Jun 252008

Having been inspired by the theme for Stewart’s new blog, I had a look at others by the same person and decided I like this new one. The main reason I like it is that it is 3-column, but more unusually for a WordPress theme, it’s variable width and that’s just one of my little quirks – I like the page to fill the browser window.

btw – Stewart’s new blog is hosted by me. I’ve decided to use my techie background to offer web hosting and design services in order to bring in a little cash over the summer. If you’re interested in anything ‘webbie’, please get in touch.

Jun 062008

Apart from a small handful of pulpit supply dates, I have, once again, struggled to find gainful employment this summer. So I’ve decided to take a small gamble (am I allowed to do that?) and I am going to try to turn my hobby of web design into a way of getting some extra pocket money. The gamble is in ordering a reseller hosting account so that, as well as offering web design, I can also offer web hosting. I’ve been involved in using and sourcing web hosting for about 10 years now and I’ve experienced the good, the bad and the seriously ugly. My reseller account is with a company I’ve been with for a number of years now. It’s not the cheapest or the most generous, but it’s solid and reliable and the tech support is first rate.

I’ve had a look through the list of churches in our local presbytery and there’s only a handful with any sort of website. So, even locally, there’s scope for some business. The good thing is that the Church of Scotland are offering grants to congregations who want to establish a website. I can help them spend some of that money.

I also decided to see if any local tech support/web design companies might want to sub-contract work to me. Well, I have to say that I was absolutely appalled at some some of the websites done by so-called professionals – missing links, email addresses that don’t work, badly formatted pages, out-of-date information. It’s a sad reflection, I think, when an amateur like me can do better than the professionals. And the thing is, they’ve no real excuse. Many of them are using the same webscripts I use – Joomla! and WordPress.

So, if anyone out there has a website they need designed and hosted, give me a shout. It’ll be a week until I have my reseller account, but after that it’s all systems go.

May 132008

Yesterday was my second, and last. exam of the semester and for third year at uni. Not one of my better ones it has to be said, but I should have done enough for a comfortable pass. It was a bit difficult to focus on the revision after last week’s news – that’s my excuse anyway.

But now I have to turn my attention to more mundane matters, like work for the summer. Ideally I’d like to be getting more church experience and I’ve been offered bits an pieces of pulpit supply. It would be nice to get broader experience, but so few churches seem to be looking for assistants at the moment. I do have one possibility in the area but it needs to be approved by Ministries Council so I’m not holding my breath.

The other thing I could pick up on is website design. I was thinking of using (abusing?) the presbytery list to see if any churches in the area wanted a website done. I’ve recently put together a site for Falkirk High School’s trip to Malawi (which both my daughters are going on). Between my experience of WordPress and Joomla I can make the sites as complex or as simple as necessary. I was also thinking about Stewart’s post about ichurch. My hosting provider is able to give me the facilities I’d need to implement a similar scheme and there are one or two domain names available that would be useful. My concern about that though is the longer term support, especially since ichurch is a one-off fee.

Before I get embroiled in that though I have a few things to sort out like a labyrinth for Crossover.

But maybe I should behave like a real student and go and sleep on it.