The summer is officially over and, as always, I feel a little bit sad to let it go. However, this year I also feel relieved that autumn has finally stepped in because that’s coincided with the fact that my quiet music days have come to an end too. Despite some fun travelling I did in August, I feel like overall my summer was incredibly boring with a huge chunk of my time spent in the office working with documents and the rest of it spent at home staring at the screen of my laptop trying to re-build my website. Yet again!

Unfortunately, it’s not the first time I had to go through a dramatic resurrection of my website from its virtual ashes. Over the course of my music career, I had to deal with a whole series of website-related issues, bugs, shutdowns and full-on reinventions of the same old Never did I think that “website development” would become a mandatory skill for someone who always aspired to be a professional music artist but after an IT crash course and 6 months of pure suffering in front of my laptop screen, I can safely add a new bullet point to the skills section of my CV.

How it all began

I think that having your own website is incredibly important regardless of all the other social media platforms that are available these days. Just like having your own business cards (to which you should definitely add the link to your official website), it shows that you’re serious about your business and that your act is professional and put together.

Ever since I found the courage to start my own music page on Facebook back in 2014 and announce it to the world that I want to be a professional artist, I knew that my next step should be getting my own website. Every artist I looked up to seemed to have it, and I was determined to look as “professional” as possible even if it was just in the eyes of the Internet. Unfortunately, back in 2014, all I knew about websites was that you needed to hire a website developer to build one and that it would cost thousands of pounds. I didn’t have the resources to hire someone external and at that stage, I couldn’t even imagine building a website myself. For a while, I had to stop obsessing over the idea of my own website and so for about a year I continued treating my Facebook page as the main source of information about my music.

My first ever website

The situation changed closer to the end of 2015! I was booked to play lots of live shows and the fact that people couldn’t find all the necessary information about my act in one dedicated space started affecting me really negatively. It was clear that I really needed a website even if it was just a page with a collection of links to my other social media platforms.

After asking around for advice, I found a friend who kindly agreed to share his own website template so I could set up a page on my newly purchased domain. It felt amazing to finally have an Internet corner of my own after years of waiting around, and for a while, the page worked marvellously for all my music-related needs! Unfortunately, the was just one problem with that page: every time I needed to update something, I had to disturb my friend. And even though he never said a word that it was super-annoying (which it surely was), I knew that the arrangement I had needed to be reassessed as soon as possible.


The opportunity to change things up presented itself in January 2016, when I went back home for a study break. I spotted a advert on TV, which promised to provide its customers with an easy-to-build website of their dreams with little to no effort. Upon further research, I found out that the website could even be free if I didn’t mind having Wix logos written all over my pages. Having lots of free time whilst staying at home, I decided to give it a go and to drag-and-drop my way to a new website! Surprisingly, the advertisement didn’t lie and in less than a week I had a newly designed website ready to be launched.

I built all the pages I thought would be useful to have to showcase my music act and finally merged my “Secret Plan” blog with the main domain so it no longer had to be hosted on a separate platform. After the work was completed, I decided to bite the bullet and paid a yearly subscription fee to have the unwanted logos removed. And just like that, the upgraded version of my website was out in the world and it was incredibly liberating to finally have full control of all my content. The opportunity to be able to update it as I please was also a pleasant bonus!

The Wix version of the website lasted for good 3 years and despite some minor issues around its slow loading, I honestly thought I would never have to change it. Unfortunately, good things don’t last forever and in early 2019 I had to brace myself for another battle with the world of website development! When my crowdfunding campaign for the upcoming EP had to be prematurely shut down due to the hosting company’s financial difficulties, I was forced to re-strategise in order to accommodate a similar feature of pre-ordering that the campaign used to allow me. Sadly, some quick testing showed that my old website wasn’t fit to host pre-orders in the format that I needed it to. This meant that I needed to transfer my website to a different content management system and once again to start rebuilding from scratch so my website could support the ever-so changing demands of my music career.

WordPress VS Ria

Rebuilding websites had become old news by that point and so I was determined to transfer to a system that other professionals recommended because I never wanted to start from ground zero again. There were a few highly praised systems to choose from but I decided to go with I was warned that building a website on WordPress wasn’t going to be easy but I guess I got a little bit cocky, feeling determined to upgrade my website and assured that my skills wouldn’t let me down. I was fully committed to the process and so I upgraded my domain host to make the website operate quicker and purchased a license for the necessary theme to help me build the pages. The next stage can be simply described as one big never-ending nightmare!

The problems started immediately… The transfer of the domain itself took absolute ages and then multiple technical issues kept on cropping up when I least expected them. My lack of experience contributed to the incorrect uploading of the theme and then all sorts of bugs started attacking my poor little website from all sides. In a desperate attempt to speed things up, I hired someone from the Internet to help me deal with the issues just to find out that they harmed my already suffering website even further. When I finally started feeling like I was finding my way around different functions of the theme, all the pages got affected by yet another bug that pretty much wiped out all my previous work.

It was a horrendous process that lasted over 6 months, during which I had so many tantrums in front of the laptop screen that it’s truly embarrassing to even admit publicly! But in the end, it all worked out! With lots of advice and guidance from my amazing friend Jon and his web agency Global Bay, I managed to reach the finishing line. Finally, the website got re-launched and all of its features, such as the pre-ordering of the EP, my blog, music library and live show updates, are nicely showcased in the new design on the reliable platform.


Now when the website is finally re-launched, I feel like I can return to doing the things I like the most! Over the course of this radio silence period, I’ve shot lots of footage of me recording the EP and accumulated a huge number of topics that I want to talk about in this blog! After months and months of feeling like I was stuck in a ditch with the most frustrating task ever, I can finally share all this fun stuff with you!

It makes me incredibly happy to see how warmly you’ve greeted my return to the Worldwide web! As you can see, the journey to the launch was pretty tough and it means a lot to receive so many positive comments from you telling me that you really enjoyed the new design! And thanks to the brand new store section, I can now also track all of the pre-orders that you’ve been placing and again, I feel absolutely overwhelmed by your generosity that you show to me and my music! Each pre-order helps me move closer to the dreamy day of the EP release and I couldn’t be more grateful for your support!

Photos by Chris  Dean