with a little help from our friends
Our website, www.nineofcups.com, is becoming pretty antiquated, and we've come to the painful decision that we can't put off updating it any longer. We have a prototype of the new version, and are hoping we can enlist our friends to give us some feedback before we get too committed.
We started building our website in 2002, and the tools available at that time were pretty rudimentary. We were using a predecessor to Yahoo Sitebuilder which required an online connection to build each page … a real pain when we were paying by the minute for a verrrry slow connection at an internet cafe on some remote island. Then, we discovered Yahoo Sitebuilder. This gave us the capability of making updates and building new pages offline, then posting them to the website in batches.
Marcie took on the task of updating the website, and has been continually adding to it over the years. It now contains almost 300 pages. She has posted not only thousands of photos and the associated text documenting our travels, but dozens of “how-to's”, reprints of many of our articles, insights into the cruising life, a host of other photo collections and a miscellany of useful information.
We've continued to use Sitebuilder and have kept the same format all these years. Unfortunately, we are discovering more and more issues with our website. One problem is that Sitebuilder doesn't make it easy to construct a “mobile friendly” website, A page that looks good when viewed by a laptop is marginal when viewed on a tablet and totally garbled on a smart phone. To add insult to injury, we recently received an email from Google informing us that we would no longer be included in their searches if we didn't make our 300 pages mobile friendly.
Another problem is that a page that looks good on one browser often appears poorly formatted on another browser (or even a different version of the same browser, for that matter). The text often gets re-positioned behind a photo, for example. Marcie went through all of our webpages and reformatted each and every one one not too long ago, only to have the problem crop up again a few months later.
There were a number of other annoying issues with Sitebuilder, and so, we bit the bullet and decided to redo good old nineofcups.com. It would be great if there was a software package that would allow us to just import our old website and reformat it into something new and sleek, but this just isn't possible. We will have to manually cut and paste the contents of every page from the old format to our new format. This is obviously going to be a big job, something we might be able to get a large portion of done on our Atlantic crossing. Before we go to all that effort, however, we want to make damn sure we do it right.
After researching the available packages, we bought some new website software, and have started experimenting with new website templates. We figured out one we like and have constructed a few pages using it. Before we really jump into it and start converting those 300 pages, we thought we would pass it by you, our friends, and get your input.
If you go to our website, www.nineofcups.com, and click on the link on the right side of the webpage, it will take you to the new format. Alternatively, especially if you you want to check it out on a mobile device, click here.
We would really appreciate any feedback you have – good or bad. Did we miss something? Do you have suggestions? How can we do it better? Are there other similar websites that you really like and could recommend for aesthetics, ease of use, functionality or content? We're open to all suggestions. We'd love your input.