I finally have a web site for The Enchanted Bath!
I followed some instructions I found on the internet and figured out how to buy a domain name (TheEnchantedBath.com). Then, following the same instructions, I chose a ‘hosting’ company called BlueHost. Then I picked out a theme to use on my site. My web instructions said a theme was like a template for how my site would look. Since that would be much cheaper than having a web designer create a custom site for The Enchanted Bath, I bought the theme.
So . .. . money has been spent, commitments have been made. Everything is in place. Except I can’t get the darn theme to work correctly.
I found more instructions, this time from the person who created the particular theme that I chose. I tried to figure out why my pictures were not showing up on the picture carousel on the front page of my site. I tried to figure out why I couldn’t change the color of the background on my site. I tried to get my first blog post (this one) to show up under the Blog tab. But I still couldn’t get any of those things to work. I read more instructions. Which made me very unhappy because I hate reading instructions. I posted on forums to ask other people how to make this theme work. I got no answers.
I am not completely inept – I have had a couple of free web sites before, and I did okay with those. But the free sites did not offer enough space for all the pictures that I need to put up and take down on a regular basis, so I needed a real web site. Unfortunately, this theme-based ‘real’ site seems to be a whole different animal than the free sites I have used before. Since I am not a programmer or designer, I was not able to follow the cryptic instructions given with the theme, so I quickly got in over my head.
I began to get annoyed. Really annoyed. All I wanted to do was to sell handmade soap as a way to help make ends meet. Now I find myself having to spend money on things like hosting companies and themes, not to mention having to deal with licenses, tax returns and a web site that won’t work. One that has instructions that appear to be written in a foreign language.
But I didn’t want to admit defeat, so I kept trying. Dirty dishes piled up, dirty laundry spilled out of the hamper, phone calls went unanswered, the dog whines for me to throw the frisbee, the cat meows at his empty food dish, and still I pound away on my keyboard, trying to figure out what I am doing wrong with this web site. But nothing works. There is some important programming piece here that I am missing, but what is it? Frustration ensues and there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Then I came home from work one evening and saw my dog and my cat up at the corner of my road with little signs that say “Will work for food” and “Will work for frisbee”. I knew it was time to finally admit defeat and ask for help.
So I contacted a local web design company and asked if they could get my theme to work correctly on my web site. They agreed to take a look at it as soon as their work load permitted. But the design company is yet another expense that I will have to pay, which makes me very nervous. But I’m at the end of my rope with this whole web site thing, so I don’t have much of a choice. I’m sure I can run the site just fine, once this theme glitch is fixed, but I am dead in the water until it is fixed. Until I pay someone else to fix the glitch. So I made the decision to dump the web site setup into someone else’s capable hands. I closed my laptop, washed my dishes, washed my clothes, and threw the cat so the dog could fetch him.
The whole reason I started selling soap was to have a little extra money since there always seemed to be too much month left over at the end of my paychecks. So spending money on all these soap-related things seems counter-intuitive and very scary. To give you a little insight, among my group of family and friends, I am the least-likely person (by far) to start her own business. I am not a confident person and I am not a risk-taker. And yet, somehow here I am, spending money, applying for licenses, filling out tax returns, and working with an actual design company to fix my web site.
It is beginning to sounds suspiciously like I officially have my own business.