Forced into a Management Position
Over the last few weeks I have been struggling with one site, a membership site that has become a free site designed to help illustrate how to create the fundamentals of an online business.
Unfortunately it was in part created using template pages from my WordPress development site, this is an important point to which we will return later.
When WordPress goes wrong it does not always do it in dramatic style, rather there can be subtle issues that hint at deep rooted problems within the site.
However any problem always offers the opportunity to learn and discover more about WordPress.
Firstly thanks to Mayura de Silva for prompting me to redo the WP 3.6 update.
This highlighted a misconception about the term update that I and perhaps you may have fallen into.
Unlike Microsoft where an update only includes the amended files, WordPress replaces all core files regardless of whether they have been amended or not.
Of course we cannot use the term re-install as a WordPress installation is often considered to include the creation of a database.
What is the significance of this?
If your plugins rely upon amendments to these core files then your plugins may begin to fail or introduce unexpected effects into your site, perhaps even the White screen of Death.
This is a screen that has no displayed errors but simply locks up your site with the only resolution to manually remove the offending plugin via your hosting or FTP service.
Unfortunately brute force removal of plugins will leave further corrupted and disjointed files behind and thus yet another WordPress update to cleanse these core files is required.
Now returning to those imported template pages
Each page has in its Meta description (the parts you cannot see in WordPress) the original URL where it was created, this is crucially not updated when you import the file into another WordPress installation.
The only way to see this information is in your database or by exporting your sites XML file and going through this very large document.
The result of these misplaced URLs is yet another layer of strangeness and corruption throughout the site.
With all of this going on, I realized that much of the issues with the site could never be fixed and thus I deleted the site, core files and database included.
Cache is stupid when you are a developer
Caching is a great idea when you visit your favorite sites, as it allows them to load very quickly. The reason for this is that you are seeing the version stored in your browser; in fact you may even be seeing the version stored in your ISP’s cache.
However when you are trying to rebuild a site, you want to always see the live versions as it’s very disconcerting to see sales pages and forms you know were deleted the day before.
Clearing your browser cache is fairly straight forward.
Unfortunately we have no control over our ISP cache, BT broadband, my landlords ISP of choice uses some very aggressive caching but also is highly unstable, a lethal mix when you are attempting to modify a database centered CMS system such as WordPress.
Time to Put Your Coding Hat Down
With all of this going on I realized that perhaps it would be better to have someone not using BT broadband rebuild this site.
Thus I would have to become a project manager
Of course the major problem with this transition is that you need to find a way to communicate the vision you have for the site and its pages.
The solution that so far is working for me is in creating a swipe file for each page.
- The OptimisePress template file used
- The Easy Video Player stored file used on the page
- Images of others pages I like, plus relevant code
- Alternative graphics to replicate those pages
- Headline and body text
- Mind map image illustrating the site overview and how each page interacts.
Now that may sound like a lot of work but critically it matches an important lesson that Rich Schefren shares.
To create success fast, you need to separate the thinking and doing.
All too often we find ourselves thinking and doing at the same time.
If you have ever found yourself looking at a blank WordPress pages with no clue as to what should be on that page then you are guilty of thinking and doing simultaneously which as you know is a massive waste of time.
By following the solution above you or someone else knows exactly what is intended for each page and thus the pages and the site can be completed all the faster.
And of course if you are an Internet Marketer without an Internet connection then this maybe the only option you have!
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