Hire a Pro? Lesson learned.

August 29, 2009

smash_computerWhile marketing my DJ company to prospective clients, one thing I have strongly emphasized is to “Hire a Professional” – don’t trust your important day to an amateur. This is a true statement and applies to things other than hiring a Wedding DJ as I have recently learned.
I had adopted a do-it-yourself approach on building and maintaining my web site. Sure, I’ve had help with things like special codes and flash scripts, but by and large, most of my web site has been a do-it-yourself project. I’ve been doing this for a number of years, launching jackbrowndj.com in 2003. The problem is that I am a Wedding entertainer – not a web designer. Why do it myself? For fun, sense of accomplishment and that it allowed me to make any changes I wanted whenever I wanted to make them, plus it didn’t cost me anything. I managed to get a decent site online but not a great site. A real web designer works on these things every day and all of the nuances of web design and file management becomes second nature. In my case, I only worked sporadically on mine, often not touching it for months at a time. I would have to learn how to do things all over again. As I would soon find out, this was a recipe for disaster.
After an extended time of not making any changes myself, I decided that I needed some revisions and went into my design software (Microsoft Frontpage – now obsolete) to make them. All was fine until I went to upload the pages to the server. You see, I had someone else make some more complicated changes a while back, adding some of the really nice flash photo montages to my wedding site and a few other things. He also made some needed changes to the file structure, which I had not done correctly. These changes were not on my computer, but that thought never occurred to me. . When I went to upload my pages, the server flashed a message asking if I wanted to delete the files that didn’t exist on my server. I clicked the yes button (oops) because this was what I had always done in the past without any problem, but then again, I always had the files. To make a long story short, my action resulted in having most of my website erased into internet oblivion – gone forever with NO BACK UP (another major screw-up)! Whose fault? MINE. Would a professional web guy who does this work professionally have allowed this to happen? Not a chance. Afterall… He’s a professional.

There is the difference between an amateur and a professional, only this time, I am the amatuer. I have spent most of the last four days rebuilding my site, reconstructing much of it from memory but some of it is gone forever. It is nowhere as nice as it was before. Lots of mistakes and hundreds of little corrections that need to be done. It is going to take months before it will be 100% finished at this rate. Once I get the basic site back in operation, you can bet that I’ll be looking for a pro to hand this over to.

I’ll be taking my own advise from now on. Sometimes you (I) have to learn the hard way. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL!

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