New website

I’ve finally re-launched the website after about a month of intense effort and I am pleased with the outcome given that I’m no developer and, in general, have very little involvement with tech of any sort – out of choice – except I’m in front of a laptop screen practically all my working and waking hours.

As I refreshed the site, I remembered when I first created it back in 2016 and felt very relieved I had kept notes. I’d known at the time that what I had learnt about the literal mechanics of creating the site would disappear out of my head the very moment I stopped thinking about it – and my head did just that.

Now, 5 years later, in 2021, I find that website building still ranks as one of the most clunky experiences in a lifetime. In this day and age, I find that quite staggering. This setting or that (which could have been in one of a half dozen different places)? This tick box or that? This plug in or that plug in? Desktop or mobile? Ninety percent of the time taken (and it was a lot of time) was clicking one button or another to find a setting that did what I needed and head scratching when it didn’t work. Five percent was finding and activating the right plug in. The remainder minute amount of time was the actual site creation. I come from the world of creating visuals in PowerPoint, where you just drag and drop and re-size and re-colour and align with ease and I just can’t understand how in this day and age, website building can be so clunky. It’s 95% donkey work.

Why is it like this? The skeptic in me says that WordPress, themes and plugins are the domain of developers and that’s how they think. It’s an engineering platform, not a product for public use. Or, perhaps, like financial services, it doesn’t pay to make the stuff easy to understand.

Mostly, I think it’s in the irony is that it’s all online. I remember when online was first a thing and companies would turn their software apps into online services, thinking subscription model, income stream (they still do). Anything from hotel reservation systems, timesheets and expenses and desktop software. But, the experience was that any app that became an online service got clunky and crappy to use. And, I still see that with Microsoft Office today. An app is always better than a browser experience.

Anyway, that’s whinge over. I do like the site and hope you do too. I’ll keep an eye out to see if there’s a setting missed.

What’s your experience of website creation?  Head over to Twitter or Facebook to share.