Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Goodbye, CatholicWeddingHelp.com -- and good luck!

Today is the official "closing" day of my deal to sell CatholicWeddingHelp.com to Our Sunday Visitor. The paperwork is all signed, the money is in the bank, and it only took two hours to transfer the domain, files, and associated accounts to the control of OSV.

This is exciting news for three reasons. First, obviously, the financial boost is going to help, mainly by clearing some small debts, and also in terms of getting the adoption process rolling. Second, I don't have to worry about it anymore. Being the top result for "Catholic wedding" and having some 500,000 visitors projected for this year had made it into a big responsibility -- and frankly, I already have a fulltime job caring for four children without worrying about keeping the website up to date and fresh, and answering couples' questions. That is not to say that it hasn't been enjoyable. As the president of OSV said, it's obviously been a work of passion. And I have enjoyed helping out couples with their questions via e-mail. It's offered a real interesting glimpse into the wide variety of experiences people bring to the Church.

But the third reason I'm excited about the sale is that OSV is going to be able to take the website to the next level. They have the editorial staff, advertising staff, technical staff, and financial resources necessary to support and develop the website, so that couples preparing for marriage in the Church will continue to have a place to turn for answers to their practical questions for years to come. They are pairing it with their new marriage preparation program, Together In God's Love.

I'm hoping that this will mark a transition for me away from website development into a career path more focused on writing. Yeah, I know everybody's stampeding in the opposite direction, but I'm more of a words guy than a tech guy, and the technical expertise -- not to mention the degree of social networking marketing investment -- necessary to keep these websites going is increasing by the week. And I can't wait to get back to writing in a more focused way.