Welcome to my new website!
A website represents your home on the web. It’s where people come to learn more information about you and where you have the opportunity to convey the image and message you want to the world.
I really loved my old website, but I needed a change. It felt dated (it was three and half years old) and as the third iteration of my original website, it no longer conveyed the image and message I want to convey to the world.
When I started my website six years ago, I branded it on elizabethcovart.com. This branding made sense six years ago. Back then, I had intended to become a historian who published lots of books and articles under my given name, Elizabeth. You’re supposed to brand your professional website using a URL that reflects the name you publish under. I had also intended to blog about my quest to make a sustainable career as an independent historian who wrote for a living. But my life and career have changed a lot in six years.
I’m no longer an independent historian, I barely have time to blog, and I’ve become prolific in my publications, but those publications aren’t books and articles and I don’t publish them as Elizabeth M. Covart. Instead, my hobbies have become my vocation and have shaped my career path. Over the last five years, I’ve published over 350 blog posts and over the last 2.5 years, I’ve published 150 podcast episodes, all under the name “Liz Covart.”
No one thinks to search for me using my given name.
Sometimes life changes in ways you don’t expect it and the nice thing about websites is we can build new ones to reflect those changes. Websites can grow and change with us.
My new home on the world wide web is now lizcovart.com.
My new website still reflects my historical interests and career ambitions. As you browse you will find that I haven’t lost the desire to research and write monographs about historical topics that interest me. The banners on my homepage and projects page feature images of the Articles of Confederation—the image on the latter page features it properly placed in between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of 1787. I want to uncover the story of how the United States’ first constitution came to be and how thirteen disparate states came together to ratify it.
In fact, I have lots of questions about the late years of the War for Independence and about the Confederation Period as a whole. Historians have found this period difficult to research, but I love a good challenge and believe that just because something is difficult and challenging doesn’t meant it shouldn’t be done. As I continue podcasting and when I retire from it, I intend to become the historian of the Confederation Era.
Likewise, my about page features a reminder of my past work and how much I loved working on my dissertation about cultural change and community identity in Albany, New York. The banner image “Albany. General View.” by Augustus Kollner, depicts Albany in 1850. It's not an early American representation of Albany, but I love how the image depicts change over time in Albany. Sloops had sailed to and from Albany to ferry passengers, furs, information, and other trade goods since 1614. Steamboats began docking at its quays in 1807. And smoke from its factories began appearing in earnest as the city expanded to secure its position as the second city of the Empire State as soon as the Erie Canal opened in 1825.
I intend to finish my manuscript about Albany, although I’m still taking a breather from the project. The project still needs a fair amount of work. I need to return to the archives and secondary sources to learn more about Sullivan’s Campaign of 1779 and about the late war years in upstate New York. With this new research, some revisions, and the addition of two chapters, which I’ve already done the research for, the book will be done.
My new website also features my blog. I’ve imported all my old posts to my new site even though changing my main URL means old posts have new URLs and old links will redirect people to my new website rather than to a specific blog post. This is an inconvenience I debated and ultimately decided was necessary.
I don’t blog much anymore for want of time. Ultimately, the fact that I’m too busy to blog is a good thing. It means I’m producing podcast episodes, speaking, engaging with listeners, and conducting research. Still, I love to write and blogging is such a great way to work out ideas. Plus, just because I don’t have much time to blog now doesn’t mean I won’t have more time in the future. So, I wanted to keep a blog on my site, but have it be a less prominent feature than it was on my old website.
The last big change: I built my new website using Squarespace, not WordPress. (Yes, I used a discount code from a podcast.) Squarespace wasn’t an option when I built my first three websites and after hearing lots of spots on podcasts about how easy the company makes it to build a website, I wanted to try it out.
My experience has been that Squarespace does make building a website easy, once you become acquainted with their drag and drop content block features. They also make it easy to import blog content from WordPress. The only aspects I dislike, thus far, is the fact that I can’t add a category tag search to the sidebar of my blog and I had to place the search bar for the blog in the footer.
So there you have it, a brief tour of my new website. Please let me know what you think.