the importance of them.
For the past several weeks, I've been busy working on rebuilding my website. I've had the same website URL for twelve years, and it has served me well, even though it recently survived a near catastrophe.
Two years ago, a German web designer by the name of Cedrik contacted me. He told me he was learning flash design and looking for an American website, one that was in need of sprucing up, to learn flash design on. Someone gave him my name and email address. He took one look at my website and told me, "Katy (this is how he pronounced Cathy), your website is so old! But, you have many, many back links -- I don't know how you have so many back links because your website is very bad!" Then he said if I would allow him to work on it, redesign it in flash, it would be a website I would be proud of.
I asked him how much this would cost, since my pockets weren't very deep. His answer was ... "Katy, this will be free, because I will be learning. I want to be good flash designer in America." I decided "free" worked, but only because Cedrik was treating it like a project to learn from, and because he insisted that it must be free. His only stipulation was, that I was to tell no one it was free because if he got business in the States because of it, he would charge them a fee. That again seemed to make sense and I agreed.
We used Skype to communicate. Surprisingly, Cedrik had a reasonable grasp of English, but I knew only a smattering of German. During the redesign, we butted heads a lot, mostly over things I felt were necessary to keep in the website, like my AdSense ads, for instance. I was receiving about $100/month in income from the ads. Cedrik adamantly refused to put ads on the new website. I couldn't seem to make him understand, that was $1200 a year he was simply throwing away. After arguing about it for a week, I begrudgingly went along because after all, he was not charging me.
Cedrik then said my link pages were gone, as well. That point I argued vehemently. It had taken me eleven years to build my link pages. He was so angry that he disappeared for a week, so I also had to concede that issue. He just didn't understand. I talked it over with Robert and we decided those were all things I could add again later, once the website was finished.
The day finally arrived when the flashy flash website went public -- it truly was a work of art. Within a couple of months, the website had even won two awards for its design. I was thrilled for Cedrik. He had made his mark in America. Then the proverbial crap hit the fan. I did a couple of new school visits, and when I went into my website manager, I found I was unable to add the schools or any corrections to my website.
I contacted Cedrik, who told me he would change my website to the new html 5, which would allow me to make changes myself. He also talked about adding another page to the website, one I had asked him to add for a poet friend's work. Weeks passed, and then months, and I was unable to contact him. I had more school visits I needed to add to update my references and I was unable to access my website manager.
When I finally talked with Cedrik, he informed me that he was now too busy to change it to html 5. However, if I would like to retain him to build me a new website, one that was in html 5, he would put me on the waiting list -- but he would charge me for the new one. I asked why he hadn't told me this flash website would be something I could never make changes to. I reminded him that he promised he would change it to html 5. Nothing I said made a difference. I had no choice but to trash everything and start over ...
I am actively looking for children's writers, authors, schools, librarians, teachers, literally anyone with a valuable link or resource to exchange links with me. If you're interested, please contact me, either through an email or a comment on this blog. Thank you so much!
CJ's Barking Spiders Poetry Website
... oh, and do yourself a favor. If a web designer named Cedrik, from CJ Design, contacts you ... don't walk away. RUN.