Bluebirds, spring, and launching websites

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It’s the first day of spring, and I couldn’t be happier.

My mood has little to do with breaking winter’s iron grip or even the bluebird I saw on the back porch this morning; I launched a renewed and redesigned website.

Mike website grab

My primary client, an author with a great following and two dozen books under his belt, had used a former coworker as his web administrator for years. Then she disappeared. It seemed like a plot from a mystery, and he was genuinely concerned for her well being. Weeks of trying to reach her by phone, mail, email and through friends were fruitless, and he was on the verge of publishing a new Simon & Schuster book, Rescue of the Bounty, along with a couple other titles. The timing couldn’t have been worse. The plot thickened.

We’re still not sure what happened to her, but were able to convince the Domain Registry to give us administrative access to the account, and I went to work. Whew. His website had fallen out of date and readers were emailing, asking where and when he had appearances scheduled. Stress mounted by the day.

Last night I held my breath as I pointed the nameservers to the new site. This morning, it was alive and kicking again, overhauled and fresh: Elation, joy, exuberance!

A few lessons:
— an updated, working website is not just an option, it’s a necessity
— some web design programs are as easy to use as this blog
— make sure your web designer/administrator puts your name on the account so you can regain control of the content if she/he quits, dies or just flakes out

We’re so relieved to have the site up and running, but I’m already looking at it critically, making a list of things I’d like to tweak … and that online store will be running by the end of the week. There’s no stopping me now.

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