2020 in Review: Staying Connected

A global pandemic, hundreds of miles between me and my clients, family and friends… What could possibly go right in this scenario?

There were huge challenges that came with a year spent far removed from the world, but let’s celebrate some wins, shall we? Here are some highlights from the year at Lydia Roberts Design.

The Work

These websites were very welcome work in a time of such uncertainty. Click each one to read more about the process.

  • In addition to new websites, I completed several Mailchimp packages, built new features and new landing pages into existing websites, and launched exciting online courses using WooCommerce and LearnDash.
  • Two sites I built this year have custom directories that are fun to explore. See Just Economics’ Living Wage Certified Employer Directory and de Vos Devine Law’s Library.
  • I continue to offer Maintenance Care Plans to new and existing clients as well as hosting on Flywheel and now also on Kinsta.
  • I also updated several sites stuck on outdated WordPress versions that had become in peril of breaking or security risks. I call these “site rescues”!

My contractors, Laura and Megan, deserve a round of applause for their work with me this year which included everything from migrating websites and content, research, and keeping sites up to date through many WordPress changes.

Virtual Connecting & Belonging

As a small business (and someone who works from home) I rely on relationships with clients, colleagues and friends to keep me busy with work. And this year despite the extreme physical distance, I was in some ways more connected than ever. I was able to make new connections over Zoom and enjoy long phone conversations with many clients about life in their neck of their woods.

I took advantage of the influx of virtual learning to attend WordCamp Asheville online, my local Las Vegas WordPress meetup group, and a slew of webinars and even an online wellness seminar. In December, I gave my first meetup presentation in a very long time, about free tools anyone can use to help their brand’s web design (see the presentation here).

My cat Buster made frequent appearances on Zoom this year.

Unrelenting Change

This was a year of unrelenting change in so many ways. WordPress released several major updates to its block editor (aka Gutenberg) which kept me on my own toes and also forced to me to expand my knowledge of themes and plugins and re-dedicate myself to building future-friendly sites, or websites that will work well with the coming changes.

I also enjoyed watching the annual State of the Word Address and learning about the long-term roadmap of WordPress. Here’s an impressive statistic from the address:

WordPress is now used to build 39% of all websites.

Six Years in Business

I’m deeply grateful to my network of colleagues, clients, and friends for coming back year after year to work with me and sending me referrals.

To celebrate six years in business and re-dedicate myself, I updated my branding and created some swag like these stickers.

Thank you for making my year.

Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year. See you in 2021!

I'm Moving to Nevada

I’m Moving!

After months of planning, I am moving this summer to Las Vegas, Nevada. I’ve gathered up the basics of the big move here, and what it means for business going forward.

Why now?
Moving out west has been a dream for many, many years. After nearly 15 in Asheville, my husband’s job began to allow for 100% remote work. He is a programmer, so this change gives us both a unique opportunity to work from anywhere.

Why Vegas?!
Despite the *very* hot weather, Las Vegas is an ideal location for exploring the canyons, mountains, and deserts of the southwest. I know many of you have been to this area and fallen in love with it, too. We’re excited to use Vegas as a home base for working, hiking, and sight seeing. And with clear weather and tons of flights, it’s a good city to be able to fly quickly back to NC for a visit, too!

On the road to Great Basin National Park in 2017. Route 50 is the “loneliest road” in America.

What about Lydia Roberts Design?
Never fear, Lydia Roberts Design is here to stay. Although I’ll be on Pacific Time (3 hours behind the east coast), it will be business as usual. I will fully support all my Asheville clients from afar. I’m available to hop on video calls so we can still see each other. The Asheville community is near and dear to my heart, and I will make visits and keep up with happenings in the 828.

Will you still work with Asheville clients?
Yes! I would very much like to keep working with Asheville-based businesses both new and old.

Will you move back?
Right now the plan is to move back to NC in a couple years. As with anything in life, nothing is certain. But, since most of our friends and family are in NC, I imagine we’ll make our way back!

Lydia sits behind her laptop and smiles
I’ll be where you can find me – behind my computer screen!

My deepest thanks to all of you who have supported me all these years. I look forward to many more years of building fun things on the web together!

PS- If you’re a photo or travel junkie, feel free to follow along with my western adventures on Instagram @leaflyd and @lydiarobertsdesign