One of the best choices that I’ve made all year is choosing to pour some love and investment back into my digital marketing website. Most recently, I put my foot down and decided to overhaul and modernize the website entirely. The old version of my site didn’t have enough my personality in there. I wanted to convey to an audience that I’m an artist who is super passionate about digital marketing, technology, and all the many possibilities that are out there in these fields.
Part of my journey into becoming a more technically proficient digital marketing professional is pushing myself to delve deeper and deeper into website development. For now, I like WordPress as a platform, so the next several sites that I have in mind are going to be built on there. I’ve been so used to using it because I’ve worked in other digital marketing jobs where WordPress was the central focus.
I mean Yoast SEO, one of the best SEO tools on the market, is one that you will find in WordPress’s massive catalog of plugins that make your life much more comfortable for developing websites. With all this said, I want to get into the meat and potatoes of this post. It relates to the phenomenon called “impostor syndrome” where you feel that no matter how much you try, you feel that you’ll never be as good as a developer who’s been programming since they were in their teens or much earlier than that.
Even the Best Programmers in the Business Were Once Beginners Prone to Failure
So What Changed For Me as a Digital Marketer Wanting to Build Websites?
The instructor was very excellent, and he would do his best to show examples of how PHP would apply to the real world, but it just wasn’t the same experience as diving deep in and making something of your own. What does all of this have to do with becoming a better developer? Well, I spent so much of my time worrying about impostor syndrome, worrying about whether I was good enough to bother attempting to make and design my own websites. It was a crippling feeling, and it bothered me each day because I knew that I could do better. I knew that I was capable of learning so much more.
“I Feel So Left Behind, It’s Impossible to Be as Good!”
I would avidly observe what my web design and web developer friends would do and thought to myself, “Hey, I wish I could do that and be like them, but I feel so behind.” Seeds of doubt were common throughout my experience, and it took away much time that could have been diverted towards doing the seemingly impossible and not caring so much about whether it would be “perfect” or not.
I’ve always been a major perfectionist growing up, so when I found myself with the task of radically redesigning my site and creating all new content for it, and then doing all the work required to make sure the site would work on all mobile devices, it seemed like a ton to keep track in my mind. What I did to motivate myself, however, was that I tell myself about what kind of returns on investment I would get if I pushed myself to the next level. If I took the time to read the documentation on the tools that I used, do my research whenever I encountered problems, then eventually I would end up with a website I could be really proud to show to my friends, acquaintances, and employers too!
Grinding and Building My Digital Marketing Site in Three Days Without Any Help
With that mindset now in place, I feverishly spent 3 whole days nonstop passionately pouring everything I had into making this site so great. I barely took any breaks and was so determined to get this project done that I pulled several all-nighters to see it all come to fruition. It was not the rosiest path as even after I was finished with a lot of the more critical aspects of the site, there were new problems that I had to fix, including the two times that I broke my website.
Moreover, there was another instance where I almost lost everything I had made on this site because I had to remove an old domain I don’t use anymore from my HostGator account. Thankfully, I had saved a backup of every site that I had there, so the customer service representative was able to save me from an embarrassing situation.
In these instances where I broke my website, usually trying to add some custom code, I got a much better sense of what being a good developer is all about. Being a great developer to me is being able to keep a calm, cool head when things go wrong. You must be able to retrace your steps and troubleshoot the problems logically. They didn’t come out of nowhere. You have to accept that you did something wrong, and now it’s on you to do whatever you can to fix it.
Plus, you must always have a backup plan ready. I cannot stress the importance of making backups of your website before making any massive changes like update plugins and themes in WordPress. I now use a tool called ManageWP which makes this so much easier. All you have to do is pay a dollar a month, and you get unlimited daily website backups you can make on the fly or let the program do it automatically.
What’s the Point of This Story for Aspiring Web Developers and Digital Marketers?
Thank you for staying with me for so long. You’re probably wondering why I took the time to explain my story and experiences with web development in such great detail. There were tons of bumps in the road and times where I was in the same position that many are going through right now. Not feeling adequate to start building your projects and staying trapped in tutorials all the time, or what people would call “Tutorial Heaven.”
This trap can have such a hold on people that it stops them from achieving any real progress in their learning. They give up altogether and swear off coding, programming, and web development altogether. I was in those shoes several times, and it wasn’t until this year where I started to crack the code and get in the ring without so much fear. If you really want to start becoming a good developer, you can’t be afraid to fail. In other words, screwing up on your websites is inevitable. You will have to figure out how to fix them, and you should be grateful when these moments happen because you will learn so much more from them than any tutorial where you’re not going to get the best sense of what happens in the real world.
So don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. If you really want to become a good developer or become a web designer, it’s completely okay to jump in and not know everything. You’ll learn a lot of this stuff as you go and eventually it will come more naturally to you. I look forward to having much fun working on my next site and going wild with all the experimentation possible. I hope this post has helped someone out there going through the same issues right now. Thank you for checking out my blog. For more great content, you can explore the rest of robertoseverino.com!