Ways to improve the look and feel of my portfolio?

Hi all,

So I’ve had pretty much the same layout and UX on my site for approximately 5 years (bar a couple of tweaks to remove gradient elements and change it from a dark grey to white, and renaming buttons). I feel like it’s overdue a refresh but unsure where to draw inspiration from, what to change/keep and generally what to do to update it.

Generally speaking it’s a very simple site but is a pain to update at times - for each new project I crop out several variants of each image for 4 breakpoints (for the project page and other elements like the Wall page) which can take about 1-2 hours to complete in total once I’ve sourced the images. As part of the refreshed look I want to incorporate a CMS of sorts to help add flexibility and make the site easier to manage (not sure what technology to use yet).

Anyway, any opinions or thoughts would be much appreciated.

Many thanks!


I actually like your website. It’s quite straightforward. You have to ask yourself if you want to make it more complicated. Maybe adjust some spacing and colors. But for the rest leave it like it is


As a business owner myself, I would be very impressed with your presentation. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! It looks awesome!


One thing you need to look at is your load speed https://gtmetrix.com/reports/www.andrewcourtney.co.uk/XDayc6C8

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I have read many comments on SitePoint that read, “Validate your site;” When I read your posts, specifically,

I was thinking, when is the last time you validated? I figure software is updated, or at the very least, we change standards quite often. I think once a year you should validate your code to see if any code you’re using has changed standards.

I went to check yours out:

Another thing is my hosting company sent me this:
Google’s decision to mark non-HTTPS websites “not secure” takes effect soon. So we’ve created a guide to help you prepare and keep your visitors protected. Simply follow the instructions in our Knowledge Base article and your free SSL certificate will be enabled in no time.

By enabling SSL, your website will be given the HTTPS label-giving your visitors the confidence that you’ve made their security a priority.

I’m not even sure what it all means, or how it affects websites. My host gave me free SSL certs, so I don’t need to worry. I’m thinking it really shouldn’t matter to any sites that do not retain personal data, I’m just throwing it out there.


As @brianfrank mentioned, your HTML is not valid, so if you’re overhauling your site, it would seem like a good time to fix that.

The All Web Graphics Photos filters are not accessible via keyboard, and neither is the text which appears when hovering on an image. frown The links to the more detailed pages are accessible, but it’s very hard to tell where you are and get the link you want.

I checked out a couple of the links at random, and on the first one saw this:

It took me a minute or two to realise it was a demo site, not an actual one. My first thought was of all the WordPress “sites” I’ve seen where nobody has bothered to delete the placeholder text. I notice your other demo sites make clear that that is what they are; it might be a good idea to change this one - especially as non-tech folk looking at your site may be unfamiliar with the use of “Lorem ipsum” and be even more confused than I was.

I don’t like unconnected images stacked together in this way. I find it too cluttered and visually jarring. (This is just my personal opinion.) I think I’d be inclined to put more text and fewer images on the home page: a bit more information about you and your business/skills, and maybe three images, each linking to one of your areas of expertise. Then have a separate page for each of those, with a little breathing space between the images. I’d also prefer to have the associated text fully visible, rather than appearing on hover, but if you prefer to keep it as it is, then ensure it works on focus, too, for keyboarders or users of assistive technology. Also add an outline on focus to aid navigation.


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