Online Home Business Success site from Lance Hallingford Updated
Last year I made some major improvements to this website after buying developer rights to an excellent WordPress theme. My new sites looked very professional and I received some encouraging comments about the appearance, clarity and ease of navigation. I hoped this would become the standard for all my websites for several years to come – was I wrong!
Enter WordPress upgrade – WordPress 3.6
Although the site looked the same to viewers, the upgrade messed up some vital site admin functions. The theme developers released a quick fix but its implementation over many sites proved to be time consuming. Who knows what horrors another WordPress update release might cause in the future? Even more worrying is the fact that the theme developers were not planning on updating their theme but were encouraging users to move to their new premium theme at a price. A price I was unwilling to pay as it was on a per site basis for a full developer license.
An important lesson for all website owners and developers
When you use WordPress or another Content Management System (examples: Joomla or Drupal), make absolutely certain that your Theme and all Plug-ins will be supported long term by their developers. While there are many excellent free themes and plug-ins, their continuing compatibility with future WordPress updates could be very uncertain.
Which developers will continue full long term support for their themes when there’s little or no income arising from their considerable time and effort?
Free themes, etc, can be very useful in the early stages of your online home business. Keeping start-up costs to a minimum is usually a requirement for your initial steps to home business success. This is how I started many years ago and it’s usually the only way to begin. But, the time comes for some investment to make progress and secure your websites to make them future proof.
Looking to the future
Over a year ago I invested in the Genesis WordPress frame work and theme package. Their developer license allows unlimited use on my own and all my customers’ websites. I tried it out but found it difficult to produce websites that looked really good. However, the recent problems I’ve mentioned above have forced me to reconsider. The biggest persuader was the recent release of Genesis 2. A mobile responsive framework and a growing portfolio of mobile responsive themes made it imperative to upgrade my sites. This site is the first to be upgraded using Genesis 2 and Metro-Pro 2 theme. I’ve modified some details of the theme to suit my needs, but not made drastic changes.
It’s becoming essential for websites to be compatible with tablet devices and smart phones. It’s estimated, even today, that a large proportion for web traffic comes from mobile devices, especially smart phones. This is a trend that’s rapidly increasing. If my websites don’t keep pace with these developments, my home business success will suffer greatly.
The lessons from this?
It’s so easy to lose your website for many reasons. One big problem is updates which cause the site to crash because of compatibility issues with themes or plug-ins. In some cases you can even lose the ability to access your admin functions and hence lose your site forever, unless you’re very clever with trouble shooting and editing your site files directly on your web host. Not a good situation to be caught in.
Technology and social use changes very quickly. Unless your site can keep up with these major trends, you will lose traffic and business. Your online home business success will diminish rapidly. Using future proof systems will help you avoid such problems and make the need for frequent upgrades less likely.
Using a reliable business developer of themes and frameworks, will give you some better protection against upgrade failures, hackers, and lost traffic.
Only you will know when the time is right for your online home business to take the next step into professional website frameworks. There is a cost, but it’s small compared with the cost of time and assistance when your website becomes unstable or defunct. There’s also the loss of income due to falling traffic, when your site fails to keep up with technology developments and users’ needs.
To your home business success, especially online.