If there’s somebody who’s in a company who is listening and this is resonating. "We really don’t have a clear idea of what success is. I don’t agree with what success is." That’s a great idea, to go around and ask everybody. Do a survey. Talk to people in the hall. Grab people’s ideas and document that. Write it all down and show, "Hey, we’ve got 10 people working on this and all 10 people have a completely different idea of what success would look like. They have a different idea of what we’re actually trying to do." You show that to your boss and say, "I think we need to take a step back and do some planning." Basically, strategic planning. What are we doing? What is our product? What are we designing? Who are we creating this thing for? Yeah… handy.
Let me jump in here with our sponsor today, Media Temple. I was thinking earlier today what it was like when I was first building websites for client as my full-time, primary source of income. I had a lot of projects. I’d do two dozens websites a year. Maybe not quite that many. They weren’t huge projects. I was the one designer and developer. We talked about this with Rachel Andrew when she was on episode 104. We were talking about people making normal, everyday websites. Some clients had domain names and a lot of them already had hosting. Sometimes I was fixing up a website they already had. Lots of times they had bought the hosting and domain name is order to get ready to make a website but they hadn’t built anything. Or they’d had them forever and they had been paying for them and felt bad and wanted to finally go ahead and use them. They wanted me to help them use the hosting they paid for. Or they had a website and I was replacing it. I was going to wipe it out and start over with a new site. They already had a place where the old site was hosted. I was trusting all of that. I’d be like, "Who’s your host? What’s your login? Where is this at? What’s the name of them?" I had to log in to each one of these, dozens of different, crazy completely janky, cheap hosting. I’d spend so much time trying to figure out, "How do I FTP on this host? How did I hook up the DNS for the domain on this host? How do I install WordPress on this host? How do I make WordPress run faster on this host?" It drove me crazy. I finally realized I needed to not let my clients come in with hosts they had already paid for and not used or been using but didn’t know anything about. I needed to tell them, "I have it taken care of," or "I’m going to move you from where you’ve been to this new place." I went and got my own Media Temple grid service account. I put every single one of those clients on my hosting. Which was awesome. Then I could have one place where I logged in and there was everybody. This big long list of all of these people and their domain names. If I ever had trouble, I knew where to log in. I could go and see what was going on. I still do this today. Anytime I want to make a subdomain—I have a bunch of subdomains—I have labs.thewebahead.net. Go check that out, it’s kind of cool. Or I have experiment.jensimmons.com. When I used to teach, every time I taught, I’d make another subdomain: suchandsuch.jensimmons.com. Each class had its own website. I could log in to my one Media Temple account, $20 a month, and spin up yet another subdomain or domain for my clients. Spin up a hosting space and hook up the domain separately and do whatever. Log in, SSH, FTP, put files up there, install WordPress or whatever. It was a moment in my career where I learned, "Stop doing it this one way. Doing it this other way is totally better." Then I would charge. I was paying $20 a month but I’d charge my clients $5 a month. They were getting a good deal, because they were getting $20 a month quality hosting, which is actually even better than that, but they were paying less. It was mostly convenience. I wasn’t making a lot of money off of it, but I was saving a lot of time. Which meant I could spend that time on other clients instead of donating my time having to deal with sysadmin stuff. Ugh. Anyway. Check them out .They’ve been the web hosting choice for more designer and developer professionals for a really long time. You can put 100 projects on a grid service account if you want to. It’s affordable enough to do small projects, but powerful enough to be able to do bigger projects. Because it’s not one computer that’s hosting your account. It’s hundreds of servers working together. Load balances and all of this fancy stuff. Making sure that no matter what happens, how much traffic there is, you’ll be all set. Check them out. You can go to mediatemple.net. If you use the code TWA, you can get 25% off whatever it is that you sign up for. Whichever kind of web hosting. They also have a bunch of virtual private server solutions and Google Apps for work and new WordPress hosting. Different prices for different kinds of stuff. 25% off, code TWA, mediatemple.net. Check them out. Thank you so much for them for supporting the show.
Very nicely, you have four organized points for us. We already talked about not establishing success criteria. Number two is designing for the wrong person.