program to use to build websites - you don't need to know code and there are plenty of tutorials to guide you through the various stages of website building.

Since I was rebuilding my website I decided it was a good time to give my logo a bit of an update too.  I've also created a new banner to use on my website, blog, shops etc and used the colours from this (teal, blue, green, pink and yellow) throughout my website.  I really like these new colours - they brighten up the pages and hopefully add a little fun to them too!  You may have noticed that I have also used these to update the design of this blog.
Here is a screenshot of my new website's home page...

My website, new updated version May 2016 - Hazel Fisher Creations
I have a few things I plan to tweak on the site still, but I'm pretty happy with how it looks now.  I'm glad that I no longer have the Moonfruit advertising banner on it, so hopefully it now looks more professional.  I also have more space for putting images of my designs on, and will be regularly adding new pictures to the various galleries of my portfolio.

I've tested the website myself and think everything is working properly, but if you have a few minutes and would like to check it out yourself I would really appreciate it!  If you notice anything wrong (broken links etc) please do let me know.  You can visit my website here.

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