Tales of a Small Business

The Day I Broke My Website

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Do you own and run a small business? I do and I have been since 2005.

Over the years, the decision to self-manage all or most parts of my small business, has meant just that. At times, I’ve been responsible for the admin, accounts, tax, marketing, and my website.

I’m sure you have too? But, are you still?

Let me tell you a story.

The day to day running and delivery of my small business as a performance coach, I love to do. This includes writing, coaching and developing new opportunities for my clients.

As well, marketing is fun, especially setting up and being involved in the chatter and interaction of social media, and uploading regular blog content. The marketing I choose to outsource is the creation of case studies. Within my network, I have access to a marketing colleague who writes and deliver fabulous work. Her talent helps to make my small business brand stand out and be remarkable.

This story, however, is about the day I broke my website.

The choice to have a WordPress website is based on the ‘easy’ to manage back end/administration section. Since 2005 I have had two websites and I have self-managed both. Much of my knowledge of the WordPress platform has been self-taught, as I find the tutorials simple to follow and use.

In 2013, when I rebranded my small business, I took a brave step and built my own website. It was easy to buy a theme and learn the basics of WordPress design including meta tags, plugins and SEO etc

Or so I thought…

Being familiar with the platform, I’ve managed plugin and theme updates, without too much hassle. Surely WordPress wouldn’t pose an obstacle to my basic knowledge?


One day recently, I logged into my website to upload blog content. On the dashboard, updates for both the theme and plugins were required. As I’ve done previously, I ticked each update and pressed enter. Great. Updates completed and onto my blog.

Not that day.

The theme updates sent my website into a wild spin. There was crazy coding all over the place. How could I promote my small business to the world when all the pages read like complete gobbledegook?

What to do?

Think web designer. I immediately emailed with ‘Please help I’ve broken my website’ in the subject line.

A prompt fix was delivered by my web designer, using her knowledge and expertise. My website and brand was safe in her hands – safe from the damage I had unknowingly inflicted.

What is the learning from this experience?

  • Know your limit when it comes to key parts of your small business.
  • Outsource to the person who has experience and knowledge.
  • Save yourself stress, time and wasted energy by thinking you can do it all. The money you pay for the right expertise is definitely worth it, in the short and long term.

What experiences have you had in small business where you’ve ‘broken’ something and had to get it ‘fixed’?

Originally published at gailmgibson.com

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