About this site
As any quality-obsessed, self-critical person who has tried to write, create, perform or code anything (a poem, an exhibition, a painting, a house, a speech, a family, a website…) will know, doing your own stuff is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Furthermore, if the ‘thing’ is something that involves multiple tasks and skills – all of which you love doing but most of which are time-consuming and you’re slightly less skilled at than someone who does one of them full-time, then there’s huge potential for the thing becoming a major distraction and having a negative impact on the reason you were doing it, on you and on those around you. Maybe even on the world.
So, with that in mind, I set myself some objectives for this website.
- By most techie or creative’s standards, I’m not particularly active ‘on social’. It’s not that I’ve not used it a lot or am continually intrigued by it as a phenomenon, but I have always found that I spend so much of my life looking at screens and using technology that engaging in social networking doesn’t bring enough positive value to me (OK, OK… I do use Instagram for drawings and photos). However, to be an independent digital professional and artist, I need to have some presence online where people can find out about me and if wanted, engage with me. This website needs to serve that purpose, without requiring me to “go social”.
- It’s better to do something than to do nothing. Therefore, to do something, the website has to be live, has to function as intended and has to display suitably on desktop and mobile.
- It mustn’t have a negative impact on me. It shouldn’t make me look inept, unprofessional, unconsidered, out-dated or in any way be detrimental to my ambitions professionally and creatively.
- That said, (big breath), it doesn’t have to have massive positive impact. It doesn’t have to be the best website ever. It doesn’t need to be technically cutting edge or creatively awesome.
- It mustn’t be cumbersome or time-consuming to manage. Else it won’t get managed.
- It mustn’t limit what I want to use it for but doesn’t need to cater to every possible thing I might want to do.
- It should provide a means for me to learn new things, stay engaged with running a website and to give me a focussed reason to keep developing using web technologies.
With all that in mind, I have adopted the following approach:
- Use WordPress. I like WordPress, I have used it for years, have stretched it’s limitations, have seen it mature so significantly from where it started, and generally have had many positive experiences with it. So stick with it.
- To minimise effort and benefit from other people’s expertise, wherever possible use existing resources (themes, plugins, etc).
- That said, know that the more dependent you are on other people’s code, the more exposed you are to maintaining things that go wrong unexpectedly, spending time wrestling with incompatibilities, security issues, not learning nearly as much as you might and not enjoying the coding that you end up doing.
- Enjoy creating and hopefully be proud of the content – be it visual or words – but don’t end up having to produce content e.g. don’t create a monster that has to be fed all the time.
- Remember that, realistically, a very few people might occasionally be interested in some of this website. A few more people might be a bit interested in some of this website. The monumental majority of the connected world will neither care about it nor discover it. The rest of the world can’t even access it.