As an entrepreneur I often have several projects going at one time. My primary business is Bellevue Bookkeeping. As an accounting professional I find it satisfying and lets me have the flexibility I want to devote time to my family. Which is how I was volunteered for a website project.
I spend several days a week with my Mom. Recently a local restaurant changed hands. Gloria’s Restaurant & Lounge is located in Maple Valley, WA. It’s a family friend place which has seen its share of drama in the past year. A new owner is working to bring the place back. For the most part it’s going well. A new POS system has been put in place. The staff are happier and service has improved. Its a win, win for both the new owner, staff and customers.
But, with any change there is a learning curve involved. In this case it’s communicating about the back-end stuff. Like booking the bands and the Facebook page and the website.
Back before the change of ownership I had put together a WordPress site. It worked well and it got customers for the restaurant. Before the sale partners of the previous owner took control of the restaurant and the website was taken down. The facebook page virtually went dead and business fell off.
The new owner is great. I’ve watched as he’s made some nice changes and I know the staff is very happy. My Mom is happy too and wants to see the new owner of Gloria’s succeed. On our first time back since the new owner took over she volunteered me to help with facebook and even build a new website.
Fast forward over a month. The new website is up. It has a new domain name and is built on the TwentyEleven default theme. Only I have a few problems with the new site:
- The Twenty Eleven theme has been customized in the parent theme. There is no child theme.
- It’s hosted on MDDHosting. The group that created the website is reselling hosting service.
- The domain name was registered with 123Cheapdomains.com which is a reseller for Tucows and resold again by the group who put the site together, The Design Syndicate.
- The actual theme needs to be refined. Seriously refined. Like padding in the containers on the front page.
- Lack of initiative. The live music is a very important element for Gloria’s. Why didn’t Luke from The Design Syndicate make a point of getting the band information. He’s working for the new owner. I’m just a volunteer and yet he used the little information I was able to get and threw it up on the website. Why isn’t he talking to the gal who is booking the bands? Why isn’t he showing initiative to get pictures of the bands and some bio information.
My concerns are: What happens to the customized Twenty Eleven theme when WordPress sends out an update? WordPress has just update the platform to 3.8. Which means there is every reason to expect an upgrade to the default themes such as Twenty Eleven. Without a child theme in use, if someone decides to update the theme all customization will be wiped out.
Reselling services: I’ve heard the arguments both for and against. However, from experience clients are often the looser. The web developer goes out of business, or their credit card used to pay for hosting is maxed or any of a number of other causes and the site goes down. If a difference of opinion erupts between the developer and the client the client is powerless. The product they’ve paid for is generally not in their name when the web developer resells hosting and domain registration. The client is forced to start all over again.
I honestly hope for the best for the owner’s new website. Miracles can happen.