I am writing this blog post as an apology to our Senior Developer, Derek. I never actually meant to let our internal systems fall to pieces when we got so busy…but I did.
On a quiet Saturday night two weeks ago I was updating our website with our new logo doing some general tidying and completing WordPress updates. Being helpful I thought.
In my defence my focus in the last 3 months has been on client work and I had really dropped the ball checking in on our own site and allocating tasks to Derek to do on it.
But here I was with time to spare, so I got myself a little bit click happy.
Then it happened.
The website threw a rather FATAL error. Like the type that takes your breath away. It wasn’t just that things had stopped working on the site…the site had entirely spat the dummy.
The thing is, I sort of knew I shouldn’t have been fiddling and doing WordPress updates myself, I usually always leave them to Derek. I do this for two reasons…
1. I don’t ever want to be blamed for breaking the site.
2. If he breaks the site he has the knowledge and experience to fix it quickly. But you know … I had some free time yahdee yahdee yahdaa.
I sheepishly sent Derek a Slack message, knowing full well he wouldn’t respond to me as he was doing his usual ‘Derek’s House Of Music’ event. This is when all the cool musical kids of Ballarat turn up and play wonderful music (just under excessive noise requirements)for hours and hours. There was no way I was going to have our website back before Monday.
Insert many words starting with F.
I fessed up to Steph my drama. Because I felt honesty was the best way forward.
Then waited what seemed like YEARS to hear back from Derek.
Monday morning arrived and it was with huge relief that Derek showed up on Slack laughing at my stupidity. I think his first sentence was… there is a plugin incompatibility I will fix BUT WHY did you think it was ok to just hit update like a lunatic?
Ummm… because I was a little bored. I am sorry! And yes I can be a lunatic. A kind and helpful lunatic at that.
Anywhooo…. he fixed the error and also discovered some other little dramas in there so we finally bit the bullet and moved hosts. (Something we had been planning for months)
As we were waiting for our server to be provisioned, emails started to charge on in. It seemed that the one red hot reason to hit us up on email was because people were back in their offices after their Christmas break and discovering things not working on their websites.
So Derek went from being rather frustrated with me, to frustrated that so many others had left critical updates on their sites so long that things had broken.
The thing is, it’s easy to become busy with other elements of our online presence (arherrmmm socials) and we forget our own most precious real estate, our website. Don’t say that to a developer though. He/she will not understand. Essentially they see this as some sort of blasphemy.
Moral of the story is simple. Give Derek an hour or two a month to do your websites and check in on your websites health OR have him run a website audit which will give you a report including any dramas that maybe impacting your success online.
He wanted me to rename our old Website Audit Service to The DR Appointment because DR are his initials. Yes insert big eye roll.
Moving on …Derek, from the bottom of my heart I am sorry. I can be a click happy lunatic that likes to test your patience!