the new website

For those who have followed GCR for sometime, you will know that in recent weeks there has been a dramatic upgrade to our website. There are many reasons for this given that the original site was launched way back in 2000 when it all began. At that time websites were a novelty and not everyone had them, but as the years have gone by, a company website has become indispensable as a means of providing information on who you are and what you do.

Our website was created very early on when I had the vision of how business would operate in the future, and when I told our customers that we would not be producing brochures and other print materials because everything would be on line, several looked at me with raised eyes because even then, just eleven years ago, internet access wasn’t something people took for granted as we do today. But being a tech geek, I knew that it wouldn’t be long before the internet was ubiquitous in our lives. But, I must admit that even I did not think it would happen as fast as it has, or be as pervasive as it has become. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but I am still in awe of how it has transformed our lives.

Back when we began, web designers were quoting massive amounts of money to build a website, even just a basic one, but as a startup, GCR had no money to spend on what, at the time, was seen as a luxury. So I bought a book, and sat down and built the site myself. In early 2000 there also was very little software around for building websites, as most of the professional web companies were doing everything by writing code and no one considered building a website as a hobby, or because of lack of money, so software programs were either at the very top end where you needed to be able to speak left handed Swahili to understand them, or do a three year university course, or select a basic “do it yourself” package. Of course, I chose the latter. My software of choice was a Microsoft program called Frontpage.

As time went on I became more and more engrossed in Apple products, not just for the simplicity of use (which they are) but as much for the fact that it seemed to me that Apple and GCR had similar design philosophies; clean, simple, nothing added just for the sake of it, products where every component, button, or icon, had a reason for being. And as I got to the point where everything I had was Apple, and I was only using windows running under emulation on my Mac so that I could update the website using Frontpage, I knew it was time to make the break and find an Mac software program to use for our website.

And while there was now a large range of alternative programs in Mac language, little did I realise how much software programming had changed! Understand that by this time, eleven years down the track, I knew Frontpage inside out, but every new program I reviewed had nothing in common with this old page layout style of program, and my mind was completely garbled as to how I was going to make this transition.

Long story short, I now have a bookshelf of unused website programs should anyone be interested, and have settled on a program called Rapid Weaver, which the purists may scoff at, but is the one that at least started to allow me to see that I could transition from Frontpage to something that would achieve my goal of being 100% Apple.

What started to clear the haze for me wasn’t just this software package, but an online tutorial website called Rapid Weaver Classroom, where one can watch a large array of video tutorials at your own pace. A subscription is not expensive, and for me, it has got us to this point, where our website has a new look, and while I am still watching tutorials and tweaking things on a daily basis, at least we are moving forward.