The 2016 Web-Crunch Audit
2016 was a big year for Web-Crunch. The blog is slowly but surely gaining traction and I'm beyond thrilled about it. What started as a small hobby turned into the birth of a small, but tight-knit community of designers and developers interested in the same content. My hope is that it will continue to scale as I really love contributing as often as I can.
The pursuit of the promise
Many blogs focus on impressions, throwing stuff in your face from a marketing perspective, and constant mind-numbing drip email campaigns. Yuck!
I can promise you that those tactics aren't my intention with this blog. My focus is to both improve my own skill set and share it with the community. Sure, I may pitch something for sale here and there but it's only to keep continuing what I am doing. I hope you'll understand.
On top of my first promise, I am inspired to keep real blogs alive. Many writers have shifted to writing on Medium and while there's nothing wrong with that, I feel like the constant stream of content gets less and less inspiring for me. I mean, how many self-help articles do you need to read in a day? Sorry to poke fun.
I think the problem is that too many people on Medium are writing for numbers rather than "writing" itself. Maybe over time, this will change.
We launched two new books this year which surpassed my own expectations. Pro Tumblr Theming and LUXD: Learn User Experience design both helped promote Web-Crunch as well as presented a new direction I'm interested in taking for the blog by offering more nichéd content for those looking to learn and/or are struggling with learning topics inside the realm of design, development, and entrepreneurship. In 2017, you can expect to seem more interactive approaches (video, courses, etc..) to teaching as well as more books.
After about two years with our original design, we launched a redesign as you see today. The new design features a minimal interface that focuses on putting the content forward to distract you less as you read.
Underneath we used WordPress with the Timber framework to refactor the entire codebase of the. The code has bee simplified greatly which means faster load times throughout.
I talked about the redesign and development of the site in the following screencast.
You can also read the article I wrote about it here.
The most popular articles of 2016
Some of our most popular articles tie into the development world. Find a list of the top 5 below:
- Advanced CSS Selectors you never knew about
- What You Should Know About CSS Variables
- Should I use SVG, Icon Fonts, or Images?
- A Deeper Look at Sass and Why You Should Be Using It
Plans for 2017
I've made a list over the course of 2016 of ideas and ways to expand and continue to grow Web-Crunch. These may or may not come to fruition but I figured I would share.
- Introduce video to the blog. This will happen and is already in the works ;)
- Write a book or course on freelancing and more on development
- Refine categories. This could mean moving the blog toward specific niches instead of being wider in topics as it currently stands. I'm not quite sold on the idea but data has shown many read more of the development based articles I write. Have any thoughts or insight on this? Feel free to contact me or comment below.
- Create a nicer subscribe page on the site. Currently, there is a subscribe form here but it links to a third-party service I use for my weekly newsletter. I'd like to make it more eye-catching and give more insight on why you should subscribe as well as embed an actual form on my site instead of the redirect.
- Abandoning some series posts. I started "Logos We Like" and "Websites That Inspire Us" as a monthly series but time and data has told me that they aren't so loved. These articles, believe it or not, take quite some time to create so for 2017 I think my focus will be towards authoring richer content and that's not just regurgitated. If you prefer I keep these articles coming I'd love to hear from you.
- Start new series catered around building apps or products from start to finish. These will be in both written and audio formats to really give you a look inside my process. By day I'm a designer and developer so why not share what I do for those who do the same or are looking to do the same?
- Learn new programming languages. I'm interested in both Ruby on Rails and Laravel frameworks at the time of this writing. I've heard to learn, you just need to build a ton of applications, so I will likely document my process so you can follow along.