Tuesday, 14 June 2016

On Banishing My Website Blues - by Lynne Benton

Once again it is time for my blog, and once again I am wondering what to write about.  If only I’d gone to some prize event, conference or bookfest in the last month I would have lots to say and lots of photos too!

As it is, I seem to have spent most of my time recently putting together my new website.  For a non-technical person like me this was quite a feat, but at last it’s done and I’m quite proud of the outcome.  It’s fairly basic, with no clever bells and whistles, but at least it works, and since I even managed to regain my own domain name from my previous website, it’s exactly what I wanted.

I will draw a veil over my previous website, which was great at first, until I was persuaded to upgrade to their “New, Improved” version, which was a disaster.  The header spacing kept going wrong, adding new books was a pain, resizing the cover pics didn’t work, and whenever I turned it on I couldn’t rely on anything being as I’d left it.  Even my son, who works with computers all the time, found it unnecessarily complicated, which made me feel a bit better, but it decided me that the time had come to build a new one with a different company.

And at last, after much consultation with kind writer friends, I found a new website provider and started again from scratch.  It wasn’t quite as straightforward as I’d anticipated, so I did a fair bit of tearing my hair out while I was working on it.  It seemed to be two steps forward and one step back all the time until I discovered where I’d gone wrong and succeeded in putting it right.  But at last, after one or two further consultations with the same helpful friends, it all worked!  And although it’s not particularly whizzy, and nothing jumps about and sparkles, I know I can add/subtract/move things around to my heart’s content and be sure that next time I open it everything will be where I left it.  AND all the links work.  

AND I know I can easily add photos like this:

and book covers like this:

without losing anything in the process.

Do check it out at www.lynnebenton.com if you're at all interested.  See what you think.  I hope you like it.  If you do, please feel free to use the CONTACT ME page to let me know!

And grateful thanks to all the aforementioned helpful writer friends – you know who you are!  Thanks to you, I now have a reliable presence on the web.  Phew!


achuka said...

I see you have used Wordpress for your site Lynne.

It's the ideal solution for author sites.

Those whizzy highly-designed sites of a few years ago are now looking very dated and don't tend to work well on tablets and mobile phones.
Far too many author shave left such sites to lie fallow.

Some seem to be managing without websites at all.

Well done to Lynne for persevering and doing it all herself.

I have helped several authors build self-managed Wordpress-based sites.

Building the starting-blocks of a site is trickier than you'd imagine (as Lynee probably discovered) so if you're thinking of establishing a website, or making an exisiting one more mobile friendly, get in touch :)

Julie Sykes said...

Your new website is great Lynne. I love the picture of you as a child. Long hair. Who'd have thought ;)

Penny Dolan said...

There's a happy sense of success in this post, Lynne, and good to have the "making" (and any updating)all in your own hands. Well done!

Sheena Wilkinson said...

Hooray! You have inspired me as I don't have a website yet -- I know this is shameful -- and thought of using Wordpress too. Perhaps by the time I see you at Charney I will be all organised!

Lynne Benton said...

Thanks for your kind words and encouragement, everyone. And Sheena, if I can do it, anyone can, so best of luck with yours! (Happy to talk about it at Charney if you're not completely organised by then.)