Sunday 6 February 2011


Where I display astonishing ineptitude and indecision

I've made no secret of the fact I hate my current website with the heat of a thousand suns. In fact, I've found maintaining and updating it so stressful that I set all my stock to zero a year ago and promptly ignored it. I sell my patterns through Etsy, my sewn goods by word of mouth and my sales through the blog and Facebook. But I've kept my site up, for 6 billion pounds a year, because I don't want to lose my email address. Crazy, no?

Now, three days before my site expires I am in major-flailing mode. I don't want to pay 6 billion pounds a year for a defunct site. Neither do I want to lose my email addresses. But, I have Top Secret developments that require a rather snazzy website. Alas, website-building-aptitude remains at sub-par. Sub, sub-par. As we speak, I am either pulling my hair out in clumps or foaming at the mouth.

Home page

All weekend I've been trying out different sites / interfaces / shops / packages / black magic voodoo solutions to my conundrum and the screenshots above and below are what I'm leaning towards.

About page

It's a WIX site-builder, but the e-commerce option has the most convoluted work-arounds ever so I fear I'm going to have to host the shop elsewhere. I'm leaning towards Big Cartel for the shop, but I can't test my ability to make a good looking shop without pre-paying six million pounds.

Contact page

At last count, I'm going to be paying someone for hosting (as Wix don't host), paying Wix to redirect it to, paying Big Cartel to host a shop (which can't be because Wix will have it), and paying an email hosting company to keep my email addresses. I make the grand total to be 8 million pounds and four different things I need to remember.

Please, please, pretty please, OH DEAR GOD HELP ME:
  • Are the above pages lovely enough to justify a Wix front-site (redirecting to sales site)? Or should I just bypass Wix and have a shopfront at with Big Cartel?
  • Big Cartel: Thumbs up, thumbs down? Is it really pretty or is that not possible for mere mortals who speak in English and not HTML?
  • Do you know of magic super-secret website builders? Do not say because I will laugh in your face. If truly super-secret (which would make me happy x infinity), email me. I won't tell anyone except Friend Sarah.
  • Best methods of suicide that would still enable your dependants to receive life insurance payments?
Thanks in anticipation. Off to chew the carpets like Hitler*.

*Not an euphemism. True fact.


  1. I'm a bit tired and don't understand most of this, BUT

    Speak to Bob about a site, he did The Life Craft, my blog & his blog all from scratch. We host our sites (and could host yours too?) and make it pretty for you.

    Also, you can put your domain email addresses through gmail which is what we do.

  2. I don't know WIX or Big Cartel so I have more general advice from a web geek than specific recommendations. Ok? With that caveat...

    * I think I would skip the WIX front end since you are layering on a LOT of complexity as you migrate to a new ecommerce site. I would suggest trying an ecommerce solution first and seeing what you think of the page. If you REALLY don't like it you can add the WIX front end in later.

    * The answer to email is really two fold. What you do now and what you do going forward. I second Vonnie's suggestion to use gmail. Part 1: If you don't already have a gmail account, get one. You *should* be able to follow the instructions to import your email from your existing account. It might not be pretty, but it should be all there. Contacts are a maybe, but you SHOULD be able to pop all your mail down.

    Part 2: Once you have all your email in your gmail account STOP USING "REAL" EMAIL ELSEWHERE. What I mean by this is, don't have your email store anywhere else. Wherever you host your domain should allow you to forward your email addresses to gmail. This is what I do. I have multiple email addresses and none of them are "real." They are all just forwarding aliases. They all just go right to gmail. You can also set up gmail to send from a few of these if you want to keep the "send from" identity as well.

    Caveat to Part 3: This may be fixed, but the first time I did this I had trouble with ebay and paypal when forwarding. There is a long, boring technical reason that has to do with anti-phishing. So for my paypal email I do have to set up a "real" account and pop into gmail. Once you set it up you'll never notice the difference.

    There are a few big advantages to doing it this one. First is that all your email is in gmail now and forever more. The second is it will make you a lot more portable if you decide to change domain hosting companies in the future. You'll have to set the forwarding up a 2nd time, but it will be pretty smooth and seamless. No hand-wringing angst over losing anything on an old host.

    Clear as mud, right? If you want more detail email or facebook me and I'll see if I can help you across miles of land and ocean. :)

  3. Big Cartel is amazing, I can't recommend it, or the people that run it enough. I think it is really good value and there are different plans depending on how many products you want. I have customised mine a tiny amount but some of the websites look amazing and you can hire designers to change it for you if you want.

    They have a new forum area where you can pose questions about design and either the lovely staff or other big cartel-ers help you out, there is a real sense of community. I love it. They have a sister site for digital products too.

    There ends my sermon. Email me if you want more gushing.

  4. I am of no use whatsoever but just wanted to say I hope it's soon sorted and the carpet survives x

  5. I'm really interested in these recommendations too - I have a Mr Site site and it is very limiting. I can't get decent sized pics and it's all about image really isn't it! Like you I'm developing my one woman business and want to look professional, with the ability to have a shop, to edit content myself and to look fabulous!
    I will be following with interest!

  6. I don't know anything about any of this- but I can speak to the prettiness of your design. I really like it, esp. how you have pictures of the ids all over- since they are abnormally good looking.

  7. Cut out WIX, can't see the point if you're not having a shop with them. Personally wouldn't touch gmail again after using for a small project and finding it totally annoying on so many levels. My email is with my host.