Ideally what I want to provide to clients is a customised solution where we have taken the time to work out their requirements in detail and then I have built them a website with functionality that is tailored to meet those requirements.  However, it is often the case that I am talking to people who aren’t ready to make the level of commitment necessary for such a project. They want me to answer the question; “Can’t you just set up a simple website for me?” The problem with this is that, given that I want to do the job properly, the answer has usually been “no”.

To solve this problem what I’ve needed is a way to get a basic website on-line quickly — but with all the configurations, customisations and essential plugins I feel are necessary, and a quality theme, so that the finished result is of a quality I am comfortable with. One of the things I have been working on over the last few weeks is developing a way to do this. The result is what I have called my Managed WordPress Hosting service.

The idea is to make this as hassle-free for the client as possible. Making use of WordPress multi-site, a range of plugins and themes that I have chosen, a few customisations of my own, and some templates I can set people up with a basic website. I will also take on the responsibility for maintenance and backups and so on. Inevitably, what the client can do with this website will be limited. This is not a custom solution and they won’t have admin access to the website. What they can focus on is keeping their content up-to-date. I hope it will be an ideal way for individuals, bloggers, small organisations and small businesses to get on-line quickly and cheaply.

Although it will take a little longer for me to get the infrastructure of this Managed WordPress hosting service fully operational — I think I have developed it sufficiently to start offering it to people. If you think this is something that might be useful for you please do get in touch.


The font I’ve chosen to use for the Grit & Oyster logo, and for headings on this site, is Garamond. I wanted to use a traditional serif font that has an elegance and I think Garamond fits this nicely. It is a classic and popular font, although one that is more associated with print than online use. But I think that is part of the attraction as I wanted something with a slightly ‘bookish’ feel.

Ah, but which Garamond?


Claude Garamond

There are a number of different font types that are called “Garamond” and the history of this font is a bit confused. As this article makes clear:

“Garamond is the original typographic naming disaster–a source of ongoing confusion. There are many types called “Garamond”, almost to the point where garamond has emerged as a category among serif text faces. What most of the Garamonds have in common is that they are more-or-less accurate revivals either of type cut by Claude Garamond in the late fifteenth century, or of type cut by Jean Jannon in the mid-16th century.”

Here are some more resources for this history of this classic font:

My choice: EB Garamond

Garamond Ampersand

Wanting to stick with open source I’ve chosen to use EB Garamond by Georg Duffner which has been released with an Open Fonts License. This Garamond has some nice italics and also comes with a small caps version – so I’ve been able to make good use of these.

In particular, I really like the italicised ampersand which I’ve use to make the & in Grit & Oyster.