Romantic cottages for two in the Peak District

Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns’ Invisible New Website…

Preview of the new Tom's Barn website Home Page

Temporarily Visible Preview…!

A seminar on websites without wifi – is this as bad as a pub with no beer…? Not being a great beer drinker, I would normally say ‘far worse’! However, last week I was grateful that our site/s remained invisible thanks to a complete wifi failure.

Thanks to some European funding, small business owners in Derbyshire are able once again to access free IT training – helping us to make the best use of the Internet and social media for our businesses. It doesn’t mean we necessarily turn into experts but at least we can try to absorb as much as possible before everything moves on again – everything changes so fast in this world one has to keep relearning everything.

So, off I hied excitedly to the Palace Hotel in Buxton last week, for the first part of a two day workshop on planning and creating a successful website. As many of you know, for the past six months or so we have been preoccupied with trying to do exactly that, ever since our current website, which already needed revamping, anyway – was fairly brutally hacked.

Meanwhile, in order that our little business doesn’t sink into oblivion during this somewhat protracted pregnancy, we have to keep the current one up to date as well, which has done nothing to hasten the launch of the new one and has created a sort of dual-personality approach to our website/s.

I was hoping to have many questions answered, and to leave with a clear idea of what I still need to do to make our new version interesting and informative, nice to look at and hopefully quite entertaining as well.

Well, it wasn’t quite like that. We had an excellent and challenging day. Our lecturer, Susan Collini, told us she intended to make us feel uncomfortable, to think ‘outside the box’, not to be self-satisfied or complacent. The only reason I was attending was because I do not feel confident anyway, so as you can imagine this was quite painful. As more or less the only ‘small owner’ with an already active website (albeit mutilated by our hacking) this was all the more painful, because most the challenges were inevitably directed at me…

My responses did nothing for Susan’s confidence in my grasp of the situation. I was unsure whether to answer about the old/current one, or the new-about-to-be-born one so this ‘either/or/whichever’ approach did nothing for the clarity of my responses, either.

And rightly or wrongly, most of the challenges really went home so it was a great relief that – with no internet, neither website was on public view. The pressure will be on next Thursday, when our sites become visible.

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