Same site, new shinies. I had to rebuild the site from scratch (another long story) and I figured I would move it to a more suitable domain. So here we are, at jamiemacdonald.ca. Sound the trumpets!
Now, on the note of website construction. I’ve been using Pagelines the last two years, and by-and-large it’s work splendidly. Can’t complain. Until I realized that the investment of $200 I’d made into their software (basically a super-advanced WordPress theme that you can download to make great customizations to your site) was all for naught. You see, somewhere last July Pagelines released a new version of their product, called “DMS”. Great, excellent. I’ll simply upgrade, since I’ve been such a great customer, having bought all the other stuff already, and it’ll be a one-time purchase… except that they’ve gone over to a pay-as-you-go model, and you have to now pay the same as everyone else, even if you bought their original product for a one-time cost.
I see a couple of problems with this. First is I didn’t get a discount to transition from my old purchase to the new. If you’re buying a different product, unrelated to the first, that’s fine. But this isn’t really a separate product: the previous product is no longer supported and therefore unstable. Bugs abound. My previous website had already crashed because plugins failed on account of that incompatibility. Anyway, the point is all customers basically had to go to DMS (the new system) or go home. You can get DMS for free, but it doesn’t have the same functionality, so I paid the $96.00 for a year’s subscription (if I ever have to do a similar thing just to get Windows or somesuch, as I’m sure all software companies would love, I’ll tear all my hair out… Photoshop has already gone that route and while I can’t say that I’ve tried their new version beyond CS7, I know I don’t want to pay a monthly fee). But I didn’t get a discount for the product I already owned. I feel this is a failure on their part to keep their customers happy.
Which brings me to the second point: businesses like Pagelines thrive on their initial customer support. The first customers who drop huge chunks of change on their stuff are really helping to get the company off the ground. Same thing as Kickstarter, or signing up for a paid Beta. To forget about the initial investment of those customers, who helped to get the whole thing off the ground, is a big mistake. If I had even been offered a %15 discount to upgrade from “Frameworks” to “DMS”, I would’ve been happy, and not had a thing to grumble about here.
That said, I have to admit DMS is great. It’s far better than Pagelines: Framework ever was. I got this new site running in a mere 3 or 4 days of work. I’d still recommend it to anyone who wants to do great web design. I understand that I also could’ve opted NOT to buy DMS, or used the free version, or found a different product, but DMS has proven its worth. Regardless of Pagelines’ pricing, this is a seriously solid product.
Ok, some art. I’ve been working on some watercolours lately. Just toying around, but here are a few ones – studies from our trip to Newfoundland two years ago. Eventually I’ll turn these into larger oil or acrylic paintings.