You may (or may not) have noticed things looking a little different around here. The website has changed and almost looks like a website now. Yes, I know. Amazing. And I did it. Yep. Me. Little old me. The fully-paid up Luddite has embraced technology and – get this – been on a website-building course. With other people. I promise no-one got hurt.
Backalong, when I decided to close The March Hare, I realised that in order to continue to actually function as a business, I would need a website; one that functioned properly, told people what I did, where I did it and – above all – how to get their paws on my retro and vintage-style frocks. As I’m sure you can imagine, this caused me a fair few sleepless nights. You can probably also imagine the pain that my friends went through, hearing me agonise over how on earth I was going to accomplish this when I am one of the world’s most inept people when it comes to anything other than a sewing machine. Or things made from wood and string. Being me, I didn’t just agonise a bit and then go quiet while I found a way through the maze. Oh no. Every time I hit a stumbling block or barrier, I wailed loudly, bemoaning my fate through the medium of Google+ to a select bunch of unfortunates who happen to have me in their “circles”.
Note to anyone tempted to add me to their clan on social media:- Unless you are prepared to deal with a Grumpy Old Trad Hag who has an almost pathological fear of working with the wonders of internet technology but who is also utterly entranced by shiny new pretties like smartphones and tablets and who will shy, whinny and wail like a banshee at every single step along the rocky road to technological nirvana, avoid me like the plague. Oh, and don’t expect me to be particularly ‘friendly’. Or nice. Because let’s face it, most days I don’t even do ‘reasonable’. You have been warned.
But anyway… Thankfully I have some very tech-savvy friends who know all about the business of, well, doing technical stuff and running an internet-based business. Hell, some of them actually make proper money! Yes! I know! Incredible.
One of them, said, “Oh for [insert deity of choice]’s sake! Let me help you!” and sorted me out with a WordPress website in the blink of an eye. How she managed to sort me out when she’s busy running the wonderful www.nbtea.com I’ll never know but I managed to acquire the domain name and pay for the hosting wossname, she waved some sort of magic stick and “Hey Presto!” I had a bloggy thing. Because apparently blogging is the way things work these days. You witter on a bit, people follow you and by magic they desire – and buy – your wares. Yeah. Well, the jury’s still out on the buying of the wares thing but if ever there was a bird who can “witter on”, it’s me. Oh yes. Wittering. I does it. Selling? Ah. Um. Well, er, no. I am no saleswoman. This may well cause a problem in the actually ‘earning a living’ part of the plan but I’m still optimistic at this point. Remind me to revisit this in a year or so.
So there I was, a blog up and running and I was nervously tweaking the site in the background. Very nervously. More nerves than tweaking, if we’re being honest. Until another fabulous friend said, “Look, there’s a 3 day WordPress course you can go on. It’s free, gratis and for nothing” – well, she said, “funded” but I’ve never understood that – “and I can get you there and back so it won’t cost you a penny. In fact, I’ll drive you there myself to make sure you get there and don’t leg it at the first opportunity.” Some of my friends know me very well and she did do this. She also patted me on the shoulder and told me to “Play nicely at break time.” She does know me well.
And now I have a website that almost looks like a website. I chose the “theme” I had for the first effort and my friend did the magic stuff and installed it for me. Great. Very swish. Rather swisher than me, to be honest. And I couldn’t make it do what I thought it needed to do. Or, in fact, anything. After my first day on the course, during which there was a “Eureka! Now I know how this stuff works” moment”, I came home and tweaked it and found that… Oh. I still couldn’t get it to do what I wanted. It’s a very cool and chic “theme” but I just failed dismally with it as most of the things I wanted to do, couldn’t actually be done or changed. After doing the rest of the course, I decided that I’d take the enormous step of downloading the template we used in school because I knew how that worked and that it would do what I wanted, providing I asked it nicely. In my blissful ignorance, I thought it would just run alongside without being published until I activated it so I installed it right after I blogged last Sunday morning. And discovered, to my horror, that my actual website changed immediately and I had therefore to do quite a lot of work right there and then as I’d just notified the world and his Dalmation that I’d blogged and everybody would surely be visiting my website to read it. Aaaargh! Obviously it’s still very much a work in progress; there’s no gallery yet and I haven’t worked out how to get a Google map with my business pinned on it, plus a whole host of other marvellous things that right now I can’t think of but will attend to, er, dreckly, but now you know why it looks a little different. Thanks to some wonderful friends, I’ve been to school and learned stuff and have a website.
And do you know the best part? It was fun. Watch this space. I might do something amazing. One day. After I finish the latest frock design…