The Trials & Tribulations of DIY Website Building

So this is my very first post on my new website that I built all by myself.

web construction
(Photo credit:

If you know me at all, you’ll understand what an accomplishment that is.

If you don’t know me, this may clarify things:

  • I can remember the exact day in 2001 that I sent my very first email.
  • I can remember my boss at the time having to show me how to send the second one, too. And the third. And probably the fourth, fifth, and sixth. And maybe the seventh…
  • Until I published the first book in the Grigori Legacy series in 2011 and had to learn social media, I used a computer exclusively for wordprocessing and sending email.
  • When I did jump into social media, it was through the purchase of the book Twitter for Dummies (which turned out to be completely useless, btw).

Yeah. I was the epitome of a technological dinosaur. But, in the vein of teaching an old dog new tricks, let’s fast-forward to today, when in the last week I have:

  • figured out how to build a new website offline (using WampServer to create a localhost site) so my old one would remain live during the building process
  • waded through hundreds of potential WordPress themes before eventually settling on The Thinker
  • successfully uploaded and formatted the theme and the necessary plugins (still not sure how I managed to activate the font plugin that wouldn’t work…wouldn’t work…wouldn’t work…and then magically did, but oh well, it works and that’s all that counts, right? 😉 )
  • created a new website banner using Canva (Best. Graphics app. Ever.)

Linda P

  • created new content for all the pages (and more graphics to go with them)
  • successfully transferred all my blog posts from the old site to the new one (well, sans images, but hey…I still did it!)
  • learned how to create an xml file for the new database
  • wiped the old site’s database and uploaded the new one, along with the WordPress and theme files, to my web host.

Confession: that last step took approximately six and a half hours and the assistance of multiple support people, and they ended up having to fix a glitch I’d caused in order to take the site live, and I uploaded the wrong WordPress files and had to manually input all my images again, but I’m still counting it as a total win. (I could have just uploaded the correct WordPress files, but it was almost midnight, I didn’t know where to even begin looking for the damned things, support and I were barely on speaking terms anymore, and a manual upload was just so, so much easier! 😀 )

The upside of all this is that:

  1. I did it! (It’s amazing what you can learn when your needs outweigh your resources to pay someone else for the work… 😉 )
  2. I now have a much better understanding of how WordPress works, so maintenance going forward will be heaps easier.
  3. I know that I never, ever, ever want to be a website developer. Ever. 😉

So…have a look around and check things out, and leave me a comment below to let me know what you think of my DIY website building efforts! Notice a glitch somewhere? Please tell me!

P.S. Many (most?) blog post images are still missing, unfortunately. I’ll get around to fixing them on an as-I-can basis…please accept my apologies in the meantime!




8 responses to “The Trials & Tribulations of DIY Website Building”

  1. JP McLean Avatar

    I am SO impressed. It looks fantastic. Congratulations.

    1. Linda Avatar

      Thanks, J.P.! That means SO much to me!! 🙂

  2. D. D. Syrdal Avatar

    Love that header image! Well done! 🙂 It looks great.

    1. Linda Avatar

      Thanks, D.D.! Believe it or not, that ended up being the easiest part of this whole process. 😉

  3. Amanda Taggart Avatar

    You’re a legend!! I tried to do my own website and just couldn’t master the tech stuff – I ended up getting someone to do it and paid a fortune! Now I can’t change it LOL! Is Word Press that good? Did you follow a guide? I think you’ve done an amazing job even without knowing the history. Well done!

    1. Linda Avatar

      Thank you so much, Amanda! WordPress is about as easy as it gets, but it still requires a pretty steep learning curve (or at least, it did for me). In my case, I learned out of sheer necessity because I really, really needed a new site to reflect my dichotomous writing (romance and dark). Let’s just say that Google and YouTube have been my very best friends for the last few days… 😉

  4. Bea @Bea's Book Nook Avatar

    I said this elsewhere but I really like your new header and color scheme. 🙂

    1. Linda Avatar

      Oooh…thanks so much, Bea! I used for designing it. Awesome app. 🙂

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