How To avoid website drama if you don’t have an IT Department

My life in the last 7 days has been a roller coaster or joy and frustration. I have abandoned my various websites for quite a while and I decided last week that I needed to get it all updated.
 
http://Rezaali.my is my personal blog.
 
I decided I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the cosmetics of this website (at least not yet).
 
But Right Eye’s website https://Righteye.my needs a lot of tender loving care.
 
So my last one week has been spent on refreshing my WordPress skills.
 
I’ve suffered crashes, error 500, error 403, error 404, too many connections, too many redirections, ssl not valid, can’t connect to database, broken themes and the list goes on and on.
 
Today the website pretty close to how I want it to look. Performance is not too shabby. I am obsessed with checking the various online tools like webpagetest. See the screenshot of the results below.
Webpagetest Results for righteye.my
 
The very red F is there because I need to upgrade my server.
 
This experience has taught me a few things.
 
It occurred to me that I am doing all the trouble shooting for all the websites under my care. If I had an IT department I can farm out the problems to them.
 
I don’t. If you’re reading this, I’m certain you don’t too.
 
But that shouldn’t stop me from wanting my website to be of a standard.
 
This is for WordPress websites though other types of website will be along the same lines.
 
So.
 
To avoid website drama if you don’t have an IT Department, you have to consider these 4 things.
 
  1. Make sure you have a good web hosting provider. The key is support and service. I host my website with https://exabytes.my. I have a funny relationship with them. I used to nurse an almost pathological hatred for them because of bad technical expertise and equally bad customer service. I’m talking about hate. Hate that is almost sinful. But, they have transformed themselves lately. Uptime is marvelous. Customer support good (it could be faster, then it would be great). You need a great hosting service because you have to rely on them to troubleshoot for you. They are IT department.
  2. Make sure you choose a good WordPress theme. There are some pretty good free themes out there. Theme providers will release a free theme. If you like the free theme then they a Pro version. Again, service is critical here. You will likely have a website that looks nowhere near like the demo theme. A good theme provider will have an active support site. They will also provide clear setup documentation.
  3. Go through step-by-step setup guides. Some easy to follow ones are
    Michael Hyatt WordPress Setup
    WPBeginner Start A New WordPress
    WPMUDEV Getting Started With WordPress
  4. Backup! Because it’s likely that you will have to reinstall from a backup at some point. Backing up saves you time. If you don’t backup, you have to start from scratch if something irrecoverable happens. I am talking from experience. Because I had to start from a fresh installation several times.
 
So there you go. I’m sure there are more. These are the things that stand out in me memory at the moment.
 
Someone once told me that the reason why I can do a this is because I am IT savvy.
 
I disagree. Saying that I have to be IT savvy to have all these wonderful IT stuff supporting my business is like saying I need to be an engineer in order to drive a car.
 
Can you read instructions?
 
Can you point the mouse and click?
 
Can you type?
 
If it’s a yes to all the above. Congratulations. You are now IT savvy.
 
Let me know what other tips you may have.

Leave a Comment