Although this post about my friend, Ed Vaughan, has nothing to do with either rings or jewellery, it will give you some idea about the reasons why I changed direction and started this blog earlier this year.
Edward Everett Vaughan – February 5th. 1942-October 25th. 2018
A friend of mine recently died unexpectedly during a short visit to a local hospital in Phuket, Thailand. Edward Vaughan (commonly known as “Ed”) had been a good friend since my son started school with his son who is the same age.
Our friendship really began only recently in July 2017 when Ed asked me to update his personal website The site featured some photos and stories about his time as a surfer, diver and yachtsman.
As the original webmaster had died a few years previously, my first task was to trace and move the website from it’s server to a new location. I found out that the site was hosted on the webmaster’s personal account by a company called Greengeeks who I had never heard of before. It had just “sat there” doing nothing for 5 years since it was first published.
Although Ed knew little about the technical details of his website, between us we managed to trace it’s whereabouts and create a new account with Greengeeks in order to get it moved.
UPDATE 2022 For reasons unknown to me, Ed’s website was taken offline around a year after his death. However it can still be accessed at this Internet Archive.
Moving the website
The team at Greengeeks we’re most helpful and the process was not too complicated. Once we had new passwords and complete control of the account, I began the task of updating and rebuilding the pages of the website. Ed liked the original design and format of the site so I didn’t change that too much. The first problem I noticed was that the site was not mobile friendly and looked terrible on any mobile device.
I spent many hours in Ed’s company while I carried out the work for him and soon got to know him as we had much in common.
We had both worked in the entertainment industry. Ed was an accomplished flamenco guitarist as well as being a name in the world of the movie industry. I previously worked as a professional musician around the UK. Additionally, we both had children of the same age and a friendship between the two boys was already established.
Naturally Ed had many stories to share about his time sailing around the world and also as a Hollywood movie director/producer. These stories plus an introduction to some great underwater photography, made me realize that I was dealing with someone who had actually been there and done it. Ed was always very modest about his past and sometimes had to be prompted to discuss some important points relating to his website.
The task of updating the website probably took about one month utililising the time that we both had available and for me was a great experience as I got to know the man behind it.
The relocation of Ringmania
At the time I was unhappy with the providers of my own websites and decided to move everything over to Greengeeks. As I had 12 websites in total, I purchased a reseller account for around 20 US Dollars/month which enabled me to host all the domains at one server. I now had all my sites in one place which was easily manageable. Since working on Ed’s site, I noticed several problems with my own site ringmania.com and set about updating that too.
As my new found occupation of web designer, I was asked by another friend to update a WordPress site. I knew nothing of working with the platform but agreed to carry out the work in any case.
I was impressed with how easy a site can be constructed with WordPress and had it sorted within a week. Soon after that, I experimented with various themes which I could use for my own websites and decided to completely rebuild ringmania.com using WordPress in June 2018.
Throughout this period, I remained in regular contact with Ed Vaughan and we often spent time socializing while our kids played together.
The Ed Vaughan blog
Ed told me that he wanted to publish some of his stories outside the sailing era. I suggested that he should make good use of a blog which could be connected with his main website and it would be easy for him to log in anytime to write down and publish his thoughts.
Unfortunately, he never quite got into the habit of updating the blog which still only has one post first published in April 2018 about his Uncle Will. I didn’t think that the version of the story at the blog was complete and may be hard for the average reader to relate to.
Ed was aware of my thoughts on this and also his website which I felt was missing a lot of information. He said, that’s how he wanted it so I respected his decision not to change anything.
As a direct result of working with Ed Vaughan, I started this Ringmania project in June of this year. This blog and ringmania.com itself would not exist it the present form if not for my friendship with such a great character. He will be sadly missed by myself and many others around the world.