I decided to go with creating a website for my meetup group, so while I had a spare moment today, I took the first step: I registered a domain name! I am now the proud owner of LearnToCodeLA.com and LearnToCodeLA.org! Hurrah! For now, they both redirect to our empty template website hosted on GitHub Pages.
This brings to mind a few decisions I need to make next:
1. What’s the main goal of this website? What’s the content?
This is the most important question of all. I’m all about content-first design, because the whole purpose of a design is to communicate your content and inspire your audience to take the actions that you want them to take! I’ll need to dig into this some more. A little research will help, both online and in person. I’ll definitely be asking people in my meetup group for feedback.
2. What platform should I build it on?
Should I build it with Jekyll and use the free GitHub Pages hosting, or should I get fancy and buy some web hosting and build it with WordPress or another platform? I’m leaning towards Jekyll for now to keep things simple. On the other hand, I do need to get some practice with WordPress… On the other other hand (wouldn’t a third hand be convenient?), I’d love to keep the website open-source and easy to fork on GitHub so that everyone else in my meetup group can suggest changes.
Actually, I guess those are the only two decisions I need to worry about right now.
- Look at the websites of similar organizations for inspiration. For example, there’s Maptime LA, which uses the Jekyll/GitHub Pages setup. There’s Girl Develop It and Women Who Code and Rails Girls. There’s JS.LA and DTLA Tech. And so many more!
- Start outlining the content and learn more about the kinds of planning documents that web designers create when working with clients.
- Draft up a scope of work document for practice.
- Then start sketching mockups for the design!
That’s more than enough to keep me busy during my free time this weekend! I just hope I can gain some momentum. I haven’t really learned anything in the last three days. I keep getting caught up in feeling sad or discouraged about stuff – you know, big life stuff – instead of sitting down and learning or creating something. I hate focusing on doubts. I want to spend more time thinking about possibilities! Well, at least I’m trying a new strategy. I hope that creating a project with a clear goal and a useful outcome should start helping me rediscover my motivation.