I’m Sick of Trying to Fix Our Website

It doesn't have to be this hard, does it?

Ah, the exhilarating world of website management! If only things would work as intended. Here at EduKits, our website is more intricate than most—a single platform handles our landing pages, store, digital courses, online instructions, web apps, and the blog where you’re reading this article. Technology has a penchant for malfunctioning, especially in complex applications. Something’s always broken, and I loathe it.

The Error Log Chronicles

Earlier today, I received an automated email informing me that our site was down. Then, a few minutes later, another one—apparently, the site was back up. This marked the sixth time this week that this had happened. I felt frustration and despair, aware that I’d likely spend the next hour sifting through errors and lines of code to determine precisely what went wrong this time.

Error logs are stored on a website’s server, and every time something on the website or server malfunctions, it gets recorded there. These logs aren’t visually appealing. They lack formatting and consist of dense plain text with the timestamp placed beside cryptic computer code, signifying some obscure issue.

A harsh reality is that you’ll never be able to eliminate all the errors. It’s exasperating. Thousands of minor issues occur in the background that you simply have to let go, sacrificing the trivial details in pursuit of that elusive fatal error. Oh, did I say error? Sometimes it’s multiple errors. It’s far from enjoyable.

Once you’ve identified an error, the work doesn’t end there. You must banish it.

But how does one banish an error? It’s not as simple as pressing delete or hitting undo. Instead, you must delve deep into the code, identify the root cause of the problem, and patch it. It’s like engaging in an endless game of whack-a-mole, but instead of adorable moles, you’re dealing with persistent, pesky bugs that refuse to disappear.

Just when you think you’ve resolved the issue, there’s always the possibility that something else will malfunction. It’s an unending cycle of frustration and despair. But hey, at least it keeps me on my toes, right?

Web Server On Fire Silhouette
Inevitably, something on our website is always broken. I despise it.

The Love-Hate Relationship with WordPress

WordPress is the popular yet capricious content management system that everyone loves to loathe. On one hand, it boasts a user-friendly interface and an abundance of customization options. On the other, the platform is notoriously prone to bloat and remains a perpetual target for unyielding hackers. If you’re not vigilant, you might end up with a compromised site and a plethora of headaches.

Our website operates on WordPress because it integrates all the features we require for our business, including the shop, courses, and instructions. However, managing compatibility among these various functions and addressing issues that arise from updates can be an ongoing struggle. And these updates are crucial, owing to the ever-present hackers.

Moreover, each new feature or function you add is akin to tossing a stone into a backpack. Initially, it may go unnoticed, but over time, it will slow you down to the point where movement becomes cumbersome. Those extra components, or plugins, often come with more functionality than you need, which, in turn, contributes to a sluggish site. There’s no real solution for this problem; you simply have to adapt.

So, why haven’t we transitioned to an alternative? The truth is, there isn’t a perfect substitute. If we only needed an online store, Shopify would suffice. If our exclusive focus was web applications, we could build something using SvelteKit or Next.js. And if our sole aim was to sell basic online courses, Teachable would be the ideal choice. However, we desire a comprehensive solution that combines all these features and more, making it difficult to switch to any other platform.

A Tale of Two Extremes

Crafting a dazzling website with WordPress often feels like an unattainable dream. On one hand, you can choose a cutting-edge page builder that’s potent enough to create any design with countless effects, but at the cost of your site’s performance. Your visitors will resemble disgruntled passengers stranded at a train station during a rail strike. On the other hand, you could opt for a lightning-fast theme that appears as if it was designed in the early 2010s by someone devoid of artistic flair.

The conundrum is akin to seeking the ideal pair of shoes, only to find they are either fashionable yet excruciatingly uncomfortable, or ergonomically designed but visually repulsive.

The aspiration is to craft a website that can effortlessly do it all. However, the harsh reality lies far from this goal. A platform capable of flawlessly hosting an online store, a blog, online courses, support content, product instructions, landing pages, and web apps seems like the stuff of legends. Yet, we persist in pursuing the ever-elusive equilibrium, never quite feeling as though we’ve achieved the perfect harmony.

The Art of Duct-Taping

When faced with the limitations of available solutions and resources, we transform into master improvisers, skillfully duct-taping assorted components to assemble a Frankenstein-esque website. It’s far from ideal, but it’s the finest we can achieve when the odds are against us. We may not possess the perfect platform, but we surely have an abundant supply of creativity and resourcefulness!

There’s a distinctive art to making things work with the tools at our disposal. I frequently feel the urge, when exasperated by LearnDash—our learning management system operating on WordPress—to build our own from the ground up. LearnDash is challenging to work with and disappointingly static in the areas we deem crucial, yet it’s a solution that, at the very least, exists, and that’s often what matters most.

Web Server Fire Extinguished Glowing Unicorn
Perhaps one day we’ll escape this torment and find tranquillity in a realm where all errors have been eradicated. Will the unicorns come to save us?

Holding Out for a Hero

In this untamed adventure of website management, we’re continually confronting obstacles and limitations. I yearn for the day when a gleaming knight in the guise of a comprehensive solution will save us, making the administration of an online platform a sheer delight. But until that momentous day emerges, we’ll keep tackling challenges head-on, equipped with our dependable roll of duct tape and a hearty dose of sarcasm.

In the exhilarating realm of website management, it can feel like an unending series of challenges. From the capricious nature of WordPress to the scarcity of all-in-one solutions, we’re left to traverse a minefield of potential catastrophes. Through it all, we persist, duct-taping our way to a functional website and holding onto the hope that one day, we’ll find the perfect platform for our needs. Until then, we’ll keep fixing, tweaking, and rolling our eyes at the absurdity of it all.