Minimalism in Website Creation: Why I Started It And What Happened To My Site

My Fangirl Moment this Week

A couple of days ago, I was almost embarrassingly over-excited to receive an email from Ash Ambridge, American author & culture writer, creator of The Middle Finger Project about her new book The Middle Finger Project. Trash Your Impostor Syndrome and Live the Unf*ckwithable Life You Deserve.

I love Ash for her brilliance in giving sage yet hilarious advice that is so on-point for people adulting in a way that doesn’t follow the status quote and her writing style is pure genius. I cannot wait for this style to bleed over into Spanish copywriting and thus be able to translate it back to English.

My Geek Mode was Triggered

Not only did I thoroughly enjoy reading about the new book,  I also loved the site design (fonts, layout and colour). After right-clicking in Chrome to investigate the website code to see what theme she is using, I was delighted to see the Elementor page builder being used in conjunction with the Hello Elementor theme. Then, I did sneaky peek on the website’s speed, which according to GTMetrix wasn’t the greatest, which is quite usual for Elementor sites.

Backstory:

A company I used to work for had a Elementor-heavy site with a slow-load which was affecting its ranking in Google,. I talked to my client about this being an issue, but the site was so big it would have been a mammoth task to change themes and there was no budget.

I often use ProjectsAngel.com site as a kick-around testing ground for new plugins and themes that might be good for my clients or anything that piques me interest.. I can do this because I host on Siteground and one of its many brilliant services is an easy backup and restore function to undo nasty changes.

So, although it wasn’t possible to do for my client, I was chomping at the bit to take Elementor off my ProjectsAngel site to try re-building my site without a page builder, a bit of a foray into the Dark Age of WordPress, with my theme of choice being Astra. I used the standard Gutenberg blocks. This was a bit of schlep for me at first because I am so used to the whizzy, beautiful and very findable Elementor options, as well as the mobile responsive functions.  And I didn’t use The Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg plugin that extends the Gutenberg functionality with unique and feature-rich blocks to help build snazzier websites faster, because that felt like cheating and I just didn’t like the templates or content blocks.

After several attempts (over many months) at re-doing the site, my website speed really shot up, which, in turn has improved my Google ranking. It’s decent in terms of design, however, it is currently horrid when viewed on mobiles, which is a pending task for me.

Conclusions:

1. I am reasonably proud of myself for overcoming my detestation of Gutenberg and learning the great options proffered by the Astra theme, which is a really solid. But I still think that page builders really are fabulous,

2. I’m going to buy the book ASAP. I’m leaning towards the audible version, which is read my Ash herself.

3. I’m really interested in learning to use Oxygen Builder, a page builder with great functions and great SEO performance. Watch this space!

Disclaimer: Ash Ambridge’s content is so great and her following so strong that she could write in multicolour on a flashing screen in Comic Sans, have the buggiest website and I would still be enthralled!

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