For the past month or so I’ve been struggling to set up a new website. After my web maven died this past October, I knew I really had to learn how to do this myself. A friend who designs websites thought it would be easy for me to catch onto HTML, and another offered to help me, for a fee of course, and still others had lots of advice and references. It seemed to be as hard to pick someone to do this for me as it would be if I did it myself. I remembered how frustrating it was to keep a running list of changes or updates I wanted my web maven to make, and then I had to review the results and follow that up with a list of corrections. It was time consuming and sometimes things were never quite what I wanted. Hence, my decision to jump in. I would build a simple website and all would be well. Famous last . . .
First came all the sites that offered do-it-yourself websites for a fee, and all of the advice from those who know how to do this for free. I tried four sites. In the end I chose Squarespace.com largely because I could try out their templates over several days before paying, and the templates were easy to work with. I had twelve days to try things out. To my amazement, I had two pages after the first afternoon. Since I knew what I wanted, sort of, I figured I had enough time. In the end, I didn’t need all the time allowed.
The most serious challenge came with transferring the domain name and the other technical stuff. There were a few glitches along the way, but with the help of the support staff (I’m a new convert to live chat features) I seem to have managed. Then came the magic of “propagating,” which seems to have its own heart beat regardless of the work with Google Search Console.
I’m not sure what the point of this post is except to report that given the right tools and the right support, even a Luddite like me can manage some of the new technology. And yet all is not high-tech ultra modern. I still needed older skills, such as patience, the ability to read someone else’s shorthand, an intuitive sense of which pages to close and which to leave open, and the skill of figuring out which question to ask. I give high marks to the folks on live chat because some had to jump in in the middle of my befuddled query. But all is well—mostly. I’m still waiting for the old website pages to completely disappear, and the new ones to take over.
Overall this was a fun adventure. I got to use some of my favorite photographs, watched the software surprise me as it picked up links I worried about, and learned more than I expected to. I have a much better understanding of how the Internet works, but it’s still very basic. But the site isn’t finished (these things never are). If you see where I should change or improve things, please let me know. Now that I have learned how to get into the pages and do all the work myself, I’m glad to do so. And I'm always glad to hear other people's opinions and suggestions.