Conquering the Tech, For Now

Tuesday, January 24, 2023


Photo by Pexels

Tech and I don’t get along. I’m sure that’s a statement a lot of my fellow writers can get on board with. I hate installing software updates on my computer on phone, have neglected my writing blog because every time I log into it I have to relearn how to format blog posts , and can’t remember how I set up the RSS feed for my podcast a few years ago. 

I’ve known for months that I wanted (and needed) a website specifically for my podcast, Missing in the Carolinas. Initially I had set up a podcast page on my writing blog,, but the formatting was glitchy and I felt like it didn’t flow very well. This past summer I reached out to an acquaintance of mine who also has a podcast and asked if he knew anyone who could help me create a new website. I think I’ve discussed here before that it didn’t work out, we weren’t on the same page on what I wanted, and while she created great photography, we had communication issues that prevented the new website design from happening. 

I researched a bit and thought I had found an affordable template I could install on WordPress. But after I purchased it, I opened the PDF of instructions and couldn’t read past the first paragraph. There was something about inserting the code into the SQL or something along those lines, and I realized I was in way over my head. I know nothing about coding and programming. I requested a refund from the company (they said they had a 14-day money back guarantee) and started exploring WordPress templates suggested by GoDaddy, who is my website host and the place I purchase my domains. I found one that I could install easily right into WordPress, and started playing around with it. 

I quickly grew frustrated. I liked the design of the homepage, but I couldn’t figure out how to get other features to work and I have so much content to migrate into the site. I assumed the site wasn’t live while I was playing around with it. Imagine my shock when I realized yesterday the site was indeed live, and it looked terrible because nothing was complete. After screaming out a few choice words and almost having a panic attack, I sat down in front of my computer yesterday and didn’t move for several hours. Once I got my hands in it, I figured out what I needed to do and how to use the plugins to give the site extra features. WordPress also has great stock photography to choose from if you need it. If you’re thinking a lot of this sounds like gibberish, I get it. But the template only cost $69, and the site is now in a workable form. While I’ll be uploading files for the next few months, I’m happy with what I have so far. The next step is to migrate all the true crime content off my old writer blog and give that a facelift, too. 

Oh well. One thing at a time. You can check out my work in progress here. 

What kind of relationship do you have with technology? Can you relate to my website woes?

Renee Roberson is an award-winning writer who also hosts the true crime podcast, Missing in the Carolinas. She won't be picking up freelance work designing websites anytime soon.


Cathy C. Hall said...

First things first--your website looks great!! Easy to navigate, just the right tone of eerie/true crime vibe, and of course, well-written.

I did laugh out loud reading your post,'ll see when my post comes up tomorrow. :-) And for what it's worth, I feel the same way about Wordpress; they made changes and I have to relearn every time I do a blog post (Blogger is MUCH more accessible, in my opinion). Building a new website is next on my agenda but I can't think about that today. Today, I need a nap! Hahahaha!

Angela Mackintosh said...

Renee, you did a great job! Your website looks fantastic, and the design all flows. :)

As you know, I relate to your tech journey. I don't even want to get started with all the potential upgrades that went wrong or never materialized. I've done the same thing before when staging a website and accidentally had it publish live. Don't feel so bad though, recently one of the literary journals I published in sent me a "proof" link and told me not to share it with anyone. Then one of my wonderfully supportive writing buddies shared the link on social media and told me about it. I had to ask her to remove it until they "officially" went live. I asked her how she found it and she said she did a search and it popped up in Google. Apparently, even prestigious journals also have embarrassing tech issues!

I like Wordpress, but I don't like how frequently you have to update plugins.

Renee Roberson said...

Cathy--I'm so glad you can relate to my angst! I can't wait to read your upcoming post. I feel like WordPress is wasted on me because it does have a lot of good features available, I just don't know how to use them! And thank you for the kind words about what I've put together so far.

Angela--That's funny about the writing journal that didn't realize they were already live. I was so mortified when I realized my half-baked website was up, especially because I put out a few episodes recently that have gotten more downloads than usual. I was terrified someone would google the podcast and see that hot mess. I guess the upside is that I was forced to get it done quickly. I feel like I learned a lot more about how the site needed to be architected, and I'm going to slowly add all the content into the episode archives for people that prefer to read and not listen to the podcast. I also figured out how to fix some things on my writer website that I'd been putting off. I'm glad you like what I've done so far! The template, Podcast Guru Pro, has been a good fit.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

We all feel your pain. Like you, I often have to be backed into a corner before I figure something out. Unless I decide it is all going to be great fun and inadvertently create a metric ton of work for myself.

I giggled at your story of accidentally posting the site and Angela's story of the journal. A friend came to me and told me that Yahoo's Groups weren't secure and I don't even remember what she was worried about. Poking around, I discovered that you could find attached documents if you searched on their keywords.

Tech. It's amazing except when it isn't.

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