Website Tips: Planning for the Terrible Twos

The Continuing Saga of a Cybermum

website tips

Website tips: with a spam filter who needs Pampers?

My cub reporter days gave me a marked distaste for mother and baby contests, where you were expected to goo-goo over gurgling infants that mostly looked like gremlins. (“So how old is little Jenny? Oops, sorry, little Jimmy?”)

But I’ll have to swallow my heartless words because my own baby recently made a small news item in the local press.

Yes, you do hear the sound of one proud mother gushing!

It won a Costa Press Club Communicator Award last month – pretty miraculous since it’s only 18 months old and I’ve only just figured out how to change the slider.

Those of you have shared my bloody tale Giving Birth to a Website will know I don’t mean the kind of ‘baby’ that wears Pampers (and, with a spam filter, who needs them!) But with apologies to traditional Mums and Dads, looking after is as close to parenting as I’m ever likely to come.

As my offspring approaches the ‘Terrible Twos’ it’s been wonderfully supportive to network with other cyber parents who’ve been through it all before and are happy to pass on their own website tips: Chris and Michelle Chaplow, for example,  whose giant of a website ( recently turned 18, or Peter Leonard with his funny, sport-obsessed, tearaway teenager ( Not forgetting the founders of itself, godparents to all our offspring who host us at monthly dinners.

Setting up an RSS feed, checking for broken links, injecting a daily dose of SEO

… there are so many worries with a young website that I’m able to share at monthly CPC meetings. Mind you, the Stone Age newspaper hack in me still yearns for the old ‘slug and flong’ days of hot metal typesetting and more stimulating journalistic banter.

And I draw the line at discussing anti-spam plug-ins at the dinner table!

We can never stay late because we have to get back for the cats. Two of my own cats, one adopted. For someone who never wanted ‘dependents’ I’m not sure quite how I ended up with four: one with no legs, three with four – in human terms that equals six!

website tips

Daveed’s daughter Blue

Dave’s the father of Blue. He really does think of himself that way, through no fault of his own.

Conversation with local vet:
“Hola. Soy Daveed Cussen”.
“Daveed Cussen, el padre de Blue?”
“Aye, porsupuesto!”.

At least cats don’t bust out of their fur coats every year. With websites, just when you’ve paid the last instalment on a fancy shmancy Content Management System, they’ve outgrown it!

I thought you could never feed a website too much fresh content but mine has evolved from a lightweight business card into a bonny bouncing travel site that’s so all over the place – Gibraltar, the Campo de Gibraltar, Cadiz Province, Costa de la Luz – the categories and tags no longer fit.

A wise old webmaster once told me: ‘Followers for vanity. Monetisation for sanity’. That’s as maybe. But money doesn’t talk if you’ve got no stalkers. So I’ve taken a job writing sizzling travel guides and my first one’s FREE when you sign up!

Of course, life’s not easy for a full-time working cyber mother. I thought it would be one long social networking whirl and, actually, that’s exactly how it is! Not always in a good way. I used to be OFF my face at 2 a.m. in my carefree days, now I’m ON Facebook until way past then.

Motherhood? Why do we bother!

website tips

Website tips: It’s easier being a cat Mum


Bringing Up Cyber Baby
Six sizzling website tips for coping with the Terrible Twos
  1. Invest in an automatic spam filter. The cyber equivalent of Pampers will absorb all the unsolicited cr**p that gets posted on your site pronto!
  2. Plan ahead. Human parents do, why not you too? 
  3. Your new website will need a revamp (or at least a reappraisal) before it reaches the Terrible Twos
  4. Followers for vanity. Monetisation for sanity. Work on it.
  5. Never give up!
  6. Stay socially networked. It’s a big bad internet world out there and you’re gonna need friends to share the burden.

If you’d like to receive posts like this delivered fresh to your mailbox fortnightly, and get your FREE copy of my Andalucia Trip Planner aboard Mr Henderson’s Railway, Sign Up for the Sizzle at the bottom of the Home Page.


 Communicator Award badge_WINNER (5)



  • Sue Sharpe (@suesharpe1) May 2, 2014 at 1:51 pm Reply

    Many congratulations on your award! Keep up the good work 🙂 x

  • Christen May 11, 2014 at 3:51 pm Reply

    I am really impressed with your writing skills as well
    as wth the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did
    you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the
    excellent quality writing, it is rare to seee a nice blogg like this one these

    • Belinda May 11, 2014 at 6:53 pm Reply

      Thank you Christen. It’s a paid WordPress theme customised by my excellent designer whose website is at the foot of my home page.

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