New Website is Live!

This has been a long time coming, but my website has finally gone live. I have learned so much in the past month about hosts, WordPress websites, themes, plugins, templates, block editors, theme editors, widgets, global settings, headers, footers, sidebars, blog archive pages, single blog pages, store pages, email subscription forms, and the list goes on. But mostly I learned how much is involved and how difficult it is to create a new website, especially in WordPress. I might have gone with a different platform if I were to start over. The reason I went with WordPress is because I wanted it to be compatible for importing my blog, my list of subscribers, and everything that goes with staying in communication with you all. You, loyal readers, were most important to me in this process.

I am grateful to Jason Woofenden for his expertise in the development process. I could not have done all the technical stuff without his help.

I hope you will have a look around the premises to read, click links, and become familiar with this new site. If you find something that needs fixing, or if you have suggestions for changes, please leave me a comment here on the blog, or go to the contact page and leave me a message.

I have something to offer you in exchange for your time and effort. I will add your name into a raffle for a free signed copy of Bonnet Strings. Next week, I will announce the name of the person who receives the book and send that along.

Don’t forget, there is another book giveaway coming that I promised some weeks ago. There may be two more.

I am hoping to get back to “normal” after this intense month of cramming all that learning and designing of the website into my brain. In the meantime, I am moving in the direction of publishing my book. My manuscript is being edited, I am looking for a book cover designer, I will be obtaining ISBN numbers soon, and a I’ll be buying a software program for designing the contents of the book.

Please drop me a line, even if you don’t have time to take the tour. I’m hoping to reach more readers now that the blog is with a different host. I know that the email notifications were not reaching all of you. If this is the first notification you received since July 2020, I’d like to know that because it means you received this one even though you weren’t receiving them in the last eight months.

I look forward to hearing from you. I’ve missed you all!

25 thoughts on “New Website is Live!”

  1. Hi Saloma, good to see you back.
    I hope you work it out with the fonts and the blog. At some point (not right away) you might want to remove the Second Test post, once everything is running smoothly.
    I got the notice about the new website, so I’m assuming I somehow got on the new mailing list, but I hadn’t heard from you since December. I just realized I’ve missed a number of posts of your story. Maybe I should resubscribe, just to be sure.
    I look forward to the posts from your friend.

    The photo at the top of the blog looks like Switzerland or is it Germany? You might want to make a caption for it that explains how it connects to the blog. Also, does it make sense to put the word “blog” in the menu (About Amish Blog)? I’m not at all clear that makes sense. People relatively new to the site might not know that About Amish is the blog.
    In the Biography part, you say “Then one Friday night, a vanload of Amish arrived at her front door. She returned, where she felt conflicted …” You need a little more about that abrupt and emotionally violent transition, something along the lines of “a vanload of people from her Amish community arrived…..They insisted that she come with them and would not take no for an answer.” Or “they pressured her to return with them…”
    Later you write “Saloma and David restored a 1930s house in western Massachusetts before moving to..” How about “in Western Massachusetts and lived for X years before moving to…” (“Western” is, indeed, capitalized.) Maybe before that, a sentence about moving from Vermont to Western Mass.? You can expand the biography part a bit so the continuity is clear, without giving away the story.
    I’d like to see some explanation of “Memoirs of an Amish Life”, how it relates to the first two books, a bit about the process that brought you to this book and how the first two books came to be. I’ve been following your blog, so I know you wrestled with parts of your history you left out of earlier books, but it needs to be spelled out for the people not already familiar with your journey.
    As much as I detest what Amazon has done to book publishing, I learned that they have enabled authors to publish a book without needing to do all the printing and the shipping. It is a print-on-demand thing where someone orders, Amazon prints and ships it. I don’t know more than that, but can get more info if you like.
    I hope at least some of these comments are helpful. Of course, take what you like and leave the rest.
    Fondly,
    Johanna (from Western Mass)

    1. Johanna, welcome back! I’m glad you received the notification. That means this new system is working for more readers than the old one.

      Thank you kindly for these helpful tips. I definitely meant to remove that test post, which I’ve done now.

      Captions for all the photos are at the bottom of each page. Yes, that photo does have significance in terms of Amish/Anabaptist history. Do you think having these at the bottom of the page is too obscure?

      I really struggled whether to call the Blog “Blog” or “About Amish.” I think for anyone who cares to explore, they will find the blog. However, in thinking about this, I found something that needs fixing. I tried doing a Google search for Saloma Furlong About Amish, which used to go directly to my blog page. Now I get an error message. Jason and I will likely need to reconfigure that.

      Thank you for your suggestions for the biography page. I hope you’ll like the edits. Thank you for helping me improve that.

      Phew! I’m glad you caught that “Memoirs of an Amish Life” misunderstanding. That was not at all clear about it being both of my existing books, and not a new one. I’ve hopefully cleared up that confusion.

      About the book I’m writing now… there is a description of my upcoming book on my “Books” page below the other two books. If you see a better spot for it, please let me know. As soon as I have a cover design for it, I will put it right up front.

      Yes, I plan on using the Amazon self-publishing options to their fullest. Also Ingram Spark. I have someone coaching me on self-publishing, so I’m in good hands.

      I am so grateful to you, Johanna, for taking the time and effort to give this review of my site.

  2. I think your new website looks great! Best wishes with the journey of publishing your 3rd book. I’ve coordinated aContinuing Education event at Elizabethtown College led by Dr. Jeff Bach with the title: “Tangled Roots: Why Anabaptism and Pietism are not opposites and how they influenced the Brethren.” While it is geared to the Church of the Brethren, we’ve also promoted it to Mennonites, Old Order Brethren, and Jeff even supplied some names of Old Order Amish. I thought of you when Jeff and I worked together to plan this event. If you lived closer to Elizabethtown, maybe you would have liked to come. It is Thursday, April 28, 9-3:30.

    1. Donna, thank you for your comments. I’m glad you’re liking the new digs.

      I often wish that I lived closer to Lancaster County since there is so much going on there. It sounds like a wonderful lecture. Please say hi to Jeff for me. I always enjoy talking with him.

      I look forward to seeing you again.

  3. Saloma, I love the new web sight, so clean and fresh!!! I’m so excited to see what the future holds for you and your upcoming book. Congratulations- I’m sure there was a lot of sweat and tears to make all this happen!! I wouldn’t have a clue how to even begin creating a web sight. Your such a determined, amazing woman! I’m looking forward to future posts!!!

    1. Pamela, thank you for your kind words. I was definitely an a huge learning curve. There was a lot of thought and creativity that went into this. Most of it was fun, though I don’t enjoy the tech stuff so very much.

      Looking forward to seeing more of you. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Hello, Saloma!
    It has been a while since I’ve commented. You would think with the Covid shut down I would have had lots of time on my retired hands to keep up with you and just a couple of other friends with blogs, but I found myself bogged down with learning how to livestream our church services to Facebook, first from Bill’s basement office, and later at church once we reopened (a little at a time.) I also keep our church webpage updated and have to post our service there, as well as on YouTube. Took on the Youth Group and teach Sunday School to our youngsters. Then there is elementary substitute teaching which took on a new look with “smart boards” and “Zoom classes” and with so many teachers needing to take time off for quarantining their families for one exposure or another, I was in high demand. So much for the preacher and the teacher being retired! I lost track of you last October but have managed to catch up.

    I like your new website and was happy just to be able to click on the bookmark at the top of my screen to access it. I do remember getting emails from you each time you posted. I did find a couple of glitches. Where there is a prompt to access your blog (I found two), the next screen says:
    “This page doesn’t seem to exist.
    It looks like the link pointing here was faulty. Maybe try searching?”
    However, from that screen I am able to access the menu at the top and clicking on “About Amish” brings me right to the most recent entries.

    We have fared well this past fall and winter; that said, I’m pretty happy about real springtime just around the corner! We have done some traveling, spending time with our eldest son and daughter-in-law in southern Lancaster County several times a year. We also find ourselves on I81 going through VA on our way to any number of places. I always think of you as we pass by JMU in Harrisonburg, remembering our meeting at Holyoke College in MA several years ago. Mom Pitcher so enjoyed meeting you and spoke often of you and our time together in her later years.

    I do believe you will enjoy publishing with Amazon. Bill, the retired game warden, turned pastor, had his book published in this manner and it sold well in it’s first year of publication. He is toying with the idea of another one. He kept a blog for several years and that is what he drew on for the writing of his book.

    We pray the very best for you and your family as you continue writing, and we look forward to more from your blog and, of course, your new book!

  5. Peggy, it’s so good to see you back here! I’m glad you received the notification.

    Sounds like you’ve kept yourself busy. No wonder you didn’t have time for blog reading!

    Thanks for noticing the broken links. I’ll fix those sometime today. First I have to survive a root canal!

    I’m so glad you and “Mom Pitcher” enjoyed your visit to Mass.

    I’ll add your name to the list for the drawing.

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