My in-laws are a smart bunch. My belle-soeur, H, is writing up a thesis which contains “a spatial-biographical approach” in its title. Ordinarily, research thesis titles are designed to baffle the lay reader, but this description actually helps to elucidate and clarify what her thesis sets out to do.

My own research into website design has been patchy because I know that I don’t have the time to carry out an in depth study of all the pros and cons. On the other hand, I have worked in and with IT for 30 odd years, so I have acquired a lot of knowledge along the way about best practice, things to avoid and how to keep control of a project.

You might think that with all that experience it should be simple for me to create the sort of website I need to start an editing/proofreading enterprise.

Unfortunately not. I dipped my toes into the water a couple of years ago with a website that was very belt and braces, i.e. I adapted a template for selling products online to a form based site to provide customised poems that rhymed for special occasions. I had one customer, Kevin, a personal friend of longstanding.

OK, my marketing for that website was dire, but the look and feel just wasn’t right, no matter how practical it was to operate.

To further my understanding of using WordPress as the platform for my website (, I will be attending WordCamp in Belfast. Hopefully I will meet people who get what I am trying to achieve – a low cost start up business, where I retain control of the content management and site maintenance. The specifics of secure file transfer and online payments I will leave to the experts. I know enough to select building blocks, but not the knowledge yet how to incorporate them.


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