I have recently completed building my third generation web site which was developed using WordPress a ‘theme’ and an arrangement of ‘plugins’, the majority of the plugins are free as was the WordPress core. One of my parameters on this project was minimise expense, to date not counting my considerable time devoted to the significant learning curve and hours of development, the total development cost has been AU$25.00 which was for the purchase of one of twenty two plugins I have used to date.
My first site was built using MS Front Page around eight years ago, the second was a ‘do it yourself’ MelbIT offering which I elected to use after getting frustrated trying to get my head around Dot Net Nuke and Web Matrix around 2-3 years ago.
The Front Page site was clunky and difficult to manage and from a tradesman’s point of view (my first job was as an apprentice carpenter and joiner) a better job could have been done using a hammer, hand saw and not very smooth sandpaper. The ‘do it yourself’ site was simply a desperate attempt to get a more modern professional feel for my on-site presence with the hope of some autonomy around design and content management, on both fronts this option was average to below average. However in making that judgement and to be balanced, my lack of capacity and or preparedness to invest time and resources would have contributed to my dissatisfaction.
Apart from my frugal budget my goal in building my own web sites has been an ongoing attempt to be in control of the day to day maintenance and upkeep of the design and content of my primary method of communicating to my clients and clients to be.
My recent efforts have been both challenging and rewarding, the success I have achieved through working with WordPress has been primarily due to the online user supporter base that WordPress users have developed, the significant devotion of theme and plugin authors and the access to resources that the internet provides (a quick search of the web reveals ‘With 60 Million Websites, WordPress Rules The Web’). Just a little aside, crikey what about the power of a hyperlink!!
My general view of the power of the internet and its vast reach is that with small business operators constantly on the lookout for an edge ‘the internet search engine1’ has created the ultimate business to business roadblock buster and troubleshooting tool ever and we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. This is a little off subject and just as a small as an example of where we’ve come from in a very short period of time, I recall not so long ago installing MS Office on a PC using something like 34, yep you read right right I said 34 3.25 inch floppy disks, thank goodness the power of the internet has made that type of installation a thing of the past.
Getting back on subject, although the creation of this website is an ongoing development that allows me to change content and design as the market demands, I have reached a point where I am reasonable confident in publishing our new site V1.0.
The challenges have been many and the rewards great, I am a builder at heart be it a house, a business or a website, I build. I have put this first part of my journey together in the hope of inspiring others that aspire to undertake the journey.
This project needs to be constantly developed and maintained I will continue add to this tale and include some of the elements of the learning curves and stumbling blocks I have come across in developing the site to this stage (18/03/2014), and as I continue to maintain and develop additional content and experiment with design into the future I will continue to expand this text.
Can I punctuate my efforts with one thought? I have found ‘populating my site’ to be the most challenging development issue by far. When you choose to use WordPress as your development platform you are in the privileged position of having a vast array of ‘themes’ and ‘plugins’ designed by dedicated world of WordPress enthusiasts to help you piece together the design aspects of your sites framework, your real work starts and ends with ‘content’.
1 ‘the internet search engine’ is used in this instance to generalise the power of all search facilities available to internet users.