Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Time For A Little Downsizing

If you've been following along with my blogs and websites over the last ten years you know that the "dollies" and I have had quite a few websites and quite a few blogs. Ten years ago for a small business owner to have a website online that you had control over you basically had to either create your own using HTML or some comparable software that could publish to the web and then FTP (file transfer protocol) it to what-ever service provider was hosting your website and domain name.

I wanted to be able to update my website whenever I wanted and change it whatever way I wished. As a result my first two websites were created in Publisher and FTP'd to my hosting accounts at GoDaddy where my two domain names resided. I used Paypal HTML coding back then and had to copy and paste their payment HTML coding for every item I wanted to sell. While I had complete control over my website design the coding was tedious at best.

When instant download e-patterns came along I used PayloadZ and Paypal to handle the "Buy Now" capabilities. This, too, utilized HTML coding which, again, was tedious at best.

So, before long I outgrew the capabilities of these two websites and needed websites with more sophisticated shopping carts and with the ability to handle instant download e-products. So, I decided to open two new websites utilizing a CubeCart shopping cart at In A Pickle Web Design, which is owned by Annie Kelly.

With the two new websites with Annie I now had 4 websites and a GoDaddy Website Tonight "About Me" page. Two of the websites I was still maintaining with Publisher and transferring via FTP to GoDaddy, two I was maintaining using the In A Pickle Web Design CubeCart interface, and one I was maintaining through GoDaddy.

Five websites, however, wasn't all I had. I had jumped on the blogging craze back in 2003 utilizing an AOL blog, then a Yahoo 360 blog, and then several blogs. For me blogging was the perfect solution for disseminating information about your small business and letting your customers get to know you. Back then, however, there was a lot of skepticism about blogging with some small business owners even claiming they would never buy anything off a blog. Not me. I took a giant step forward and stopped issuing newsletters. I jumped on the blogging band wagon and have never looked back.

My online interests continued to expand over the years as well as my doll & craft interests. Over time my blogs multiplied as each had a different audience and, therefore, a different subject to discuss. So, at one point in time I had 5 websites, 18 blogs, an Etsy shop, a Zibbet shop, 3 Zazzle shops, and several other secondary e-pattern and handmade goods online selling venues. I also had a topsite, several plugboards, and a lot of social media pages and/or groups to maintain.

Needless to say after ten years this had all become too much to handle so I decided to start downsizing gradually. The first to go were the plugboards, followed by half of my blogs, followed by several social media communities and groups, followed by some of the selling venues.

The first of this year I decided to consolidate all of my websites into one selling website that could handle not only all my e-products, all my print patterns, and all my handmade goods but be expandable so it is able to be displayed correctly on all the desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices out there.

I did a lot of research and decided to create my new Linda Walsh Originals Shop at GoDaddy utilizing their Quick Shopping Cart. What I liked about the GoDaddy website is that it would handle all of my different businesses under one roof as well as all my handmade products and all my e-products.

I have a section for my Handmade Animals, Dolls & Crafts, a section for my E-Patterns and Print Patterns, a section for my Custom Fabric Designs handmade products, a section for It's Raining Doll Parties, a section for Alpacas Rock, a section for It's Raining Baby Showers, a section for Gray Is Beautiful, a section for my sister's Inspired Creations By D products, a section for my E-Printable and Printed Printable Sets products, and a section for my E-Books.

It also has a wonderful feature that allows you to have different skins for the holidays and seasons. I could save the skins I liked and easily change the look of my website for the holidays and seasons.

I also decided to upgrade my Linda Walsh Originals Information website which is a GoDaddy Website Tonight website to be an "About me" portfolio with multiple pages of sorts for Linda Walsh Originals.

I'm still in the process of critiquing my business interests as well as my creative interests so don't be surprised if there are a few more changes to come. Sometimes too much is too much and down sizing is good for the soul.

I hope you have a chance to visit my new Linda Walsh Originals Shop  and my Linda Walsh Originals Information page and would love to know what you think.

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