Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My website is back from the ruins

A few months ago I discovered that my website has been hacked and someone inserted all sorts of damaging files into it. It was done very cleverly so that I would not even notice. New pages were "planted" that I could not see or know they were there. This is why it took me a while to find out this was happening. I started seeing that my site's rank was dropping and eventually I could not even enter my site because I got a message warning me this was a "dangerous and harmful site". This was soooo frustrating. I have had the site for years and it took a lot of time and effort to make it go up in rank and appear in searches. All this work was ruined because of this invasion.

I tried to fix this but was not successful so eventually I decided to start over from scratch. I deleted the entire site with all the files, pictures and anything else. I even changed my hosting company to be sure I'll have a clean slate. Then I made an entirely new web page that is now my own website.

Though this was a troubling and upsetting experience, it also gave me an opportunity to re-evaluate my site's purpose and goals. Before this happened my site was a selling point for my designs. It displayed my collections and enabled people to buy directly from the site. This was because historically my site was my first online venue. However, since I am now much more focused in other venues like Etsy, Dawanda etc, this seemed to be a waste of time. (Updating a site is so much more complicated than listing items to an existing platform). So I decided that what I need my site to be is a sort of "traffic controller" just pointing visitors to all the places where they can find my designs. This way I can keep a business card with one website address on it and still have people referred to all my stores.

Now my site is up and running again. Only one page for now but the important thing is that it is a legit site again and that it is fulfilling my current needs.