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Horrible Face

Horrible Face

I had a terrible website for a long time. Like, probably a year. For a web design business, this is obviously bad. Your website is the face of your company and if you have a horrible face people won’t want to look at you. They’ll choose the beautiful face that’s offering the same thing. You can’t blame them, I would have done exactly the same.

The reasons for my site being bad were multitude, and I’ve gone into them already on previous blog posts, but essentially, they were: Covid-19; home-schooling; having no time to do it, and concentrating on other peoples sites. I knew I should be putting time into my site but part of me didn’t want to. I knew if I did, someone might approach me to ask for work. This would put even more demands on my time and although I wouldn’t like to say no to the extra income, the further demands on my time wouldn’t be fair on all the other commitments that were going on for me in 2020.

Missed Opportunites

Now, during 2020 a lot of businesses moved to working online and would have been looking at web design companies to help facilitate this. I have a good idea that I missed out on a lot of work because of my shoddy site. A disclaimer here: whilst researching other web design companies, I have come across some sites that are a lot worse than mine was at it’s lowest point. Try it and see for yourself – Google ‘web design companies’, click a few of the results and you’ll see broken links, really slow sites, and some that look like they were made before the internet was invented!

The reasons why my site was bad I shall now explain. For WordPress websites, a lot of the functionality is achieved through plug-ins. For security and evolutionary reasons, these plugins need regular updates (just like your phone or computer). Sometimes, updating one plugin will have an effect on another plugin and they will conflict. This could cause an error that is visible to a website visitor. Even though I kept on top of my updates, I didn’t always fix the issues that come about by updating them. Also, the colour scheme wasn’t great, I didn’t like the fonts I had used, the pictures weren’t great, etc etc. Essentially the house I had built was crumbling down.

The Barber with Rubbish Hair

I’m sure you’ve heard the paradox about a town with two barbers – one with good hair, one with bad hair. Who do you go to to get your hair cut? Answer: the one with the bad hair, because he cut the barber with good hair’s hair. The one with good hair gave the other barber a bad hair cut. Yeah, that’s how I was thinking about my website. I was spending my spare time working on other websites, which were good. Mine might not have been, but if you click through to my portfolio, I’m sure you’d have been satisfied with the quality of my work. I was also thinking about and working on diversifying my business during this period, but it was a conscious decision to not spend time on refreshing my site, because of the extra demands any new custom could create.

I have told a little lie here. Behind the scenes I was working on a new site here and there, when time would allow. It was just taking a lot of time because I was creating one from scratch. I didn’t want to just update pages sporadically, I wanted to have a whole site ready to put online when I was ready to do it. It was complete by mid-March but I held off from uploading it until mid-April because I kept tweaking it. I wanted it to be perfect. To paraphrase Steve Jobs, if you waited for something to be perfect before releasing it, we’d still be waiting for the first iPhone now.

Judge People by Their Work

Anyway, to conclude, I feel that I might have missed opportunities by having an outdated site but there were reasons for this – it was a conscious decision. My site is much better now (in my opinion) but it still isn’t perfect. If you spot any mistakes/errors, do let me know via the Contact Page – there’s a good chance it’s already on my ‘To Do’ list, but any feedback is appreciated. And finally, being self-employed is tough. Please don’t judge anyone on their website, their vans, their clothes, their whatever. Judge them on their output. Just because the house is crumbling, doesn’t mean their work can’t be great. And shop local, these guys appreciate your custom a lot more than the big multinationals, and if you’ve done your homework (physically or metaphorically clicked through to the Portfolio page), you shouldn’t be disappointed.

Today’s soundtrack: The Beta Band – Hot Shots II

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