I recently inherited the job of setting up and maintaining the website for VALHALLA Strength – South Brisbane and right now, I’m feeling quite proud of myself!
We inherited the site earlier in the year. It was essentially a straight copy of the website for our sister gym on the north side of Brisbane: VALHALLA Strength – Brisbane. I had to change all the details, links, images, and much more to reflect the information required for our gym. Let’s just say, I had a lot of hidden links to uncover, image settings, and many other general settings to find and change. In fact, I’m feeling so proud of myself that I want to share a little list of all that I have achieved in the last week (yes, I’m even celebrating the tiny wins because they’re still wins!):
- Site icon! It’s such a small thing and hardly noticeable, and I may change it again, BUT I STILL DID IT!
- Site logo! Again, such a simple thing but it was hidden somewhere in the back end of the theme design and it took me days to find it…
- Different menu options
- Resizing of featured images for the blog post – this was a massive win!
- Integrating a social stream plugin! So proud of this one as it took LOTS of trial and error (and lots of frustration and head scratching and even consultation with colleagues that are very clued in about this stuff)
Of course, there were numerous other things I had to do and it’s certainly not perfect at the moment but it’s done, and I’m very proud of myself. During all my fumbling around I learned quite a few things about myself and thought I would share some of my learnings…
Here’s what I discovered:
- You can figure it out if you don’t give up
- Google is your best friend when problem solving the unknown
- You don’t have to be an expert but you have to be willing to learn
- If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s very rare that you’ll do something so horrible that it can’t be undone!
- Always ask for help
- If you’re starting to get frustrated, WALK AWAY! It’s amazing what a little bit of distance can do for your frustration levels…
- And most importantly… PUBLISH FIRST, PERFECT LATER!
While fiddling with the website I couldn’t help thinking about how my students would tackle the problems I encountered. In my classroom, when a student comes up against an issue their first instinct is to ask me, their teacher, for help… They tend to be unwilling to trial things, make mistakes, search for the answer and then give it a go. It’s like they want to be shown exactly how to do it and to know that they won’t fail! Well, this is not what happens in the real world, as I have just proved, and somehow we need to teach them that they are more than capable of discovering the answer to their problem themselves.
I’ve been tossing up with the idea of writing down my thoughts about digital natives and the like, which after this experience I think I’m going to have to, if only to get it straight in my own head! So… stay tuned for that.