Secrets, Lies & Chat

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

No Pain Website Building

If you have visited my website http://www.secretslieschat.net.au/ I hope you were impressed. It's simple, and yet the messages I wanted to share, and the parts of my life and work I wanted published, are all there.

When I first decided to have a website built, I organised it through an agency. I was disappointed because the website was not 'me'. Each time I wanted a change made to try and make the website how I saw it, the message came through loud and clear, that I was causing delays in my changes, that I had to make up my mind and stick with it. Articles, stories etc that needed to be posted were held up; not by me, but by the person in 'control'. Control is a word I detest; no one should have control over anyone else and no one should control your website unless you choose to agree to those terms.

The website never lived up to what it should have for the price. Sure it was a lot cheaper than other quotes I had, but it was a clone of another website and definitely not artistic or pleasant to visit. Nothing was right about it and when I tried to gain control over it, the fight was on.
Eventually I gave up the fight and bought another domain name and a template for a website that was pleasing to my eyes. When I did all this I was holidaying on the Gold Coast with a friend. He supported me totally and we stumbled through the buying of the domain, settling on a host, choosing a template and wondering what on earth we were going to do with it all once we had it.

But I had great faith in my friend and it soon proved that my faith was well seated. Before long the website was coming into shape and because it was all above my head, I left it to Bryan (that's my friend :)) to sort it all out. Bit by bit it grew and Bryan learned how to get it all together. I watched fascinated. By the time we returned to our respective havens, the website was inspiring.

The template I bought made it a lot simpler as the html was built into pages that came with the template. Bryan soon worked out how it all fell together, and eventually the exciting day came and I was directed to the website, and there it was, sitting out there in cyber space. I smiled and knew I had done the right thing, and Bryan had achieved what the person I had paid had failed to achieve. We worked together remotely on the design and the layout, with Bryan uploading all the documents I sent to him, without a murmur. We laughed at mistakes, worked through the tangles, and sat back one day with pride.

We added things as time went by and Bryan worked out how to put links on there for me to important websites that discuss issues I wanted to link to - those involved in child protection and danger online for kids.
Bryan worked out how to put my book on the website with PayPal and when my beautiful mate Scrubber passed away, he created a special page for him and a photo gallery as a surprise for me. It took me a while to go there but once I was brave enough to, the presence of Scrub on my website gladdened my sad heart.

We started working on the website in February 2005 and now in March 2006, I am able to upload my own pages and edit those already existing. I have been able to do that for quite a while, thanks to Bryan's patient teaching. Again most of this was done remotely by talking in a chat room, via messenger or by emails. The constant contact was amazing, so different to my first experience with having a website built. I was taught how to upload additions by using cuteftppro and how to use Microsoft Frontpage to make the pages for the website. I learned to 'see' things in the html code so that sometimes I was able to fix my own mistakes.

The only thing I haven't been able to achieve is to learn how to set up a photo gallery page. I have a template to work with, and yet my head can't see round the corners. A quick 'help' to Bryan, attachments to a couple of emails that he returned to me quickly, and I uploaded the photo album - of Shaye, my puppy. It's just how I wanted it, of course.
Oh, I forgot to mention that eventually I gained control over the other website and Bryan, through sheer will and determination, worked out how to cut it adrift so that anyone using the old domain name would automatically go to the new website. An achievement I still wonder about. That's a sign of a master using his skills and knowledge; way too complex for me.

Hence the title of this piece - No Pain Website Building. There should be no pain, there should be no begging to have work uploaded or changes made. A webmaster should want his client to be able to run his/her own website easily and should be happy to teach the owner how to achieve this and then be contactable if there are problems.

So, if you are considering having a website built at a very reasonable cost, by someone who will treat you as you should be treated, you could go no further than Bryan to find all those things. He didn't learn out of books or by going to a college, he learned his trade by actually building a website, something he had never done in his life before.
Bryan can be contacted by email :
sirbluey@bigpond.com

He is located in a suburb of Brisbane and has the patience of a saint doing what he likes best, making something out of nothing and sharing his knowledge. Bryan is presently building another website and as I have seen some of it already in the making, I know it will turn out just how the owner wants it. Whatever she asks for, he does his upmost to find and incorporate in the website. Now that's old fashioned service, and with a smile too.

So send Bryan an email and havachat. It won't cost you anything to chat, there is no consultancy fee for a query :)All the best!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Some News

Here it is, exactly one month since I last posted. Time sure flies when you are having fun.

Some good news this last week, when I was released from my contract and all rights to my manuscript 'Secrets, Lies & Chat' were returned to me. I can't disclose any details but the end was amicable. At least now I can do what I like with the manuscript, maybe do a rewrite, and I can now approach any publisher I choose to with my next work. It cost me legal fees, but them's the breaks. Better to do this properly, with advice, than to go it alone.

My son and his partner, who now live in Western Australia, will be returning to the east coast late May. That is a exciting news for the rest of the family as we miss them so much. It's a long way to Geraldton, and expensive to fly, impossible to drive unless you are well prepared for a long trip through some fairly isolated country where mobile phones don't work. They will do the trip back by road, same as they did going over. But my son is very self reliant and they have each other so the 4 days or so on the road won't be that bad for them.

They plan to move north from Sydney, towards Newcastle, where apparently the coal mining business is thriving. My son has done a lot of work underground but at the moment is driving an 85 ton truck at an open cut gold mine, 150 ks north of Kalgoorlie. It's hot out there, 50c plus. Fortunately all the vehicles are air conditioned and of course the accommodation is as well. It's like a resort and he lives there for 14 days, works 14 x 11 hours, one week day shift then one week night shift, then flies home for a week. Two of those days of course are flying to and from, which necessitates two flights each way. The planes are small and not being a frequent flyer, he found it fairly daunting, scary even. I think he will be happy if he can score work where he can drive himself to and from each day. Being away from home for 14 days straight isn't much good when you are in a relationship.

My beautiful dog, Shaye, is growing in leaps and bounds, and is now beginning to look more like a Golden Retriever as he coat is starting to grow longer. He is very sweet, a pleasure to be around. He gives my moggie a hard time, but I tend to think she likes the challenge and enjoys having something to hiss at and strike out at. He loves water and swims like a champion, duck diving under the water chasing toys. My granddaughter, who is 11, loves to be in the pool with him as he is a lot of fun. He chases people when they are swimming and ends up usually on their backs as he can dog paddle at an amazing rate. My pool is 10 metres long and he can swim up and down without any worries. When he gets tired he sits on the step in the water. He has his own little paddle pool for when the big pool is locked off to him, so he is almost always wet. He prefers to be wet, will tip his water out and lie in the water and go to sleep. Strange how these instincts are inbuilt into animals. When the breeder brought him home to me when he was 7 weeks old, she said that when he finds water he will never be out of it. She was so right! So, if you want a good size dog, with a lovely nature, who is almost always wet, don't overlook a Golden Retriever.

Take care until next time.

Vena