It's been a difficult time over the past 3-4months, trying to draft out how I would want the website to look and how to best use each template for which page from the set of templates I had chosen.
Asking myself whether I should have based the layout on how others have set up other travel websites or go with my gut instinct and hope that with a little bit of trial and error I could adjust some of the set templates and layouts I'd chosen, if I could learn how, then it would slowly somehow miraculously all come together!
Basically the old site page template layouts were basic, but something I could build on, but the new templates were all set out, so my text had to fit into specific areas on the page, put in links to take people to other pages where I needed to share more information that wouldn't fit into that one area or little box within the main page, then from there links to further pages.
Sometimes there were links set up from images, text with images, new menus needing setting up on the page for a particular subject, finding new images
or old ones that needed re-sizing to fit into the space provided.
There were many occasions I couldn't I see what should go where, understand exactly what I should do, I was worrying about the things I couldn't fix instead of thinking about the things I could. I had mini panics because I couldn't see the wood for the trees and no one I could speak to here to help.
As you will have seen in my other posts in the Web blog, I have a web designer who is familiar with the Adobe Business Catalyst System, he originally set things up on the new site templates and I had to fill in the spaces or explain to him where to put things. He's based in Australia and like many had little knowledge about Cape Verde and the islands other what he'd read on my old site that he also hosted. My old site had little information about other islands so my web designer didn't really understand that I can't just drive over to Praia (on Santiago) or speak to owners of hotels about advertising on Sao Filipe (on Sao Nicolau) as easily as I could contact and speak to people on Sal Island (there is a language barrier when communicating). Costs for the web designing and his work had to be balanced but I needed to work on as much as I could to keep the costs down, but the layout, look, appearance, flow of ease and access for readers was as important as the information I provided.
More information and new pages have been added to the new site, with new information about the other islands of Cape Verde, though there is still much
more to be done.
Some people have asked, why didn't I get someone here in Cape Verde rebuild the website. I doubt I would have found anyone on Sal Island or any other Cape Verde island that was as knowledgeable on the Adobe system, or that spoke English. Another question was, why didn't I pick someone in the UK to develop the website, well, they may have spoken English but hard to know whether they would be any more knowledgeable on the Adobe system, costs related to their work would be more or less. He/she would also be less knowledgeable on how I worked with my previous website and my history and, know even less about Cape Verde and the islands. So it was better I stay with whom I'd worked with to date.
Having put some of the difficult things to one side, in fact totally ignoring them for periods of time and sticking my head in the sand (may not have been the right thing), I eventually came to terms and accepted that this had been more of a challenge than expected and took my head out of the sand and started to make some progress in some areas and have continued to make progress in others.
I've spent time writing blogs, categorising them for those who don't want to read about certain subjects. They aren't perfect but its given me something to focus on, instead trying to learn or understand about the things that I couldn't work out how to do, wasting even more time. It's also allowed me to make contact with expats on other islands who have chosen to live there and can share their stories with me and you.
I also decided that it was a good idea to place some of the pages I had previously set up on old website into new 'Frequently Asked Questions' module, this was I thought a great idea as the questions and answers can all be categorised for FAQ Investors, FAQ Visa's and more. I thought I would cut down on the number of pages I had on the site by having related items with links to answers in one place. Ha, I'd fooled myself into believing I had resolved the issue of having too many pages, but then I was informed that the answers to each question also needed to be treated like a page, with a full page of information, meta data and search engine optimisation! I sometimes have good ideas but don't know the consequences....that's what experts are for!
So, the 200 FAQ's or so in the different categories, will have to wait, as I need to work on other areas of the website, modules, web apps and more!