Rebuilding my Website—Again!

I’ve caught up with my work for now and have no more articles to write for clients. When this happens I often mull over the idea of writing a short story. That’s not surprising because I was writing poetry and short stories long before I became a freelance writer. Unfortunately there are always so many other things I need to do and at the moment I need to work on my website.

I built my horror website in 2006. It had two pages—the homepage and a list of my published stories. Then I decided I might as well make it useful, so I began adding content. First I added book reviews, then movies reviews, etc. Now the site has close to a thousand pages and I created them all one by one using a HTML editor. When people began stealing content from my site, and placing it on their own sites and blogs, I had to go to the trouble of finding the relevant webhosting companies etc., and getting the content removed and/or the sites shut down. Then I had to add extra code to every page of my site to make it harder for people to copy and paste content. It was not much fun.

Then in 2011, the powers that be introduced a new European law that requires website owners to add a cookie policy to their sites. So I had to do an audit of the site and find out which cookies were in use. Then I had to create a Cookie Policy and add a link to it from every page of the site. While I was doing this I improved the site’s navigation panel. There was a lot of work involved and it took me many months to complete. Now I have to do it all over again.

I don’t think anyone had smartphones when I built the site, but all that has changed. These days a lot of people browse the web using phones and other mobile devices. Google is penalizing sites that are not mobile friendly, and mine is not, so these days it gets fewer visitors than it used to. I found a template I could use to make mobile-friendly pages, but then realized I may have to do everything all over again to remain compatible with future versions of Internet Explorer and other browsers. I didn’t fancy that, so I’ve installed WordPress and chosen a responsive theme that can recognize the various different devices, resize the pages accordingly, and then provide suitable menu options. That way, if I need to make future changes to the site, I will only need to update or change the theme.

I spent most of yesterday afternoon copying my old (HTML) pages to WordPress and didn’t stop working until 3am. I felt pretty tired by then and called it a day. I still have over 900 pages to do and I have to redirect the old pages so that people who follow links to them will be transferred to the correct WordPress pages. So yesterday I could have taken a day off, gone for a bike ride, or written a new story, but instead of that it was the same old story all over again—rebuilding my site. I’ve got my fingers crossed though, and hopefully this will be the last time.

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