How Much Work Are You Willing To Do To Get Things Right?

I used to make money building websites, which started with me building my own. Back in the day, it was all about coding, and for me it was fairly simple. It lasted for a few years before more people started buying templates; oh well…

Not working hard at all

Something I never did was build a blogging theme. I learned how to build a website using WordPress software, but I wasn’t a fan of it. Lucky for me, I only had to do two; harder than I imagined it would be.

I use the same exact theme for all of my blogs. I use it because I learned years ago how to modify it so I could change the colors and images for each one of them. I learned how to handle CSS so I could change fonts, move things around, and program things that might not have shown up on one site that I wanted to be there.

However… now there’s this GDPR thing, and even though I don’t overly care because I’m not European, get little traffic from Europe, and there’s no agreement with the United States to help the EU enforce any potential penalties against American sites that aren’t specifically targeting European companies, I’d like to add a couple of things via a plugin.

Unfortunately, because I’m not a theme developer, I have no idea how to upgrade the theme I’ve been using so that it can handle all the WordPress updates, which also means there’s other plugins I haven’t been able to use. This means it’s time to find a theme I can use, one that I like, one I can use and modify for all my sites… paid or not.

You know what? It ain’t easy! For once I know exactly what I want; a right and left sidebar, room at the top to include an image, the possibility of changing the colors however I want (that’s for my two business sites), and of course using the same exact theme for every site I have… and others I might create in the future.

Sounds easy enough; but it’s not. The expectation I had was that I could download a theme, modify it and have it work how I wanted. Instead… the theme broke my site! Well, not totally; I was able to bring back the theme you’re seeing here, but I had to reprogram it to get everything back to normal. At least I remembered something I learned back in 2009, and had copied everything from the widgets to a Notepad file, which helped correcting the errors go faster.

Now I’m stuck with an issue, and it’s not the issue of paid vs. free. It’s the issue of whether to pay someone else to do it for me at least the first time or figure it out on my own. It’s actually the reason I didn’t write an article last week, because I was trying to change to a new theme the night before and things went kablooey (technical term lol).

I’m not often against paying someone to do things for me… when I know I can’t do it. Car repairs; check. Changing the faucet in the kitchen; check. Woodwork; please! lol I know what I’m not good at, so I’m willing to pay people to do those things for me.

In this instance… well… I’m supposed to be the technical guy. I still fix people’s computers (not Macs; “real” computers lol); I figure things out. I’m the one people call to figure out software. If I learn that I’m getting a certain error message over and over, I do the research and I fix it. Even two years ago, I spent a few weeks working on my mobile speed; this is just how my mind works.

For now I’m going to test a few more things to see if I can figure it out. I’m putting this down now because next week will be a double milestone for me, one for this blog and one for me, the consultant (actually, Sunday). For this blog, depending on what happens, I’ll either be writing about more theme issues or writing more about my milestone. I’d rather write about the milestone; it might even end up being a pillar post! 🙂

There’s no shame in your game if you have to hire someone to do work for you; I do it all the time. There’s also no shame in deciding to work things out on your own, as long as you don’t delay things that are more important. This post is more of a story than a lesson; but the lesson’s here if you choose to see it.

Back to work!

14 thoughts on “How Much Work Are You Willing To Do To Get Things Right?”

  1. Hi Mitch, I hear you. I hire someone now for my technical issues and even someone to help manage my FB page as things keep on snowballing. It’s all good! You have to know when to outsource so you can do other things and make some money and such. You will know when the time is right. Good luck with it!

    1. Thanks Lisa. I finally figured out how to get a theme working for me. You can tell a change has come to the site but it’s not all that overt… although I still have things I want to change and update. Thing is, I knew I could give up and pass it on to someone else, but I found the fix literally hours after I posted this article; whew! 🙂

  2. Hi Mitch,
    great article and you made me ‘LOL’ out twice.

    Hello…. “kablooey (technical term lol).” my new word for the month. I go kablooey so often it’s not funny.


    ” I’m supposed to be the technical guy. I still fix people’s computers (not Macs; “real” computers lol)”

    this one really breaks me up!…. smiley faces for everyone.


    1. LOL! You know how I feel about Apple products in general; overpriced and overhyped, and not necessarily the best on the market for everything.

      As for the rest… as you can see, the new theme is up, even though it’s not drastically different than what I previously had. But I figured it out; that’s the most important thing to me.

  3. Hey Mitch,

    Interesting read 🙂

    For me luckily it’s been pretty easy, this bit of changing and trying new themes.

    Like you I also started by purchasing one Theme framework (Thesis) and install it for all my blogs but recently I stopped liking it much and made the move to other standalone themes available on ThemeForest and other theme developers etc.

    And, it has worked pretty well for me. If you buy a theme that’s well coded by a reputed dev (most of the recent ones on ThemeForest are – I am using NewsMax on one blog and Newspaper on the other). As long as you are running the latest WP version and back up all your data (which you are pretty much doing ;)), things should be alright.

    Please let me know if I can help in any way 🙂


    1. Thanks Amandeep, but I figured it out. Fortune favors the brave, so I took some chances with the existing code and it worked out; thank goodness!

      For me, it proves that sometimes people give up too easily. I agree with Lisa that sometimes it’s best to find a professional to do things for us, but in this case, with my knowledge and background I had to take my shot at it… and it worked out!

  4. Hi Mitch,
    Totally agree with you. I have started to give some of the works to freelancers and they are doing great for my business and blog. Now I have more productivity and I don’t have to work all of them to myself. This is such a relief.

  5. It is always better for a blogger to go for a paid theme for their blog. The paid theme has so many exciting features in it. You didn’t need to install so many plugins as well as you need not to worry about the coding stuff. All the work has been done on front end only.

    1. I went a different direction. I’m now using a free theme I downloaded from WordPress. I found that I could modify it enough to satisfy my needs, and once I get the time I’ll make even more changes to it. That’s what I was worried about if I’d bought a paid theme; any changes I made to the code would have invalidated the warranty.

  6. Hi Mitch truly speaking I don’t have any idea regarding a website building but yes I know about the digital marketing but the way your blog says makes me keep reading it good thoughts of changing time to time which everyone should be doing and as you said should you hire someone as for a time being. I suggest do hire someone and for a time being and get the idea from him indirectly and after all your blog says you have a quite good idea of it and a good learner. If you don’t mind sharing some information with me how to build a WordPress site then I will also learn it which I am thinking off but no idea. Thanks once again Mitch

  7. Mitch, I used to play around with those free themes, even to the extent of playing around with the coding. It all got too hard and took too much time, especially when you had as many blogs as I did.

    As you know, I decided on a paid theme, one that was easy to configure so that I could use it on all my blogs.

    Generally, I’m willing to devote as much time as it takes to get things right. You may recall my video on how to cut curves when laying floorboards?

    I even change my own faucets.

    1. I wanted to try free themes first because I was wary of how my site would handle them, since some previous themes went wonky. Once I noticed I was having problems, I knew that paying for a theme and having it not work would have irked me to no end. Luckily I figured it out… as I always thought I might, and I’m fairly happy right now.

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