Launching a new website is soooooo much easier said than done. But we've done it, you're on it and I hope you're loving the purple vibe. What follows is a summary of what it takes to get a new site up and running.
Launching a new website, step #1 - choose your platform.
There are so many choices! To make the right decision for your needs, you have to do a lot of research. This turns out to be the easiest part in the entire process. We chose SquareSpace because it's easy for me to update. "Easy" is a relative term.
Anderson, John and Anthony. Rockin' my favorite hair color.
Launching a new website, step #2 - hire the best web designer you can find.
I don't care what anyone tells you - doing it yourself is for the birds. Web design is a profession, so hire a professional. John Hoge has been the force behind DeCocco Design websites for a whole lot of years now. He's an artist first and a web guru second and what a difference that makes! He looks like a cross between Anderson Cooper and Anthony Bourdain, don't you think? Maybe it's just the fabulous hair color (I am biased). John is patient, generous and hilarious. Thanks John. I wouldn't have a business without you.
Laura Mentler, photographer
Marilyn Peryer, photographer
Launching a new website, step #3 - use professional photographers for the eye candy.
I take plenty of decent pictures with my iPhone. They're great for the blog, but not the whole website.
Let me introduce you to my photographers (you can use them, too!):
Most of the interior photos - Marilyn Peryer of Style House Photography
One lovely project in Charlotte - Wes Stearns of Artist Eye Photography
All photos of yours truly - Laura Mentler of Laura Ann Photography
Each of these photographers has a special talent that is very evident in their work. Thank you Marilyn, Wes and Laura, for capturing the sparkle that lives in my head.
Felicia Gressette, Editor
Launching a new website, step #4 - hire an editor.
Every website gets a few seconds to hold your attention, so the text is really important. I like to write (well, talk) and keeping it short and sweet is not in my wheelhouse. Felicia Gressette is an accomplished editor and publisher who graciously came on board to ensure that every page gives you solid information but doesn't bore you to death with my blather about design versus decorating or the value of hand milled soap (oh yes, I've seen that on a website). She would never have written that previous sentence--it's way too long.
Thanks Felicia, for making all the other pages on this website short and sweet.
Launching a new website, step #5 - wrestle with the site template, the almighty internet, the search engines, etc.
I can't even describe this part. It takes the longest and much of it is beyond anyone's control. It's all the yucky, wonky, luck of the draw, fullness of the moon, mercury in retrograde sort of stuff. Two words; endless and frustrating. You (and your web designer) just have to deal with it.
Launching a new website, step #6 - life happens.
Oh yeah, this one needs to be inserted in between every step. Truth be told, website work is very creative, complex and interesting. Websites take a LOT of time and so does everything else. Jobs, families, houses, travels, illness, exhaustion.... you know, life.
And then one day, the website launches!
For us, today is that day. It's looking beautiful. It's not perfect. I still find typos, photos still suddenly move out of place, Google continues to make changes and we're thrown into a temporary tizzy. But in the end, it's all good.
And we've got a new logo!
Ok, the ribbon has been cut, the champagne bottle is empty and we all need to get back to work. Hooray!