I guess, given the heading, this short piece will focus on what may have been negative moments, but nonetheless, and this leads directly into my number one tip for lessons learned, these negative moments were actually opportunities to learn.
I am grateful for all the things that didn’t quite work out initially, for the new knowledge gained means I can now mitigate against the potential for repeat instances in future, at least each time the frustration has subsided! Here is one key example:
Website purchase. The importance of a quality looking and performing website was for me, as it will be for many of you, a critical decision when I was sourcing a provider. I believed that whilst WordPress provide great platforms, it was my view at the time that WP wouldn’t give me, and my visitors, the experience I really wanted.
I made a number of enquiries, asked my connections, and short listed down based on 1- quality offered, 2- ease of reach (geographically) of the design team, 3- after-sales promises, and finally 4- price. This order may apply less to others, but I knew my brief!
Having paid incrementally, to ensure progress was achieved and the scope was adhered to, the website was delivered as agreed. The day after final settlement however service immediately fell away! Not only that, the company left the UK altogether!
Lesson learned? You bet. The website had to be regraded and converted to WordPress! Ironic, huh? The lesson was, and is that you can build quality with WordPress, and other much less expensive models than that which I originally selected.
I was unable to guarantee the work I commission just because I paid over the odds. And whilst this contract was outside of those I was referred to, I have also learned that even referrals are still no guarantee of quality and outcome.
I have learned that WordPress does give the website owner a high level of control. It is reasonably easy to learn the content management system, to navigate and to update. I do still have help with issues outside of my knowledge though as the site can fall over, or the hosting server can be a pain. So the next lesson was to ensure I retained access and built a relationship with a ‘tech’. Speaking of hosting, this is another area of some confusion! I found with some hosting services, I had no control because the knowledge required was fairly substantial, so choose carefully here too!
There is so much more I could share on this subject alone. If you have any questions about this, or any other areas relating to my first year set up, do feel free to let me know.