What am I going to do with two brands?

So, back at the end of 2021, I decided that I would work on my branding for both this site and my professional site.  Having two sites with almost identical content was never going to be good for my work, for my SEO, or even my mental health, so I sat and thought about how to rectify this and make sure everything had its place. Practically burning myself out all through 2021 pushed this plan forward as well, so it is safe to say that this was a long-overdue review.

So after a few weeks of planning, thinking, questioning, agonising, developing, and a lot of chopping and changing ideas, I settled on what I would consider a good compromise.  It gives me a single workflow, a consistent brand, a simpler content profile, and takes a lot of pressure from me to build Cocode Designs so quickly into what I still want it to eventually become.

So let’s break down what’s changed.

Cocode Designs

Cocode Designs was always to be my professional arm on the Internet in one capacity or another.  As part of the site, I wanted to post content to help novices understand important aspects of online development and good practice.  Ideas for this content often came from my Quora profile or social media, sometimes it was based on something someone else had published and it was given my own twist.  Some of the content made it on the site, and I eventually wanted some of that content to be repurposed and republished here or on social media profiles. Similarly, some content that was published here or on social media would be republished on my professional site where it fit.

Aside from having major SEO implications if things went awry, having two sets of content meant I had to juggle two different identities, two different writing styles, and two different content schedules.  Not good for any site manager, let alone one who is also developing sites for other people.  On top of that, I was managing two different portfolios, despite the fact that the projects were pretty much the same across both of them.  Since its inception, I was the only developer trading under the “Cocode Designs” name. That meant the portfolio was full of my own projects, so it made little sense to have two almost identical portfolios, even if one had a couple of extra demo projects.

So, from now on, Cocode Designs will be used as my professional identity and nothing more.  It will be scaled back to a freelancer’s portfolio site rather than a site for a “design collective”, and all of my professional projects and case studies will go there.  The blog and all blog posts have been removed from there, my “About” page has been remade and professionalised, and the site will now focus on my career and promote my skills as a developer. That’s going to be where I sell my services and showcase my talents, while here will be where I show off my skills.

Screenshot of the new home page for Cocode Designs
The new look for Cocode Designs

I’ve also given the site a complete facelift to bring it in line with my new plan and condensed my services to cover four main areas.  I’ve built it by taking the best of this theme, the best of my old Cocode theme, and adding new design elements to give it a little “oomph”.  What the French call a certain … “I don’t know what.” I know I said in my review post that I had no intentions of doing that, but what the hell? It deserved a new look.

Personal Site

With the blog removed from Cocode Designs, I am now using this site as an all-out blog.  All of the posts from Cocode Designs will be published here over time, which helps by giving me a premade content library (score one for my “Blog once a month” goal).  You’ll notice that I’ve already been doing that with some posts, and more will be coming. It also means I can post other content for new developers or those interested in managing websites, which I couldn’t really do on my branded site.

My portfolio will now reside solely on Cocode Designs, and all of the references to projects hosted here have been updated. The only projects to be put here are personal things like Project Zero, and a gallery for that will be maintained here.  Unlike how I did with Cocode Designs, I really won’t be changing the design for this site, because I quite like this one. It did influence the new site there after all.

I’m also looking at opening up donations for my content. I’m a website developer and I enjoy developing websites, but the content I post here is useful and I want to continue creating it. That takes time and costs money. The time I spend creating my content – writing blog posts, creating posts for Instagram, developing my own sites – takes time away from work for clients, but it’s also important that I do write this because someone will use it. Someone will benefit from content about domain names, a post about legislation like GDPR, or even posts about tech and services that can help their business. If you would like to support me, you can head over to my Partnerships page, where you can find more information, as well as my PayPal and Buy Me A Coffee links.

Social Media

To tie everything together, I’ve also streamlined my social media presence.  Rather than having two accounts on multiple networks – one for each site – I now have one across both sites and I’ve connected them accordingly, depending on what gets used most.

Instagram was easy – you can find me on  I had toyed with the idea of changing my username, but I’ve got no intentions of doing that just yet.  I’ve been active there more than any other network except for Quora, I’ve posted a lot of content there that I don’t want to disappear, and I’ve made contacts that I want to keep.  Not only that but my @cocodedesigns account hadn’t been updated for over a year so it made no sense to keep that one going.

I am pretty much never on Facebook.  Anything that gets posted there is stuff that is automatically posted from my website, so it hasn’t made much of a difference to my social media life.  Since I rarely use that as a direct communication channel, I will stick with my /cocodedesigns business page, and connect it to both of my sites.  Content from there can also be shared to Instagram (thanks, Facebook Business), and I can always repost new content, which I would want to do with some of my blog posts here.

Twitter was the awkward one.  I’m rarely on Twitter, but I know that I occasionally post on there if I have the opportunity.  So, I removed my @cocodedesigns account because it was never used, and will continue to post as @wp_dev_tweets.  It’ll be similar to what I have with Facebook, with posts automatically generated, but there will be some casual posts if and when I can be bothered.

And I can still be found on Quora and LinkedIn.  I post answers on Quora to questions I find on WordPress, the Internet, website development, and just anything that catches my fancy, and some of the answers I post there will fuel blog posts here or content on Instagram.  Feel free to ask anything there (you will need to register for a free account, though).

What’s next?

Hopefully, this will take some of the stress out of content production.  Given that everything has a home now, I can put everything where it belongs and keep it all together.  Nothing will change with the email systems (yet), nor will the Sonetel phone number change. What has changed is I have a new mobile number for WhatsApp. You can send me a message at (+44) 07414 948 150.

This whole process of sorting out my online presence is a big deal for me, as I’m sure you can understand.  After five years of struggling and trying to make everything work, and after everything from the shitstorm that was 2021, I’m finally getting back to basics and starting again.  Maybe things like the blog can be restarted on Cocode Designs for a few select posts.  Maybe not, we’ll see.  Until then, I need to scale things back and refocus, and I think this may be the best way to do so.

So what do you think?  Does this sound reasonable?  Is there something I missed, or something you would have done differently? Have you had a similar experience with scaling personal projects back so that you can manage them better? Head down to the comments below, and let’s discuss.

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