One of the great things about computers and the internet these days is the fact you don’t have to be an expert at web development to make all kinds of web sites. Things like WordPress, Dreamweaver, self installers, and plugins basically do all of the work for you.
It’great! Well, you know, until it’s not.
We’ve found ourselves in an era where there’s a tutorial or a how-to on just about every subject imaginable online. Couple that with an in depth knowledge base or support community, and it makes it really easy to tackle a project that you should have no earthly business dealing with.
Well this week I (re)discovered the darkside of all this accessibility.
Right after posting my Location 180 article on Monday morning I’d finally been able to successfully install the affiliate software for the upcoming Location Rebel release. There were a few snags throughout the whole process, most of them relating to a php loader that had to be enabled on the server to make the software work.
I have no idea what a php loader is. That should be have been my first clue.
Would it have been hard to spend an extra half hour researching what this was and the correct way to install it? Absolutely not. Could I have done it correctly if I did that – most likely.
However the end result of all of this was one line of php in the wrong place in a random file that essentially caused the forums (that have already been active for a month now) to basically stop working entirely.
I had backups, which I reverted to. No help. I uninstalled everything. Still nothing.
To make a long story short, it took the better part of 48 hours before my hosting company was finally able to help me solve the problem. I owe HUGE thank you’s to Nicky and Bluehost as without them I would have been totally screwed.
For those of you who have dealt with major website issues, you have an idea of how stressful they can be. That’s not to say this stress can’t be managed though. I certainly had my good moments and bad ones, but in the end I was actually rather impressed at how much I was able to accomplish while going through this process.
Here are a few of the things I learned over the last few days:
- Always keep the worse case scenario in mind. What was my worst case scenario? I’d have to reinstall the forums and I lose all of the data from the last month. Yeah, that would be pretty bad, but would my life end because of it? Probably not. Would the community get built back up regardless? You bet. Things could have been much worse.
- Sometimes being frugal isn’t necessary. When it costs $45 to pay someone to install all of this stuff, the chances are, it’s worth it. We all know how big I am on rapid skill building, but there’s a difference between building a skill and just trying to hastily get something done. Unfortunately in this case I did the latter and paid the price.
- Turning off your internet can be a very good thing. Throughout all of this, there were a few times I had to step away from the internet to avoid making myself crazy. What’d I do? I wrote. I wrote a new module for Location Rebel. I worked on the myriad of guest posts I had scheduled. I did all of the stuff I’d been putting off – it’s much less difficult to be distracted by my desktop than it is my web browser.
- Once again, people impress the hell out of me. Just by sending a couple emails and a few tweets I received more offers for help than I expected. As mentioned before Nicky took time out from making some incredible stuff for #WDS to lend a hand. The guys at Bluehost literally spent hours on the phone with me, doing stuff, that in all actuality probably falls outside of their obligations. I just hope I can be that helpful to those who reach out for me.
Have you ever had a nightmare tech experience? How did you eventually solve it?
Yesterday we released Matt Koenig’s second Location Rebel Case Study where he talks about his preparation to move his family to Indonesia in a few months.
Photo Credit Cleveland.com
Sean OgleSean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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