Wow, I am impressed! Yesterday my husband read an article in the local newspaper about a local online business woman and her web design business and emailed me to ask if it was who he thought it was! Sure enough, it was Miriam Ellis, my sister-in-law’s sister! She has created a beautiful Mexican dress pattern for sale and turned it into a brilliant little side business for herself, selling downloads of the pattern for $5. What an ingenious idea! Write an e-book once, sell it for eternity. I’ve got to think of something like that… Hmmm…! The site is full of information related to the topic as well and I am sure she has some very happy customers!
Miriam and her husband also run Solas Web Design which specializes in creating websites that are Search Engine Optimized (SEO) to start with. Their site has all kinds of great articles and commentary as well as a spectacular portfolio of their designs (I was drooling!)
I’ve been learning so much about SEO and optimizing my own business website mainly through participating in Cricket Walker’s free SEO classes which are taught through a self-paced email course. When I found Miriam’s web design business I was so thrilled to see her sound advice and SEO-friendly designs. So many web designers out there just go for the sparkle and flash and then their customers wonder why customers can’t find them!
I have always been a do-it-yourself-er when it comes to web design. I started with one of those “free” sites about 10 years ago (remember Heartland at Geocities?) and when I started my business I graduated to a simple webpage hosted on a server. My cousin (do you see a family theme here?) Cheryl, who owns An Occasional Chocolate now, was then a web designer and helped me get started. Back then, we were hand coding everything in plain text! Then Cheryl turned me on to WYSIWYG html editors, starting with Claris Homepage and moving on to Dreamweaver, which is what I still use. Wow, that program is heaven compared to how I started!
So now my challenge is to work on my websites regularly to bring them up to speed SEO-wise and then work on design. Today when I was checking comments on my Fun Activities for Kids blog, I saw a comment from Heather at GirlyBlogDesignz, who suggested I look at her site for some premade WordPress templates. To make a long story short, she has the perfect one for this blog! I want it. Bad. I hope I get it! If so you will see a brand new look here soon.
If you know of any other premade WordPress template design sites, let me know. I could use one for the Fun Activities blog as well as my WAHM-Tips blog. Free or cheap is what I am after but I guess I am pretty picky since Heather’s Minimal Mom design is the first one to really appeal to me that I’ve seen browsing around.
Eventually I will be redesigning my main business website. It’s had basically the same design for nearly 9 years now and needs a new look. I won’t change it until I have all my pages SEO’d though. I am working through them one at a time, usually about one a month at the rate I’ve been going, so it will be a while! Last I checked I had 305 pages. Sigh. Thankfully, after I contacted her last night through her web design site, Miriam offered up some GREAT tips for my site that I can implement right away. Thanks Miriam! I’m off to straighten out my navigation…!Until next time...