I Need a New website! A WEBSITE LAUNCH ANNOUNCEMENT.
Finally, I am doing a new Website Launch Announcement!
Our new and completely redesigned website launches August 25, 2021. Here’s why we’re doing it and how we got there.
One day it finally hit me that “I Need A New Website”! Building my website by myself had been a huge amount of work and an extremely steep learning curve. I launched it in 2012 and 2 years later hired someone make it look more professional. Then I had a photoshop tutor teach me how to edit my photos and clear out the background. But…
- It had not been updated since then. Sure, I added products, made changes to the Collections, changed a Homepage picture here and there. But there had been many upgrades to the layout software since then that I had not installed.
- It was outdated. I was getting feedback that it was not working well for mobile shoppers. And I could tell from the data – and what you read everywhere – that more and more people shop using their mobile devices.
- I wanted to make some changes to the site, but the old layout software would not allow it.
- When I created the website, it was trendy to have static pictures of products with white background. Now websites were more about “Lifestyle” photos and graphics that moved. There was no way I could do that with my site.
Those were more than enough reasons to do it. The reasons not to do it went like this.
- I’m not a techie. When I think of doing technical stuff my head melts like the soldiers surrounding the Arc of the Covenant in Indiana Jones And Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Not a pretty picture but that’s how it feels.
- I would not know where to begin.
- I’m afraid if I try it’s going to blow up!
- My store at The Street Fair at the College of the Desert has been closed since March ’20 due to COVID with no reopen date. And website consultants are expensive.
- Even if I could afford it, I have no idea how to find a good website consultant anyway.
- It’s all totally overwhelming and I think my head is melting.
Then I got an email invitation to a webinar given by the Orange County and Inland Empire Small Business Development Center. https://ociesmallbusiness.org/coachella-valley/ I had no idea that they offered all kinds of consulting, training, resources to help small businesses like mine. After a few wonderful Zoom meetings with Lisa Napolitano, a fabulous business consultant, I mentioned my website issue. To my amazement, she set me up with Ryan Stull, a Digital Marketing Consultant. My whole website life began to change!
The SBDC consultants don’t do the work for you but they teach you so you can do it now and in the future. It reminded me of a saying I used to use a lot when I started my career doing Management Development. “If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan if for ten years plant trees. But if your plan is for 100 years, educate people.” This quote is sometimes attributed to Confucius, sometimes not. And some say the translation from Chinese is not accurate, but I like it just the way it is. So, as much as I would have loved for someone to do all this work for me, in the long run, this was the perfect way to do it.
So, each week Ryan would gently explain – I had confessed to the head melting syndrome – what I was to do during the week. And I would do it.
At first, I was reluctant to change the “Theme” or layout of the website. It felt like too big a project for me to take on. So, we worked on Search Engine Optimization. After a few weeks, two things happened.
- It started to feel silly making changes to a website layout that was so very out of date.
- I started to trust that Ryan was an amazing expert who could guide me through the process and that if I blew up anything, he would be there to help me put it back together.
The first step in a Website Launch Announcement is to pick a new “Theme”. In my next blog post I’ll explain what a “Theme” is, how I selected my new one and all the challenges involved in moving to a “Lifestyle” theme.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and stay tuned….
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