Nooooooh!!! That was the wail from our office the day we decided, after years of discussion, to develop a new website for Huff Harrington. We have a lot of history with our old website and the decision to move to a new one was not taken lightly. In fact, you could say that one of us greeted the new venture with less grace and maturity than a cranky child: kicking, screaming and boo-hooing all the way.
Maybe some of you who have been with us from the beginning will relate to our sentimental attachment. Do you remember Ann’s home based gallery, “Gal-du-Sud” (which she thought was such a sexy and clever name, until she realized her clients were pronouncing it “sud” like soap sud)? That little website ended abruptly, with a thud! But the seed was planted and the four-page website for “Gal do Thud” morphed into the new and improved Ann Huff Fine Art, which eventually blossomed into Huff Harrington Fine Art.
That’s when we both started having a blast creating the website, adding inter-connected pages upon pages with our new found knowledge, until anyone who had the patience to do so was forced to bounce from one page to another, often with no point of return. We knew we’d gone overboard when we heard, “it took me 26 clicks to get to the page with the house in Provence, and now I can’t find it.” We now admit that our new found gadget turned us into little techno monsters, a little like when we first started using word processing software and discovered all the different cool and exciting fonts (remember that?)
But still, this was our website which we built from scratch and were proud of it. In fact, it’s embarrassing to admit that the website has been -- and continues to be -- a rather significant source of pride for one of us who is so technically challenged that she can’t even operate the universal remote control for the TV (shown here with all the instructions her patient family has left for her, next to the remote).
Even our IT guy, who initially rolled his eyes when we couldn’t distinguish the modem from the router on our computer, was visibly impressed that we’d created the website from scratch. “You did this?” he asked, incredulously, “I couldn’t even do this!” and went on to anoint us the defacto techno queens of Huff Harrington Fine Art. (That is, until the younger generation came along – and the baton was quickly passed on, along with the crown jewels.)
Still, we have both enjoyed maintaining the light, fun and conversational tone of our website and having complete and instant control over its content. We know our website’s quirks, foibles and personality disorders, and are intimately familiar with how to work around them. We’ve also enjoyed the comments from our readers which have been mostly so positive and supportive. So as we struggle to give up our old website, we want to make sure that we don’t lose that wonderful dialog we’ve established along the way. In fact, giving up this control is one of the toughest things for us, as we are admittedly ever so slightly controling (no, really?).
Unfortunately, our little website has huge design limitations and we realize that especially now, with Huff Harrington Home, it can’t do justice to our growing product line or reflect the look we seek. It’s kind of like a first home: A little too small but entirely reliable, utterly familiar and completely comfortable. Giving it up is tough, but in order to accommodate the growing family, we realize it’s time to move to the new neighborhood – which is a horrible scary feeling, even if the house is bigger and prettier and on a fancy new street.
So while everyone else is jumping up and down, some of us have been whining a little, dragging our feet and rolling our eyes. We’re not quite ready for the new house yet even if we do get to pick out all the colors and finishes.
I mean really, do we want to leave the comfort of this:
Oh gosh, look at Meg. She’s already packing her bags and ready to move!
That leaves just one of us, kicking and screaming by herself, and that’s never a good thing. Maybe I need to give it one more chance. Hmmm ... an "Artists' Page" with all artists listed alphabetically. I could get used to this!
Or this – a section for the home store:
Or this? (With all the categories of merchandise cleanly labeled for the home store)
OK, I'm ready to move! What about you? Will you join us in the new 'hood? We certainly hope so. Stay tuned and we'll send you the address!
PS. Oh and by the way, they’re making noises about having to change our blog now too. Noooooooooo!