What happens when a web site is out of date? Google sends you ominous emails saying your site is not "mobile friendly," which is clearly a bad thing (...cue the scary music.) The tricky part was that each one of my 40+ books had a separate page with a good amount of relevant information and I couldn’t figure out how to easily transfer all these pages to the new site. This stalled all progress for awhile until I decided to downsize the new site, leave out the older book pages, and create an archive instead. All of the individual pages have been reformatted into a free downloadable PDF guide to Loreen Leedy books available on this site or in my TPT shop.
My books relate to many topics in the elementary school curriculum so this guide is designed to be helpful for parents, teachers, and librarians. The titles are divided into the categories Math, Language Arts, Science and Nature, Social Studies, Holidays, and Fiction. Each page has a summary, reviews, excerpt, cataloging and illustration details, an image, and an activity related to the subject matter. Some sections have an bonus page or two of additional book extensions. The guide is 50 pages, and will be updated when new books are released.
Redoing a web site is a big job but we all live online these days and increasingly on our phones so one has to channel Hansel and Gretel and toss out those breadcrumbs so people can find us. I had been using an old version of Dreamweaver which was functional but only just, and could not create a mobile site (or it was beyond my ability to figure out how!) What I was looking for in a site-builder was the following:
• Behind-the-scenes updates to keep the site functioning without me having to think about it
• Good design options with a variety of themes, fonts, colors, layouts, and so on
• A built-in blog
• Reasonably easy to update and figure out the tech stuff
• The ability to have an online shop (haven’t utilized it yet...)
• Not overly expensive
Squarespace was the one I ended up using and it has worked out well. Like most interfaces it was kind of confusing at first but I kept looking stuff up in the Help files and sent an email or two to Customer Support. The answers came within a few hours and helped me fix a couple of glitches such as navigation links hidden behind images (the pages needed more “padding.”)
I haven’t added everything that could potentially be on my site but at least the major breadcrumbs have been sprinkled around, such as information about my recent books and links to my classroom resource shop. So far I’ve left my old Blogger blog as is, with a final post directing readers here. Someone knowledgeable suggested that I redirect posts from my old blog (somehow) but honestly it doesn’t seem that urgent to me. Maybe if I planned to “monetize” this web site the traffic numbers would matter but since I hate random ads in the middle of blog posts, that’s not going to happen.
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Thanks for stopping by and happy reading, teaching, creating, or whatever you're up to!