Giving Birth To A Website

The Angst of a Novice Nursing Cybermother

how to start a website

Hello World! Is your new website keeping you up at nights?

I never wanted children.

I wasn’t put off by the patter of tiny feet. (I love babies’ feet!) Just the process.

I blame it on Helga – a 1967 sex education film our class of 12-year-old giggling schoolgirls was taken to see. It showed the journey of a pregnancy from conception to birth: the facts of life at a stroke. We were all really looking forward to the sex scene.

What an anti-climax!

I’ve since seen sexier programmes on bovine artificial insemination … although, as the film was directed by a German (indeed, a German by the name of Erich F. Bender), maybe there should have been no surprises there.

It was the gruesome and bloody birth that remains splattered all over my memory. Think Quentin Tarantino directing a remake of Alien. 

It was way too much information for a girl of my impressionable years – in a lasting-psychological-damage kind of way.

That explains why I didn’t want babies. But can it be to blame for the angst I’m going through now?

You see, I’ve just given birth to a website.  And for women of my generation (aka ‘Generation Jones’), that’s not always advisable.

In medical terms I’m an ‘elderly primagravida’, the unflattering label they pin on first-time mothers over a certain age.

It takes the energy and computer savvy of youth to handle all the back-linking, blogging and tweeting required in raising a fledgling website. For ‘technologicus ignoramus’ – the high-risk pre-digital generation that I belong to it’s a journey into the unknown.

For would-be cybermothers wondering how to start a website themselves, this is my brief cautionary tale.

It was an immaculate conception – in that there was no male input (not even hosting by Go Daddy). But whoever planted the seed was no angel.

What self-flagellation! What sleepless nights and tortured days! The gestation period was double the human term and I was heavily pregnant with half-formed ideas from day one of those long 18 months. And the morning sickness! Sometimes I couldn’t look at a computer for weeks.

There were times, I confess, when I considered aborting.

I hired a designer, of course! (I don’t do DIY, even on WordPress). And it was fun choosing the name and the colour scheme. I even bought an outfit and accessories in matching tones to wear for my for my ‘avatar photo’ …

… the sad cyber equivalent of knitting booties…

(Booties that don’t fit, by the way. Which is why you don’t see the photo!)

And oh, how I studied! I was ‘blog’-eyed with all the How To sites I tried to read, absorb and inwardly digest on the planning and care of a website – but all they gave me was heartburn.

What else can I tell you?

The labour was sweated, the delivery brutal and, much like human mothers, I’m not really sure quite what to do with it, now that it’s here. (The cyber-equivalent of post-partum depression?) I’m terrified of touching anything in case I delete it. I keep opening the lid on my laptop to take a peep. Yes, it’s still there, extant but inanimate. Shut the lid again quickly! Sometimes I think I really have given birth to an alien being.

But, ‘Hello World’, it’s too late for regrets because here I am, pushing the metaphorical pram with my L-plates on. (Do you think it takes after me?)

And ok, I know it’s only a website and not a real baby. But it still keeps me up at nights because the slider needs changing and the blog has to be fed with posts three times a week.

Are any of you out there good with websites? Because if this carries on much longer this novice nursing cybermother is thinking of hiring a nanny.

Sizzle Tip No. 2: how to start a website
Just Feckin’ Do It (but read the manual too!)

Unless it’s being designed for NASA, no website should take 18 months to plan. Play around with a few simple sites, design a ‘mock-up’ and have a few dummy runs with your close circle of friends before going live with something more adventurous. That way you’ll reach a better understanding of how all websites work – and the jargon – before asking your designer for the well nigh bloody impossible. Unfortunately, you do have to read the manual too – but theory always goes down better when paired with practice. 🙂

 You might also like:

Finding Your Niche: Tips from a Famous German Philosopher

Sizzle Tip No. 1: blogging



  • robin November 2, 2012 at 9:43 am Reply

    “It was the gruesome and bloody birth that remains splattered all over my memory”

    This had me spitting out my coffee.

    • Belinda November 2, 2012 at 5:13 pm Reply

      Yes, NEVER take your future children to a film like Helga. I couldn’t recommend it!

  • Elle Draper November 2, 2012 at 9:48 am Reply

    Great analogy! Your own website is always such a precious thing… and the sleepless nights a part of the process. We build for others, and we build our own… so I feel your pain. Gone are the days of working 9 until 5… as that early start to tweak some code, move a banner, add another article… starts to include your evenings and late nights too.
    But then your baby grows into a fine young adult, who has lots of friends and visitors… all full of praise and support. They pay their way… and you start to feel proud. It’s all worth it – honest!

    • Belinda November 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm Reply

      Stirring stuff Elle, thank you! It’s so great connecting with others out there in cyberspace! I haven’t ever worked for myself before so it’s kind of scary – but so comforting to know I’m not alone.

  • Marianne November 2, 2012 at 9:53 am Reply

    Loved this, Belinda!

    And how are mother and baby progressing? Was it “love at first sight”? Any teething problems? 🙂

    • Belinda November 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm Reply

      Considering it has an incompetent ‘mother’, this baby is a star. But like real babies it’s 24/7 and I haven’t even got a smart phone.

  • Sue Sharpe November 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm Reply

    By far the best and funniest thing I have read all week – congratulations

    • Belinda November 2, 2012 at 5:04 pm Reply

      Comments like yours make it seem all worth while. Thank you Sue!

  • Simon Harris November 2, 2012 at 8:13 pm Reply

    Great post!

    But now you’ve given birth to your blog, you’ve got to feed it, change the occasional nappy and teach it how to walk and talk!

    It’ll end up telling you what kind of blog it is!

    • Belinda November 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm Reply

      Nicely put, Simon. Whether blogs or babies, no one can be ‘totally prepared’ for ‘parenthood’!

  • Josephine Quintero November 5, 2012 at 9:05 am Reply

    Ah, but if you have children, what you have to do is look upon this as pay back time. My daughter designed my website and her ‘labour’ probably took around the same number of hours as mine!

    • Belinda November 6, 2012 at 11:59 am Reply

      Good point, Jo. So maybe I could call in some favours from my cats?!

  • helle January 2, 2013 at 2:31 pm Reply

    Welcome in cyperspace Bel – and congrats with your new website and blog – so pretty 🙂

    • Belinda January 3, 2013 at 11:35 am Reply

      Thanks Sue, I imagine that even turbulent Biscay is better than braving the high street battle of Christmas and the January sales back in Britain!

    • Belinda January 3, 2013 at 11:37 am Reply

      Thanks Helle, a much appreciated comment from a stellar designer!

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