Five lessons I learned while revamping my website

But who am I kidding? – there were many more than five lessons! Details, details.

I am what I am what I am

Sure – this is supposed to be my author website. And I came up with this fantastic typewriter theme – all black and gray and red and sleek. I worked diligently to get everything just so, and I absolutely loved it – for a minute. It was so not me.

Authenticity is important. And yes, this site is about all things writing – AND photography, and art journaling, and hiking in the forest – because that’s who I am. If I ever become a best-selling author, I’ll change it – maybe…

Know your tools

So – this probably should have been the first thing.

I heartily apologize to my blog readers who received not one, but several gibberish emails. I installed a plug-in to take my site off-line and didn’t study all the features. Apparently polite bloggers email their followers to let them know what they’re up to. I didn’t do that, so the plug-in did it for me. Yikes – I am so sorry (not to mention mortified).

Prepare new content in advance

Honestly, this should go without saying. But there you have it. It’s much easier to view your work if your work is prepared.

Be ready to learn (and learn, and learn some more)

Sticky header, parallax scrolling, API, landing page…
What. Language. Is. This?????

If you have a husband who designs web-sites, for heaven’s sake, just let him do it for you!

What can I say? I’m a control freak. Next time, Greg is hired.

I’m still learning and tweaking and not entirely satisfied, but for now, done is better than perfect. If you’re inclined to poke around, please do so, and let me know what you think. I will also be starting a monthly newsletter and would love it if you subscribed. The content will be different from this blog. Read more in the Newsletter Tab.
Moving on –

February was all about Enchantment

While I played peek-a-boo with the moon all month long, my daughter sent me a video of my three-year-old granddaughter at her ballet class. Be still, my heart!! Because of COVID, moms watch the class on a monitor, so the video is a bit grainy, but I cannot think of anything more precious than a little girl in a tutu, joyfully turning in circles on her tiptoes with her arms above her head. Call me enchanted!

I don’t usually do “cute” in my art journal, but I just couldn’t help it. I even used a teensy bit of glitter (gasp!).

And – I dusted off my camera

Yep- I got out that big-girl camera and played. Chessie (so not a photographer’s dog) was my unwitting subject.

She’s a cutie all the same.

Writing and reading and curiosity – oh my!

Writing – I finished my first round of revisions – yay! Now a thorough read-through, copious notes about more revisions, and on to the next round.

My reading pile is growing, and I had a whole stack of mysteries ready for March – A Mystery March Marathon – of sorts. But I’m thinking of adding Harry Potter into the mix because my project for March is “Curiosity” – and I’m curious.

Please tell me I’m not the only person in the world who hasn’t read Harry Potter. Have you?

I hope March is going well so far. I’d love to hear what you’re up to! Is spring springing where you live?


10 responses to “Five lessons I learned while revamping my website”

  1. Sarah Avatar

    I have not read Harry Potter, and have no plans to. But, Glen and Mallory have read them all and reread them all. Mallory even bought one of the books when it came out while we were in Paris, just so she could say she got it in Paris. I think she finished the book before we got home. Lots of time to read on a plane.

    Love the pink tutu girl. It is perfect for Ella. Sometimes it is nice to break free and do something different. Inspiration is everywhere.

    Poor Chessie. If only she would learn to enjoy the brief spotlight.

    1. Karen Avatar

      Yeah – I wish I was feeling more excited about reading Harry Potter – it’s been sitting on my bookshelf for years! (probably one of Laura’s books – I don’t think Maggie ever bothered). I don’t blame Mallory for wanting to pick it up while in Paris – it seems like it would be a fun memory of the trip.

  2. Barb Avatar

    Hi Karen, I think it was your last post, I tried to comment but couldn’t. I thought maybe you were working on your new website. You’re so brave to start fresh! I don’t dare change mine, because I don’t know what I’m doing and don’t care enough to hire someone. Let’s just say that unlike your Greg, Bob would be no help…. Chessie is right to shun the paparazzi. She’s a private gal. We’re allowed to overflow with love on our blogs when we mention grandchildren. I remember those days of tutu’s and unselfconscious joy. I’m going to have a stroll around your new place now. Congratulations!

    1. Karen Avatar

      Sorry about that – once I got it into my head that I wanted to update my website, I took it down rather abruptly. I’m not sure whether I was being brave or just plain nuts – and I don’t blame you for wanting to leave yours as is!

      1. Beatrice Avatar

        Hi again Karen, I am not sure if my previous message got through or was ended prematurely. Just wanted to add that the messages about your website undergoing maintenance didn’t deter me from checking back. Glad your perseverance and determination to do it yourself worked out. And, is the Gingham Notebook blog site now in the past?

  3. Beatrice Avatar

    So I can see by the above message that my previous comment did not get through (sigh). Here’s a rehash. Yes, we did read the Harry Potter books, all of them in succession, while living in VA. We then bought and watched all the DVD films. The first books were more enjoyable, others became darker as did the films.

    1. Karen Avatar

      I finished the first one – and am happy that I did. I think I’ll leave it there. I was impressed with J.K. Rowling’s writing style – easy enough for the kids, but very readable as an adult, also. The books she writes as Robert Galbraith are more to my liking, though.

  4. Carola Bartz Avatar

    Congrats on the new website. It does look good, I like it. I don’t think I’m brave (or interested) enough to change mine, I’m good with it the way it is – not very exiting. But then I only use it for blogging and nothing else.
    I have read the first few of the Harry Potter books and then lost interest. I never “got” the hype about it, but I think what was good is that it got kids to read and be interested in books. That’s good in my book (no pun intended).

    1. Karen Avatar

      Thank you! You’re probably brave enough – but why fix something that isn’t broken? I read the first Harry Potter since posting this and enjoyed it. I can see why the kids loved it so much, but I’m all set – glad I read it, but don’t need more. My to-be-read pile is long enough as it is!

  5. […] – one step at a time. In my last post, I mentioned the many lessons learned while revamping my website. I may have even said something silly about “done being better that perfect.” Right, […]

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