Bringing everything together.
As a solopreneur by night, it’s pretty easy to lose focus on what matters most. I spend countless hours trying to find a brand name/domain where all of my WordPress plugins can find a new home.
After experimenting with any possible combination of “press” and “wp” with different pre-and suffixes I decided to keep it simple. Why not using my own name? I mean, how often this would be changing, right?
A new domain
Next step was the TLD. My .de wasn’t that useful because I want to keep everything in english and don’t want the struggle of a multilingual setup. After some shitty guy bought my expired patrickposner.com domain and tried to upsell it for a coated price to me, I decided to go another way.
What’s the best TLD for a single software developer which chooses their own name as a brand? Correct! It’s .dev. So here we are at patrickposner.dev now.
A new logo
We have a brand name and we have a domain, awesome. I build the old logo myself and was quite happy with that, but I want something unique, something which represents the new way of the product business. Professional, unique and a clever combination with my name.
I heard about those various design contest platforms. My budget was low and I only had an unclear idea about my new logo and corporate identity (uhh.. what a word.). I decided to give 99designs a try.
I created a small briefing which looks like that:
I’m a solo software developer. I’m developing (software) products, especially WordPress Plugins, which I maintain, support and sell.
I like a minimalistic approach to my products. Limited UI, reduced color usages. Smart products instead of large full-featured solutions.
The new website focuses entirely on my products and is not aimed to get any clients for freelancing (please keep that in mind!).
The logo design should focus on a nice and clean symbol and should be recognizable even without my name attached to it.
After a couple of hours, I got A LOT of designs (139 concepts in total). Most of them were trash, as I expected. Some were okay, but there was one concept that totally blew my mind.
I knew immediately that this ambigram would result in my new logo. It’s modern, it’s simple and damn clever. So I only approved this one design and worked with the designer on further details.
After a couple of iterations, we came to a stunning result. The designer, which accidentally submit his design ( he thought it was a custom work project), created an awesome logo, a complete color concept and even created some samples for my new plugin banners and icons.
Well, what should I say… I upgraded the project from a low-level to custom work and increased the price up to 800 € and got an awesome full-fledged-design. I’m absolutely happy about that.
As I decided to unify each of my projects under one domain it was time to think about the structure. I decided to keep the home page as simple as possible and skipped any content page which is not absolutely essential. Minimalism is key. After that it was time to create the structure for my plugin pages and oh boy that was the hardest part of the complete website.
It took me a lot of time to research and combine different ideas from awesome plugin shops, software landing pages and software developers all over the world to create a landing page concept that I really like. I’m glad I took the time, haha.
The homepage is done, WordPress plugin pages are done. What’s next? Right, the documentation. I search for a while to find a documentation plugin that perfectly fits my needs. After considering coding it on my own (bad idea) I found one called weDocs from the awesome people at weDevs. Simple, clean and a nice admin concept to manage and reorder the documentation. Good Job!
I have a heavy antipathy against contact forms. I hate them. I hate to fill them out, I hate that every f***** bot crawls my page and fill out the form with stuff I don’t need in my life. It really sucks. I know, I know, I placed my support mail crawlable (an easy job for the bots) on the support page.
One thing I remembered in several support requests I got was the problem that people did not know how to write a support request. They don’t like the concept of ticket systems (I’m too) and want a personal relationship with an expert not a random support dude.
So I come up with the idea to write a general-purpose support mail with copyable content:
Hey I need help with … [name of the plugin]. I have an problem with … [define your problem]. It would be wonderful if you can help me. Have an awesome day and thanks in advance, John Doe
Long story short: it’s basically the customer dashboard from Freemius. Installed the plugin, added the shortcode and done.
Blog & Post
The first thing you will notice on my blog page is that there are no thumbnails. Crazy? I don’t think so. I’m really bored with blog posts using the same unsplash.com free-to-use-stock-photo stuff every time. On the other side: I don’t have fancy images from myself to put it before any blog post I (potentially) will write. So, I simply skipped that burden.
To make it a bit fancier I implemented a decent hover and used all colors from my branding concept to make it easy to differentiate them. That’s fine for me.
The single post should be as distraction-free as possible. Maybe I improve that later, but for now, it’s excactly as it should be. Again minimalism is key – who the heck wants those
Videos and Screencasts
Im just starting but I’m planning to do several videos about my plugins. Walkthroughs, guides for specific features and some promotional videos. As I’m not really a designer, videographer nor a native english speaker. This is a daunting task for me, but I will try it out. So keep an eye on that and don’t judge me if something is wrong.
I’m a bit nervous and excited at the same time. Everything is new and shiny, I started blogging and continuously improving and enhancing my plugin portfolio. We all will see how far I can get in the next years. I try to take you on my journey to build a sustainable side-hustle with WordPress plugins and learn the marketing side on the go.
Stay tuned and have a great day, Patrick