Okay, pals ‘o mine: I’m moving the site again. Which will make the new site (once it’s moved) number seven (I think) since . . . 2005? Or 2006? (*1) (*2)
Why move again? As much as I’ve loved using WordPress.com, the site designs drive me nuts. This one you’re looking at is so cluttered and ugly. . . . (*3)
If I stay at WordPress, the only way to get the design I want is to drop what I’m doing and learn to write code for CSS. And frankly, I don’t want to do that. (Website, in my opinion, are like cars: I want them to run and be reliable. I do NOT want to be my own mechanic and build/repair/design the engine.)
I’d resigned myself to staying here but about five days ago, I heard about Squarespace and realized that it might be the solution to my dilemma. So I set about to learn SS and its ways. The learning curve was steep. Took me four days to figure out its logic, but — it was worth it.
SS’s schtick is design and flexibility. I can, gasp, darken text color and change the font without writing any code.
So. I’m moving. My last move took a grand total of seven minutes (remember the old days? When a site move could took at least 48 hours???) so here’s hoping this one is as easy. I’ve already built the new site and moved everything over there.
I will say this: It won’t be quite like this one. I had to make some design compromises (but that’s okay, but I got a LOT of design capability in exchange).
But the other motive for moving is my ongoing project of figuring out how to use a website to my and its best advantage. I’ve finally figured out that MOST people who visit my site are only interested in basic information. They’re not interested in the blog. They just want fast information.
So the new site is designed to provide that quick info dump (although I still need to do some tinkering with the who/what/why kind of content). And the blog will no longer be the front page (because see preceding paragraph).
AND — big deal for me — I’m also giving the blog the name that it’s always had in my mind: The Observation Post.
So there you go. Here’s hoping the entire thing doesn’t go crash, boom, crash, splat en route from this platform to the new one.
*1: Last night I got to thinking: My first site was at Authors Guild. But its platform was a bit simplistic back then, so I hired a designer for sites two and three (one using Moveable Type and the other WordPress.org).
Frustration beyond belief ensued, and I dumped both sites and got a self-hosted one from WordPress.org. (Memo to the world: DO NOT HIRE A DESIGNER FOR A WEBSITE. Don’t do it.) That was almost as frustrating because it required more technical knowledge than I had.
Then I switched to Posterous and all was dandy for about a year — when Twitter bought Posterous and I realized that P would soon be history (it lasted another year) so I jumped ship for WordPress.com.
I’d looked at it pre-Posterous, but at the time, WordPress.com didn’t support unique domain names. (I would’ve had to be maureenogle.wordpress.com.) But when I left Posterous, WP.com had created a way to allow unique domains. I think I’ve now been at this site about two years? Maybe a bit longer?
*2: I also got to thinking: do I have any holdover readers? And yes, I do. Some of you started reading the blog during during site number three!
*3: I think I mentioned my design frustation a few weeks ago. I struggled to figure out how to accomodate random ramblings — aka the blog — with the need to provide “professional” content related to the meat book.
Weirdly, tinkering with Squarespace made me realize what the problem was: I needed to accomodate two kinds of visitors: The drop-in-find-out-who-this-person-is type, who looks at the About page and leaves, and the reads-the-blog-but-nothing-else visitor — that would be all of you reading this now. I thought it was a DESIGN problem, but really it was a matter of realizing that the blog is a separate entity from the rest of the site. And the design problems were, well, aesthetic in nature and ones I couldn’t solve at WordPress without learning how to create a style sheet. Jesus. Shut up, Maureen. You don’t have to record EVERY SINGLE PIECE of your site history for posterity….