On this day last year, I took a big step for my business and registered the domain name for this website. Up to that point I had a little bit of experience in website building, but it was mostly just casual dabbling. This was my first attempt at creating a serious, full-fledged, functioning website.
During the previous weeks, in anticipation of creating EDS.com, I had started studying the HTML language. My initial plan was to try and build the entire site from scratch. While I was able to get a very simple test site going, I began to realize there was a lot more involved in building a site than just compiling a few lines of HTML code.
When it came time to get the site started, I came to the decision to try out a CMS (content management system) or website builder. I tried out at least half a dozen different systems, one of the earliest ones being WordPress. It got to the point where I was trying so many different CMS types, that I somehow managed to lock myself out of my own site.
After the initial panic, I was able to get back in. This is one of the dangers that pop up when you don’t really know what you’re doing.
I played around some more and eventually settled on WordPress. Later on, however, I would discover that there are actually 2 different WordPress sites. The Eagle Down Studios website is on WordPress.org, there is also an entirely different site called WordPress.com, where I have a personal blog. What exactly the differences are between the 2, I’m still not sure. This definitely added to the confusion.
Regardless, I managed to get this site running and started to learn how to make everything work. As I mentioned earlier, I had been studying HTML, but came to find out that WordPress works mostly with CSS, or cascading style sheets. The two languages are similar and having a basic knowledge of HTML did help, but I was still a little out of my element.
My original plan was to truly build a site from nothing, but I’d decided that using a ready-made template would be the easiest way to go, at least until I started learning more about website building. I picked a theme and figured out how to modify it, then I began planning out how I was going to organize the site. I’m still working on that, I’m still not sure about some of the pages, a few seem a little redundant. The addition of a blog, while an exciting component for me, added to the uncertainty. This site may be a little confusing but I’ll get things straightened out eventually. If anyone has trouble finding anything, I’m hoping they’ll let me know.
All the work that went into this site took a lot of trial and error and while the domain was registered on November 16, 2011, the site wasn’t officially running, as far as I can tell, until December 2nd. It might have been easier to hand this to over to someone who really knew what they were doing but I was determined I to do it on my own. For one thing, I didn’t have the funds available to hire a web designer and for another thing, I wanted total control over everything and I knew I could do it. That’s always been my way, I’m a very independent and determined person. It has been a bit of a rocky road but I’m getting there, sure enough, and have learned a lot in the process.
So what’s in store for Eagle Down Studios and this website? For one thing, I’m still in the process of developing my online store. There’s a couple of different plugins that I’ve tried out, and while there are some things I like about both, neither really has everything I want. I’ll need to settle on one and build my store from there. In terms of the business itself, my biggest priority is to start producing prints of my artwork. Currently I’m only able to offer my art in the form of paintings, but I also want to be able to provide prints. That’s going to require funding and that’s what I’m still waiting on.
Hopefully everything will get worked out soon and I can really get this business running. I’m working on a brochure for my multimedia services and I’ll begin shooting promotional videos very soon, those are things I really look forward to.
So happy anniversary to myself, my business and to EDS.com. My website is very important to me, it’s the focal point of my entire business and it’s been an interesting year trying to get it off the ground. Thank you to everyone who’s taken an interest and has spread the word about my business. Here’s hoping for many more anniversaries to come.