The Haves and the Have Nots Blog

In our earlier blog we told you that we selected  Site Sell as the host for our website. This blog, as promised, is my unsolicited review of Site Sell, the good the bad and the ugly.

Once I opened Site Sell, I immediately began searching for templates. A template is simply the overall look of your site. Mom and I had found a beautiful, abstract picture that we thought was the one. So I downloaded it, found a template that complimented it and began designing. I entered quite a bit of information to our site before I invited mom over and showed her. Immediately she hated the picture, but luckily for us, Site Sell makes it relatively easy to readjust all of your previously entered data to fit a new template if you decide that it just isn’t for you.

Site Sell has four main buttons:

  • Site Designer: where you will design your site. You will choose a design template, adjust fonts and text colors to headers, body, footers, or upload a background image until your website sparkles.
  • Block Builder: where you will add content in the form of blocks. This is where your storyboard comes in handy. You begin by adding a tier one, two or three page and then dragging and dropping text blocks, images, headlines or a raw html until your site speaks to your readers.
  • Site Navigation: where you organize the navigation bar and content pages until your site is easy to read.
  • Libraries: where you will store your images, video clips, reusable blocks and such so that they are readily available when you need them. (I didn’t explore this one as thoroughly as the others.)

Have: there are some really great resources in the form of videos that helped me navigate this site rather easily. I was having such a hard time on one particular issue and I had to search through quite a few videos to find the solution. It happened to be in another section that I never would’ve thought to look in, even though it was related. So as a tip, if you can stand it, do watch the videos first. 

If you are the type to read the instruction manual first, you will have no problems in Site Sell. If you are one, like me, that only reads an instruction manual or watches a video when you've run into a problem, than it is not impossible but be prepared to sit through quite a few videos searching for the answer you need. Luckily, they are short and they are designed for those that have some sense. I really hate those instructional videos where they just assume you are the dumbest person on the planet and speak to you like such. 

Site Sell has some have nots. Site designer and Block Builder are the ones you will use most often and I found myself toggling between them quite frequently but it became a hassle because I had to save my work first before I could toggle between either one or my progress was lost. But in some instances, I didn’t want to save my work, just preview it. Block Builder has a Preview button that is extremely helpful that I wish Site Designer had. Here are a few more have nots:

  1. Don’t expect to have a search bar come standard in Site Sell, something I thought was very frustrating. You have to code it in using Google Analytics. It is supposed to be a simple process but I had some delays so hang in there.
  2. We wanted to change the background on certain pages but changing the background on one page affects all pages. It would take some coding to change things on specific pages.
  3. We wanted to do a map/diagram to show the process of how a claim begins at a Dr.’s office and the journey it takes to complete. We even built a tier one tab in for it. Unfortunately, blocks are specific and must be put down in a certain pattern. There is no way to break the flow in order to create a map that is pleasing to the eye; unless, again, you knew coding. We opted to forego this concept and make a written version in Chapter 6 entitled Claim Journey.

I have yet to figure out the coding so some of the things I would still like to do on the site will be postponed until I have more time to dedicate to the project. I actually enjoy this type of thing and am excited to learn it but I have been so busy trying to keep to our schedule that specific, cosmetic, thing such as changing backgrounds, adding maps and videos, etc., are just not urgent enough to justify pushing back deadlines in order to make happen. I plan to circle back at some point in the future and spice up 1500pays in some unique ways. But so far, I actually really love this site and I think it is telling our story nicely.

Our site is still a work in progress and I have been adding new content almost daily (phew, I can't wait for this part to be done) which means I am not done learning all of the neat things I can do with Site Sell so I may be updating this blog at least once. But I hope, for now, this is an introduction into what to expect. I definitely recommend Site Sell if you are mildly creative and somewhat tech savvy. I also recommend ShutterStock if you need an image when free clip art just won’t do.

It may seem like we have it all together, but if you only knew the half. Up next, the five essential steps to maintaining your sanity.

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