Sunday, April 1, 2012

Weaving a not so tangled web(site)

Have you ever designed a website before? 

It turns out that it can be very time consuming. Both in its development and launching stages, of course, but also in the idea stages. Where you have an idea, a vision, of what you want, how you want your site to look, but you can't get there on your own.

A handful of years ago, around 2004, it was politely suggested that I should think about someday having a website; most authors were heading in that direction, and it was an excellent way to promote oneself and one's work. At the time, it was a fine idea, but I was nowhere near that stage yet, so I put the website idea on a back burner. Fast forward seven years, to June 2011, and I've signed a contract for my first novel, and then things progress, and I have to start thinking about marketing, promoting, reaching an audience, and I realize, Oh, I'll need a website! 

But I had no idea how to build one.

I had an idea of what I wanted it to look like. Mainly, nothing too similar to any other author's. Something professional looking, classy, that stood out, but in an understated way. I knew I could have done it myself, say via WordPress, but as I said, I wanted something professional looking and classy, which meant it couldn't be something that I had cobbled together. Also, having done something rather similar on Blogger, with this blog, I had no intention of doing the same with my website (it can be a pain in the ass). I believe in doing things the right way, the proper way, the way a website should be done. 

I mentioned this all to my sweetie one day, a few weeks before Christmas. She's a graphic artist. She hangs out with other artists, and IT people, techie people, web designers, etc. She knows so many people it's rather mind-blowing. And she says, Oh, I can help you with that. Tell me what you have in mind, and I can find the right person we can work with.

And before I know it, there's me, her, and a friend of hers, a web designer. They're picking my brain on my thoughts and ideas, adding their own, showing me one thing, discarding another. I write text, revise it, consider placement, change my mind. I show them several websites, most of which have their own merits, some of which have none. Eventually, what was in my head makes it onto the computer screen. What they are able to do is nothing short of amazing. And it takes much less time than I expect, but it's not an easy job. Tensions rise, frustrations build, discussions are sometimes abandoned when things cannot be agreed upon. But it's like building a house, your own house. It's not just a house then. If you're building it, why not build it exactly to your tastes and standards? If you're going to be living there, you want it not only to look beautiful, to yourself and others, but you want it to reflect yourself, and the pride you take in it.

This reflection of self is important, and it's not something some people might get when working on their own site. I was fortunate to work with two people who allowed me complete personal input, while working within their professional parameters. It's been an amazing and gratifying experience. I think we did well.

Please visit my website at the link below: 

I hope everyone who visits thinks we did a good job as well.

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