Sometimes it’s hard being a small business – but we manage

Today we want to take some time to say thank you to everyone who has been a loyal fan and friend to us over the last 21 months. We’ve come a long way in that time and we couldn’t have done it without you.

The site that you see now is actually our third complete iteration and that’s what we wanted to talk to you about; its history, and possibly its future too. We started off using a largely templated webs.com site with little room for customisation. Within months we knew that this wasn’t right for us as a long term solution – while it helped us to get started it was far too restrictive so we moved. Our next home was with Wix.com – their drag and drop Flash based interface really allowed us to hone our brand image. We think our website was provided through them from December 2010 to September 2011. If it hadn’t been a Flash website we might have stayed with Wix for longer but with a growing majority of people accessing the web through phones and tablets we needed a solution that everyone could view.

In July 2011 Kevin started working on the current website. A lot of the look and feel was based on the Flash site that Danny and David devised but this time it was entirely hand coded with W3 compliant HMTL and CSS. It took eight drafts to go from concept to being ready to launch – and took nearly six weeks to code while working on other projects. A busy schedule meant the site wasn’t actually launched until late September. We’re afraid we never made a note of the date so that will remain forever a mystery. We know it was before October 7th but not exactly when.

Since then the site has continued to evolve and today we launched version 0.13 – this time we’ve finished off the Resources section, added a link to Leaf Books and at last have a fully functional shop (Okay, we cheated and enabled the shop 11 days ago). It’s March now, we hear you asking, and the latest whole version of the site appeared just over four months ago – why did it take so long to get a shop working? The answer is simple: manpower. Even though we have a team of dedicated and hardworking people editing, marketing, researching and doing lots of other things ending in ‘ing’ we’re still a small team and sometimes we can’t do everything. At least not in the timeframe that we’d like. This is where we thank Stefan, our frequently sleep-deprived web guy, for helping out and offering coding advice at 3am on so many occasions – without him we’d have taken twice as long to get the site as far as it has come.

So, the site works, it looks great and it’s starting to be a useful resource. What’s next?Well, the links section could do with an overhaul and we’re still working on our retailers and bookgroups sections. There are also still a few bugs and glitches (but they’re a lot rarer now than they used to be) to iron out. We’re also looking at ways to improve the effectiveness of this blog. What would you like to see here? Interviews? Commentary on the state of the industry? More of Dr Deadstar (who has been mysteriously quiet for many months now… maybe we should go down to his lab sometime and make sure he’s not up to anything dastardly…)?

That’s it for now. We’ll just finish off by saying that we’re getting really close to 500 fans on Facebook and you really want to be there when it happens.

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