Thursday, August 11, 2016

Migrating the Website and the Existential Questions

What will I remember most about yesterday?  Will it be that I got all my grading done and grades turned in for my online class?  Probably not.

Will I remember writing a poem?  Inspired (depressed?) by all the Trump coverage, I've written a poem that has nothing to do with our Purgatory project (what I planned to write this week), but it does weave together Trump, WWII imagery, Sylvia Plath's "Daddy," and Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains."  I think I'm pleased with it, but it does need a line or two at the end--I think.

No, what I will likely remember is the process of trying to migrate my website to a new platform.  I decided to pay the extra $5 a month, at least for now, in the hopes of an easy migration that was promised.

Almost an hour later, bleary-eyed, I stopped working on the new layout.  I'm still not sure that it's saved anywhere or that I can find it if it is saved on the 1&1 web services site.  Ugh.  I want to go to the site to see if I can solve last night's problems, but I don't want to have additional time sucked away today.  I figure that I've already paid this month's $5, so let me see what I can accomplish as the month progresses.

I also want some time to think about the larger question:  do I really need a website?

My spouse long ago lost his patience with the websites, back when we managed several of them.  He said that unless the site is bringing in money, what is the point?

His view is certainly a valid way of thinking about the value of a website.  And by that evaluation, I should have shut the site down years ago, as the price of keeping the site started escalating.

I started the site back in 2008, when I also started blogging.  It seemed important as a writer to have a site.  I wanted to protect my domain name.  At first, the price was less than $10 or $20 a year.  Now, with the new website creation software, my website will cost over $150 a year.

I could say, "Well, that's the cost of a hair cut and highlights--and that's gone within 2-6 months."  I could look at our monthly wine budget to gain perspective.  I could keep my website and resolve to update it more often--in fact, when I migrated to the better website builder, I had hopes that it would be an easier software interface.  After last night, I'm not sure that it will be.

I could decide to try to use the site to generate more money to justify its existence--the website package has all sorts of fancy gadgets that might be able to help me with that, although the thought of learning all this new technology makes my head hurt.  How many chapbook sales would it take to justify the site?  Or I could start including it with my itemized deductions/business expenses as a writer.

The new platform will let me do more with search engine optimization.  Plus I can have multiple pages and sections.  Maybe I want to think about the kind of business I want to have in the future and start building towards that.  Maybe the website can serve as both my writer's website and my spiritual director and creative retreat leader website--a one stop service center.

So, yes, let us see what the next month brings.  Let me not be too hasty just because the technology is not as easy as I had hoped.

No comments: