This book was always meant to be a small project, but as Carey and I progressed down our journey, it became very apparent that our marketing efforts must include a website. Now, before I continue this story, you must understand that I am not a technology-inclined person. Sure, I can use a number of software applications, but building a website from scratch is a whole different thing… I needed help figuring out my IPod for goodness sake!
I found a great resource called “How to Build the Ultimate Author Website (in one hour) by http://www.outthinkgroup.com . Well, one hour was a stretch (try three weeks) but it did educate me on what steps to take. I really knew absolutely nothing about web design and function. So began my website journey…. Week one, day one find the right hosting platform. First of all what is a hosting platform? I didn’t know either. It’s where your website lives. Not too hard, right? Well, no, but then comes all the additional choices: site security, back-ups, and SEO. SEO? It’s like a whole new language. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, basically it’s how people find your website on Google, Bing, etc. (still working out the kinks on that one). Day two find your website platform. WordPress is an existing website platform that you can customize to your particular needs. Excellent, I am on a roll. One click later the platform is installed on my new hosting server. I am so proud of myself at this point! Now, I’ll have to do is pick a theme (what the website will look like). Here’s the kicker, there is literally thousands of free themes available and a ton of paid themes as well. I think I literally spent a day scrolling through the options. Yikes! I was so lost. I tried out a few but really had no idea of what I was doing. Paid for a WordPress for dummies class, which while very helpful learning my way around the platform was not useful in actually picking a theme. After a few days of pulling my hair out and being completely clueless, I called Carrie and cried “Uncle”. She told me to relax and do what I had to do.
Now comes my saving grace, I found a company called Codeables (http://www.codeables.io) where you can hire WordPress experts and professionals. It was so easy, you describe what you need and various professionals bid on your job and then you just pick one. Genius! And very reasonable prices…pinch me; it was the answer to my prayers. I knew what I wanted the website to look like, but I didn’t know how to get there. After laying out my requirements to my fabulous expert (who happened to live in Europe, good thing I am up at 4am!), she asked me some questions and said give me a week. She was as good as her word. A week later I had the framework I wanted and all I really had to do was add in the content. She even gave me a mini-training class. I love her! It definitely helped that I had laid out the layout of the pages I wanted, but she had great ideas and suggestions. Now, I am still unsure about widgets, add-ins, etc. but I can work with what I have and that is so HUGE!
Now if you are like me, I don’t recommend trying to build a website on your own. I think I added quite a few more gray hairs during that week (my hairdresser will have to work extra hard to cover those up!) I did, however, learn a lot and learned just how much I didn’t know.
So what do you think of the final product?