Back in 2017, I hired a local web developer, who also happened to be a romance author, to build a website for me. It wound up taking longer than I anticipated (around five months) and consuming a lot of energy, but in the end I was happy with my site.
It was themed with my brand, matched my very fun covers, and had this very cool animated snake.
Then I learned, much to my chagrin, that ophidiophobia, fear of snakes, is one of the most common fears and that the presence of that snake on my covers and my website would discourage potential readers.
Once I had time to absorb this, I hired a new cover firm, who created the “hot guy” covers that sell so much better and created a website header to match my covers.
About the same time, my developer encountered a series of life-altering events and decided to get out of the website business. She sold my site maintenance contract to another firm.
The new firm promptly announced they couldn’t support my “Contact” page, which meant my readers couldn’t get in touch with me. Not cool.
I also discovered that, due to some non-standard practices the original developer used when creating my site, there were substantial portions I couldn’t get to, and that even the stuff I had access to change was set up in a way that was so arcane it was really hard to make changes.
So I went looking for a replacement firm and found AuthorGal, aka Gabrielle Luthy, another web developer/romance writer. Over the past few months, she’s been redesigning my site using standard WordPress plugins, with an eye to creating something where I can do the bulk of the changes myself.
(She’s been so busy working on other people’s sites she doesn’t have her own up and running yet, but you can see a couple of other sites she’s created at nalinisingh.com and pariswritingretreats.com. (Do you have any idea how much I’d like to go on a Paris Writing Retreat?) She’s taking new clients, so if you’re interested in a website, you can contact her at email@example.com.)
On Friday, my new site went live: www.jeanneestridge.com.
What do you think?
Looks good! But what a pain in the neck to get there. 😦 Let’s hope this is, as they say, your forever home.
I really hope so!
That is a fabulous site!
You know, sometimes I think I’m a bit too clever for my own good. I get things really convoluted and twisty, when they should be simple and direct, and that way they serve my message. A lot of people talk about blah-blah-blah journey, but the destination can be pretty darn important, too.
I love that your header is a nice, warm color with a hot guy gazing lovingly into my eyes. I like that your newsletter is called a “Gazette”. I like that the third thing that caught my eye (without even scrolling down) was FREE READ. No pop-ups, no flashes of light. It looks warm and comfy and something I can sink into. And everything looks so easy to find.
I came to love the snake, but this is attractive at first sight. I don’t have to think — all I have to do is click.
Thanks. It’s not as fancy as my original site but I think it gets the job done.
Congratulations! Looks fantastic. Ah, yes, the joys of one developer inheriting another developer’s code. Not as uncommon as you might think to hit hiccups. Glad you have it all working. I do miss the snake, but if I’d never seen it, I wouldn’t miss it. Your new site is sure to bring in more readers to love your writing. And, goodness, a blurb from Darynda Jones? Huge!
I like the site. It’s solid and I think I’ll be able to handle the lion’s share of the maintenance.
And Darynda was a sweetheart for agreeing to blurb!