In case you are wondering if I forgot that this is supposed to be a blog about starting/running a business, this one is for you! Everything we have done this last year has been about business, but indirectly. We have fixed up our house, sold it, said goodbye to 19 years in Pennsylvania and moved to TN. Once we arrived here, we have built a barn for inventory storage and workshop space.
And now…back to business.
On the side, while my Sleeves were an hour away in a storage unit, I have been developing a website to sell shell crafts that my aunt and I make with mostly Sanibel Island shells. It has brought back to me all the brain stretching that takes place when starting a business.
I decided to try building a WordPress website using a purchased ecommerce theme, kinda like a template that is already made for you and then you add your own images (see, I have been affected. Normally I would use the word “photos” but after working with the site for a couple weeks, I almost automatically said “images”) and content.
I chose the theme called “estore” from elegent themes. I had already purchased the elegant theme package because I plan to transfer my You’re Getting Warmer website to their “boutique” theme. And you pay $39 a year and have access to several dozen of their themes and can use as many of them as you want. So it didn’t cost me anything more to use it.
Here is a link to the estore theme so you can see what it looks like. It will open in a new window so you can come back here after you look at it. http://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/estore/
Then I had to figure out what to do with hosting. That is the company that you pay to “host” your website, to make it visible on the web. It is usually $100-200 per year, depending on your plan and how you pay. I use DreamHost, which was recommended to me by a techie friend when I started You’re Getting Warmer. As I researched, I discovered that my current plan with DreamHost supports numerous websites, so adding this new one didn’t cost me anything more than I was already paying…nice!
So it is not finished, and if you compare it from day to day, you will see changes and things that need fixing, but if you want a sneak peek, you can go to www.lowtidetreasure and check it out. Make sure and click on all the little thumbnails and links so you can see what it does! I am just installing a shopping cart, and it has messed with some of my backgrounds and colors, but in time I will get it all tweaked back the way I want it.
Working with this theme has taken me dozens of hours. Like learning a totally new language–which it is because I have never done anything like it before. I am hoping that now the changes that I make to You’re Getting Warmer will be easier because I understand more how WordPress works.
Just when I think I am on the home stretch, I install the shopping cart and find that there are probably hours of figuring out how to tweak it for what I need. And that I need a “child theme” to save the changes I have made to the code to customize the theme, and that I need to have a way to backup the database and files in case DreamHost would have a catastrophic failure. So back to the world of ftp, css and gb’s I go, armed only with determination and stubbornness! I will keep you posted….
Leaving you with a photo of one of our shell fragment sculptures that Cody took using his incredible light painting process. Great to have a photographer in the family!