Our new baby is here! From my first tentative and spontaneous question to Ali re. rescuing the site (1 November), via the hand-over (25 November) and the developers starting work after our fundraiser in early December, Richardarmitagenet soft-launched in early January. Looking back, I am amazed how fast it all went – three months from a vague idea to rescue the site from being switched off, to a fully migrated website. Four developers were involved in migrating the site and restructuring it to my specifications. They worked a total of 173 hours on the site. I was involved in the background, helping with the categorising of the site, confirming links and testing the site as the development progressed. The guiding principle was to save all existing content, and to my knowledge the developers have done exactly that. The galleries, news timeline, interviews, clips and fan submissions were all transferred – an invaluable wealth of information that is now accessible again for all fans.
The reason I hadn’t announced the relaunch of the site to big fanfare, is really that after the migration and restructuring of the site, I was still tinkering with the site. Lots of little bits – setting up new e-mail addresses for the site, repairing broken links, updating contact details etc. – as well as familiarising myself with the new backend (which looks a bit different to what I am used to from my own WP site), meant I was dawdling because I wanted to set it all up before I officially declared the site relaunched.
Adjustments and Features
If truth be told, there are probably still a few constructions sites on RAnet. Any new baby eventually comes with teething problems. Which you may have noticed if you have been visiting the site over the last couple of weeks. But yesterday I finally got around to ticking off several major adjustments:
- New e-mail addresses connected to the richardarmitagenet.com domain have been created so that fans can get in touch with the site for news or comments – news (and questions) can be sent to email@example.com
- A new guestbook has been added to the “Fans” category in the main menu
- A calendar of events is now visible in the side bar where upcoming release dates, events and appearances of Richard can be checked
- A new page for radio clips was added to the “Press” category
- And the broken links to the all-important news archives 2009 to 2015 were repaired and will now provide access to the news of yesteryear again.
- With the new e-mail address established, I opened a new Twitter account for RAnet (allowing Ali to keep the old account through which she is connected with her friends). You can follow it @RAnetTweets.
Since its soft-launch, I have been updating the News section on RAnet again. As in the past, news will be added in a timely fashion, although not necessarily individually as news items are coming in, but whenever I have the opportunity to do so. Going forward, I am happy to continue that job and the general admin of RAnet (uploading interviews, clips etc.), but I may look for co-admins who can look after some of the other sections of the site – particularly the galleries come to mind. There may also be an opportunity to hand-over the management of the RAnet Twitter account, depending on how active that account is going to be. I intend to keep my own blog going, too, so I am keen to open RAnet to co-admins in order to spread the workload and to “uncouple” it from me as its sole proprietor – not least because I’d like it to continue to be the neutral, classy, unopinionated resource it has always been, enabling its use unimpeded by potential personal dislike of *me* as a person. The site is *your* site, made by fans and for fans, and its use as a resource for the fandom is the top priority. In the meantime, please do have a look at RAnet, click through the various sections, and if you find broken links or have suggestions, do let me know. But most of all: Enjoy and pat yourself on the back – your support of the fundraiser has enabled the rescue and relaunch of RAnet. Thank you!
Speaking of the fundraiser – that brings me to the final accounts of the rescue operation aka web development. For auditing purposes, so to speak, these are the accounts of the whole project: Our fundraiser in December 2019 generated a total of €1738.77 after postage and fees. You may remember that I had written in an earlier post that I had agreed with the developers on a flat rate fee of €1550. (I had deliberately given them a slightly smaller budget than our available total funds, for two reasons: a) contingency, and b) I had hoped to have a little money left over for a big bouquet of flowers to be sent to Ali for her invaluable work over the years.) Unfortunately the final invoice exceeded €1550 because the developers had to charge me VAT. (Originally we had calculated the total fee ex-VAT because the invoice would be transacted through my work account. However, in the end that was not possible due to tax laws that require me to have a special tax number for electronically supplied services within the EU.) So, the final fee was €1797. I have topped up our fundraising proceeds with the missing €60. All bills have been paid and the transaction has therefore been finalised. For your information, I am including the invoices below. (Addresses blanked out for privacy reasons; if anyone wants to see the invoices unblanked, get in touch and I can show them to you bts.)
And proof of the transaction via receipts from my bank:
Right, and that concludes the financial review.
I now declare Richardarmitagenet open 😀