is Been a strange week, this week, what with Christmas and everything. If you’ve read any of the earlier diary posts, you will know I had a less than successful visit with a physio over a week ago. Well this week, she came back, and this time she has suggested a walker (of the 4 wheeled rollator variety) to help me get around in the house, which was what I’d requested last time.
It will be delivered sometime in the new-year. Getting used to being in a wheelchair was difficult – my wife and I would go to garden centres where no one would know me, and we’d borrow a wheelchair just so I could try it out without fear of being looked at funny – Using a walking frame is going to be just as hard, except this time, my children will be there to watch me. I mean, I’m a 44 year-old man with a walking frame. Isn’t that what older people use? I can feel myself getting anxious as I type this.
The physio also brought an MS nurse with her. This was the first chance I’ve had to meet her, as she went on maternity leave just after she came into post. The neuro nurse that was her replacement told me she didn’t know anything about MS, so it was good to have a specialised nurse back on board. I’ve stopped some of my meds recently, and I’ve had some adverse side effects, but she was able to reassure me that I was displaying a ‘normal’ reaction to coming off the meds. So that’s good? Any suggestions as to how I should approach this difficult phase of my life?
In writing related news, I’ve had more talks with the voice actor who will be voicing some of my short stories. We’ve pretty much decided on releasing a book of five short stories and one novella (Die, Blossom, Bloom – so grab it now while it’s free!), which would coincide with the release of an audiobook version of the stories. As part of that process, I will be launching my new website. It will be on the Wix platform, which means moving away from WordPress. This was a huge decision for me, and took a fair amount of deliberation. What are the pros and cons of each of these? Let me point out, that I am no expert on either site, but these are my thoughts as I experience both.
WordPress (WP) is a massive platform for bloggers in general and authors in particular. I follow many excellent indie authors through WP and have spent a fair amount of time looking at and analysing the sites. Some of them are good and some not so much. But one thing that WP does is make it easy to link to others, and linking with others is the way to move ahead for any of you would-be authors. WP makes it easy to share the work of others and also for others to share your work.
There are hundreds of themes / templates for your site to help you make it look and feel exactly the way you want. There are a lot of customisation options available within each theme, from sidebar and footer widgets to colour schemes and font styles. I have been operating this site through the free WP option, so I can’t comment on the full customization options that are available when you upgrade, but they seem to be around the colour scheme, fonts etc.
The premium option also gives you access to powerful plugins that give you the power to add all sorts of functionality to your site.
WP is reasonably straightforward if you just want to use a theme, add text and an image or two, or if you want a blog. If, however, you want to further customize the look, you may need access to the html code, which requires you to have some knowledge of coding, although you can find blocks of code on certain websites to help you add different features (social icons, etc). More indepth coding is only available through the premium service.
I found it hard to get the template exactly as I wanted it – I could modify certain parts of the background, but not all, for example.
Wix is a true drag and drop content management system. If you want a text box, just add one, type into it, and drag it into its desired position. Same for images and widgets. No coding knowledge needed.
It is easy to use and the customization options are extensive, allowing you to adjust borders, styles, fonts, colours etc. Customizing backgrounds is also easy, with transparency options as well as colours or images.
Customization extends to image or page transitions, so you can slide a page in/out or fade in an image, for example. You have access to rotating carousels for images, 3d image galleries, sliding galleries etc.
The extensive customisation opens can sometimes be confusing, and finding the right menu to make the small change you want can sometimes be a bit trial and error.
My biggest gripe with Wix, is the blog pages. You can make the posts look as you want, but it did take me a while to discover how to customize the font to make it readable. Also, there is no specific comment option available with individual posts. For that you need to add either a Facebook comments box, or a Disqus comments box. Both are available in Wix as widgets but need to be added separately and require people to have a Facebook or Disqus account.
It remains to be seen if making the move is a good or bad idea, but I would be interested to hear other views on these two platforms.