Today I commissioned a $2500, scorched-earth rebuild of my entire website. I expected a faint pang of apprehension at this point; now that it’s here, I’m downright scared. I’ve written dozens of sites for clients, but this is different. It’s my site, my brand, my business and my money, um… line of credit, actually.
In short, it’s my a**e online. I’m literally trembling as I type. Will I triumph, or come a cropper? Let’s play the fortunately/unfortunately game to see:
Fortunately I have a good man in my corner. He’s been my IT Guy for a couple of years and his service is second to none. He’s fast and smart and reasonably priced. He’s got offsite backup thingys coming out of his serial port, so that’s got to be good.
Unfortunately my years of experience with web projects have taught me that they’re longer and stringier than the longest, stringiest bits of string. What starts as a five-page walk in the park can turn into a 15-volume Grimm’s fairy tale. Overnight.
Fortunately I did things by the book. I wrote an explicit, four-page plan of what I wanted in terms of content, structure and functionality. I also wrote a creative brief, complete with sample images, to give the designer a clear sense of my vision. I even gave the URL of the site I wish to emulate – a site, ironically, whose content I edited with supreme confidence!
Unfortunately until you see everything on screen, you don’t know how (if?) it’s going to work. And even if it’s all done right and I love it, my clients may not. They range from sole traders to corporate juggernauts; what pleases some may repel others. It all comes down to my professional judgment which, though unerring to date, feels strangely frail today.
Fortunately I have a small circle of gifted, trusted, objective advisors. To these generous people I will send the site mock-ups that precede the main event.
Unfortunately until we go live, I won’t know for sure whether all this time, money and effort will pay off.
Fortunately the Empire is soon to be mentioned in a major magazine and featured on myBRC. It’s possible that hordes of new visitors will give me the feedback I crave.
Unfortunately the site may not be ready in time for this exposure, and these rich, new prospects may hit (and flee) my tired, old site which is so in need of a makeover.
Fortunately if the whole thing collapses in a screaming heap, I’ll at least get some amusing blog posts out of it.
All this goes to show that when you’re reinvesting your own hard-earned cash, even decades of expertise offer scant comfort. Do you trust yourself? Whence comes your confidence?
Your advice, warnings and hilarious anecdotes are invited at this point.
Wish me luck!
Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, www.thefeistyempire.com