I’ve Been Stuck in Web Site Hell…

…Since January. Every available penny has gone into financing the build of a new web site with an integrated blog and an E-Commerce page where I can market the audio book versions of my novel directly to the public.

Sales have dropped into the basement since there was no money to put into marketing and promotion. When the first version of the new site (following a month of work by the ‘design team’ I paid for the work turned out to be no better than my current site, I contacted my web hosting company and they put their people on it. That was on the 4th of April.

So today, 7 May, the new web site went Live. On the wrong domain (there seems to be a law that nothing –absolutely nothing – can ever be done right the first or even the second time). I contacted the design team when I realized what was going on, right at 7:30 pm. Of course the issue – transferring the web site to my domain name – did not get done before 8:00 pm when everyone went home for the night. In fact, I spent so much of that time on hold did not even get to speak to anyone who could do the job.

I sent an email to the project manager and told him that he had – again – failed to do his job, and that he had to get the site moved over to my domain. All that money and time invested and all I have to show for it is one screw-up after another. Two months worth of screw-ups by people who simply can not or will not do their jobs in a professional manner.

This new web site and the e-commerce page are going to cost me around $200.00 a month once everything is live. I mean to get everything I’m paying for, and it had better work as advertised.

I’ve worked in software and web site development and made some very nice money for that industry. I fail to see how these people manage to keep their jobs.

As of this writing, my new web site is live at www.garyshowalter.org, when it should be on www.garyshowalter.com. I hope to get this matter resolved first thing in the morning; after I get the stock fed and watered, the plants into the new garden and the seeds into the growing pots. Then I have to get out into the front paddock and get some herbicide on the brushy weeds and vines I could not spray while the horses were kept there.

Then I can come in, cool off a bit and make some phone calls. Please note my priorities. There are no accidents here. Real life first; then dream-stuff.

You might notice that I have NOT given you the names of the two companies I worked with on the two attempts to build my new site. That is not an accident. However, please do take seriously this suggestion: do NOT expect miracles or even mild wonders when you contract with anyone to build a web site for you. You will not only be very disappointed, you will be much less affluent than you were, and probably for very little in return.

Be practical in your expectations, be generous in your praise and quick in your replies and responses for files and text, be clear and precise in your requests for edits and changes, and be patient. In the end, you will get the web site look and feel you want. But it will not come easy, or quick.

Above all, be persistent. Do not give up, however much you might wish to do just that. go outside, breath some fresh air, plant a garden, trim a tree, kill some weeds; do REAL stuff with your life and forget the damn web site for a while.

Then go back inside, pick up the phone and call your project manager and speak your mind. You ARE paying him (or her) to do a job for you. Get what you want, not what he (or she) chooses to give you. It’s your money, and a big part of your future. For the project manager and his (or her) design team, it’s just another job.

All I want to do is write novels (and sell them for big bucks, of course). How did I get involved in all of this crap?


About Gary Showalter

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making. In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel. During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites. Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008. His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print. Mr. Showalter's third novel, “Twisted Key”, was published in the fall of 2011, and his fourth novel, "Lonesome Cove" is now available in Kindle format and should be published in paper near the end of 2012. Those words were written a few years ago. Frankly speaking, the literary well has dried up. I now live in Dunnellon, Fl, where I amworking as the caretaker on a horse farm and looking to build a workshop here on the property where I can get back to building furniture. With any luck I will be sinking piers some time early in November and hope to have the floor joists ready for flooring by the end of the month. I'll get back to you on that.
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