As an agency, it can be difficult to find the time to work on your own presence. A lot of nights, weekends, and love went into this project.
To be honest, I’m a data nerd.
I’ve been building websites since 1994, so I tend to like things the old-fashioned way. I get out my text editor, clone a copy of my favorite coding framework (Laravel), and begin hacking away.
This is how I made the original SuccessAmp site, and it served me well. I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted, and for that freedom, I only had to give up a little time. Every time I needed a new feature I could whip up a little code and have it done in no time.
It’s time for a change. I can’t believe what I’m about to type.
If a client needed a quick and easy web site, I would default to using WordPress. It does a good job and it’s easy to work with. With the right themes and plugins, it’s fairly easy to have good speed and search engine optimization. Despite using it for many projects, I never wanted to use it for my own simple site.
As time went by though, I came to realize that I avoided adding some really simple things to the SuccessAmp website. Blog? Nah. Sitemap? It can be done by hand. More pages? Someday.
Well, someday came about a few months ago. I was updating a website for a local client here in Grand Rapids and found myself wishing for a moment that I could update my own site so quickly. A few minutes later I had a fresh server loaded with WordPress and a few of my favorite plugins.
I don’t have to do everything. I can still do pretty much anything.
The bad part of my old website was that I was the one who updated everything. Nice if you’re a control freak (which I suppose I am somewhat), but terrible for productivity. Now that I have things up in a CMS I can actually let others do some of the work for me.
WordPress has actually gotten a lot faster over the past few years. Using WP Rocket I’m able to deliver pages at speeds similar to my bare bones Laravel setup. The pages are a bit more bloated, but they still load quickly. I have no complaints about the speed at all.
Not a fan of sloppy code. It kills my nerd street cred.
Remember me saying I’m a data nerd? Well, I’m also a bit of a code snob as well. I would view source and look at website code to see how well they’re made. I doubt a client would ever do such a thing, but clean HTML is like my nerd street cred.
I could build a website with cleaner code and a CMS using something a little more exotic like any of the Laravel based CMS projects. The problem is I would still find myself missing some WordPress plugin at some point. It’s not the right choice for every website, but I’m confident it’s the right choice for this one.
I do get to do one thing. Get out the lipstick.
I get to spend a bit more time making the site look pretty. Not the most important thing to me, but I hear people who use websites like them to look good. I set up a few nice little layouts in DIVI 3 and it makes creating beautiful pages a snap.
For me, it’s a bit like putting lipstick on a pig. I know there’s some ugly stuff going on in the background. So, I’ll pretty it up, make it load fast, and ignore that it’s really a pig behind the scenes. At least my mom loves it, so it has that going for it.
Time to get all formal up in here. In conclusion:
I hope my broken nerd ego doesn’t keep anyone from enjoying this site. I did put a lot of time and effort into it (plenty of Saturdays), and I am pretty happy with how it turned out. She might not be all that pretty on the inside, but she’s fast and looks good on the outside. Reminds me of some people I know.
As time goes on I’ll work out the bugs and expand the content a bit. I might even get back to blogging, which I haven’t done since I was living in Costa Rica. I appreciate you reading this far, and if you enjoyed the post, even a bit, please give it a like or share. Pura Vida!