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Dear Diary... I really need to upgrade my website

Posted in Web Sites @ Oct 15th 2015 - By Judy Gillespie, Vetanswers
Dear Diary I Need A New Website

Getting my website built was stressful..will upgrading it be just as bad?

Dear Diary….Well it’s started…..

I’ve decided it’s time to upgrade and improve the Vetanswers website and thought it might be an interesting exercise to share the process with you.

I’ve not been happy with my website for quite some time but to be honest I was nervous about doing anything about it.

Why?

Well firstly ..money. 

I was nervous about how much it was going to cost.  I had my website custom built in 2011 so it wasn’t cheap to start off with and I don’t have a spare few thousand waiting to be spent…..so I’m worried it’s going to hurt!

And secondly…time & energy.

I found the whole process of getting my website built incredibly stressful and time consuming back in 2011/12. I felt I was constantly being asked questions I had no idea how to answer and when I did have answers the web designers didn’t seem to understand what I was saying. But I should also make it clear that I didn’t really blame them as I really do think they were doing their best to understand my needs.

But I only speak English

The best way I can explain the situation was that it honestly felt like they were speaking French and I was speaking English. I didn’t understand their questions and they didn’t understand my answers!

Back in 2011/12 I had absolutely no experience with websites – sure I’d looked at lots of them but I had no knowledge or understanding of how they worked, what was possible or not possible and I certainly had no idea how to speak ‘French’!

It may not have been such a problem if I had only needed a basic website with the standard pages, but Vetanswers needed a blog, a searchable Business Directory and the ability for companies who had paid to be a part of the Business Directory to set up, modify and work with their own Pages. I had a rough picture in my head of what I wanted but it was by no means a well thought out, meticulously laid out plan. So most of the time it must have been very frustrating for the web designers when many of my responses to their questions was “Ummm… I don’t really know….” (Image on the right is how I imagine the reaction from the web designer when they heard my website needed updating)

But eventually the Vetanswers website was built – I certainly had more grey hairs after the process but then I suspect so did the web designers. Since then there have been heaps of things I’ve been really happy with and I think I’ve learned how to use my website pretty well. I’m really happy with the ‘back-end’ CMS (Content Management System) but over time fashion changes and so the Vetanswers website needs to change also to keep up to date.

Which brings us up to October 2015….

I’ve already got in contact with the original website company and they’re fairly confident that I’ll be able to keep the ‘bones’ of my website and just change the way it looks – so that’s good news.  Just like a car or a house, websites need maintenance and over the years a few glitches have popped up so I’ll need to get them fixed at the same time.

So this is where we’re at, at the end of my first Diary entry…..I’ve just sent a list of existing glitches through to the web designer and once he’s revised those I guess we’ll be closer to getting an idea as to what it’s all going to cost.

Next stage…the design….what do I want it to look like and what should it be able to do???

Have you recently gone through a website upgrade? Do you have a tips to share?

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