As some of you might know, last year I tried to create my own custom website and build it from the ground up. Thus Fig-TV.com was born and was aimed to focus on my creative and artistic endeavors. After weeks of slowly learning HTML and Adobe Dreamweaver, I was able to scrape together a very simple layout that became Fig-TV.com. Fig-TV.com was a way for me to share my art in a layout and format much freer [and more complicated] than blogging mediums like WordPress or tumblr. After a year, I learned a lot about maintaining your own website and the work that goes into such a thing. So my year of owning Fig-TV is expiring and I’ve decided to let my subscription to the domain and hosting go and let Fig-TV.com go back into the market, effectively killing the website.
Below I continue to reminisce on what it took to make Fig-TV.com work and why I had to abandon it.
Fig-TV Was Always Meant to Be a Casual Thing
When I set out to make Fig-TV, I was heavily inspired by the likes of The Oatmeal where it would just be a website where I could share and upload my pieces of art. Though unlike The Oatmeal, it was never meant to be a place where I would try sell merchandise, attract massive amounts of traffic to create ad revenue, or anything that would lead to abandoning my school to pursue entertaining the internet. While that’s every creative person’s dream, I knew the amount of work that would be required to do so, and I kept that in mind as I created Fig-TV. It was purely meant to be a way to dabble in how websites are created and a place where I could share my art in high resolution.
Focus on the Art, Not the Delivery
As much fun as it was creating a layout and uploading my pages to the internet to see how a website change, I learned quickly that my passion should be more focused. By this I mean that it was important that I remember that my effort should be focused on drawing and perfecting my passion versus being bogged down with the delivery system as complex and creating your own website to share it.
Coding Was Difficult and Changing Anything Major was a Pain
I printed out a packet that was over 70 pages that outlined in detail how to make a website from scratch using Adobe Dreamweaver. Sitting down and going through that was quite a fun, though challenging, experience. Web design is far more complex and can be an art form in itself given how complicated it can be. It combines HTML coding and aesthetic design. Being very skilled in one aspect leaves you behind in another and both are required to make a successful website. Even though Dreamweaver was fairly easy to familiarize myself with, I knew I’d never have the time to really take advantage of the full program due to how complex the program is.
If you use WordPress, it’s fairly easy to change the header of your site so that it affects every page in existence, or if you wanted to change your side menu, it was with the quick upload of an image. From the very basics of what I’ve learned from the tutorial, I never fully grasped the concept of CSS that related images like headers or side bars. Which meant if I wanted to change the background or a header image, I would have to edit the code for EACH page in existence to maintain consistency. I’m almost positive there were other easier ways to do this, but my lack in experience and knowledge [as a result of my lack of time to learn] in Dreamweaver forced me to tackle the issue in the most archaic way.
All that being said, I’ve missed uploading an image via a web browser over maintaining track of an image name in a folder dedicated to Fig-TV.
Banana Scoop Already Has a Base Audience
I’ve had Banana Scoop for a long time now and had Banana Feed for even longer. Over those long years, I’ve built an audience [and image prioritization in Google images] that lead to an exposure level that I’ve never had on Fig-TV. I thought that why wouldn’t I embrace the fact that Banana Scoop already has a base audience that I should take advantage of. I also have a number of friends, Hybrid Zone, On Life and Stuff, and Sidekickreviews that I made strictly on Banana Scoop that area already involved, so I might as well continue to share my ideas and creations with them. “Abandoning” Fig-TV has given me more room to be more involved with Banana Scoop.
Banana Scoop is Cheaper
When it comes down to the nitty gritty, it’s flat out true that Banana Scoop domain maintaining and hosting is significantly cheaper. When it comes to independent domain name/web hosting renting is a complicated and bureaucratic process. It’s hard to know when you weren’t getting screwed over when you gave you credit card number to some shady site that is significantly cheaper than Go Daddy or other hosting juggernauts. Also, there are deals where they offer two years of hosting, but one year of domain name, so your perception of owning a site for two years is actually blind siding when you’re asked to renew one of the things you thought you took care of. And if you’re not careful, it’s easy to get charged for extra services that you might not be aware of.
WordPress domain naming and hosting is a much simpler process, where all the options are straightforward and all in house.
The Freedom was Nice
Despite the overwhelming Pros column of going back to Banana Scoop, I won’t deny that the freedom and knowledge gained of building your site from the ground up was incredibly liberating and something to be proud of. I now know how difficult it is to attempt to create a website, which helps me appreciate everything from web designers to internet juggernauts like Google which I can barely imagine what it’s like to code for their sites.
Fig-TV allowed me to take steps into territories I hadn’t previously explored. It presented problems that I was excited to attempt to solve and it gave me something to look forward to learning. That being said, it’s with a heavy heart that I have to let it go.