About the Author

Customer Service

When I first got into WordPress, I found that a lot of widgets were well-intentioned but poorly implemented. None were more frustrating for me than the ones built around customer service. At the end of the day, a customer wants to be able to interact with you just as much as they would if they went to your shop down the street. This meant that I had customers constantly messaging me, sometimes sending me multiple messages, while I was fast asleep. This translates to poor reviews of your site from people finding you unresponsive.

The Problem

I saw the problem right away. Even though I was listing my available hours, it wasn’t clear to people outside of my timezone what those hours really were! I tried putting in a warning that my times were all listed for my timezone, but that wasn’t good enough. I realized that I was telling my customers to go look up what that time was in their time, and anyone who’s worked with customers knows that once you tell them to do something that you could have easily done for them, they’ll leave. I knew then that I needed to put some kind of visualization up to show them what time it was in my timezone.

However, the available clock widgets weren’t solving my problem. None of them could be customized enough to match with my site design, and some of them weren’t even mobile friendly! The use of Flash in almost all of them was a problem for me, too. That was when I decided to make my own clock. Only issue there? I’d never made a widget before.

The Solution

I sat down with some books on C++ and HTML and started teaching myself how to code. I reached out on different forums and read up on WordPress widgets in my spare time. I knew that I wanted something that was simple to implement, but highly customizable. That meant that I needed to put a lot of work in to make sure that all of the complicated stuff was tucked away out of sight. I started small by creating a simple widget that displayed a timer, like a stopwatch. Then I created a widget that “told the time” (it was really counting up from the time that I had originally inputted). That widget technically worked, but I knew that if my site went down, it would be badly desynced and the illusion would be ruined. That was when I considered syncing to a different website to get the time and having it check for changes every five minutes.

Blog Clock was born not long after that! I tinkered around in C++ to ensure that it was solidly functional, then I created an HTML version with the same functionality. After a while I decided to create a Flash version as well, creating a robust range of options. I’ve made sure to make this as customizable as possible.

Who I Am

When I’m not working on widgets or my shop, I love woodcarving. I’m a painter by trade, but my hobby is carving little figurines. I’m hoping to someday add them to my shop as well. I’ve only recently taken a liking to coding and widget creation, and well, I blame that on being stubborn! Folks told me that you can’t get into computer stuff if you’re over 50. I’m here to prove them wrong! That was about ten years ago, and ever since I’ve been getting better and better at developing software. I’m hoping to eventually have a suite of customer service widgets that solve the little issues that crop up when dealing with a global customer base. Keep an eye out here for updates!

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