KISS – Why Can’t I Remember This?

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I’ve been doing websites on some level for over 17 years. I’ve been working specifically with WordPress for about ten years now and manage about 150 sites.

Some might hear that and think, “wow, I bet she knows her stuff.” Others, might look at that and thing, “that’s nothing.” The truth is somewhere in the middle…the middle of an ever-changing world of technology – a constantly moving target.

Some of you who visit here often and/or are members of our membership program may know that I was having several issues with the load speed on my site. Meaning…it was really slow. This was equally embarrassing as it was frustrating, for my visitors and for me.

You see, my site had gotten quite large and I’d added several features, stemming from my desire to provide a quality membership site. I’d been dreaming of this site for about two years and I wanted it to rock right out of the box. I even followed my advice and the advice of other experts and tested these features in a testing environment rather than on my live site.

There was still a problem. Some of them need to be really used to know if they are important features (you find out as you go, based on what people are doing). They also need to be tested within the same environment they’ll be used in, which is a lot of work to duplicate. So I added things and then removed them, like I tell everyone else not to do when trying out a new plugin. I kept adding more and more plugins to add function….

And then the site, at a basic level, wasn’t functioning. Again, embarrassing and frustrating.  I was starting to feel like I knew nothing and was questioning everything I was doing.  And it all came to a head as I was entering a stint with a really bad case of the flu, among other things.

All I could think, as I took a step back, was “I KNEW BETTER.”

I KNEW BETTER!

I wondered how I got here.  Of course, I knew.  My desires and excitement got the best of me and I lost sight of what’s really important.  I lost sight of all I knew.  It’s so easy for this to happen.  Here’s what I was reminded of through this process…

  1. Simple is best.
  2. When in doubt, refer to #1.

So I started scaling back and looking for solutions to fix the issues I’d created.  It took a lot of time and energy and I know there are a few things that still need to be addressed but I’ll get there.

How will this play out in the future?  I’m not sure.  I’d like to say I’ll never make this mistake again but, the truth is, I can’t be sure.  But for today, I’m going to focus on KISS (keep it simple, silly – I know there are other meanings but I’m sticking with this one).

The good news is, a mistake is not a mistake when we learn and grow from it and this has definitely been that kind of an experience for me.  Plus I have learned even more about WordPress and that means I can help others even more.  What “mistakes” have you learned from and been able to see the value in?

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