Having a website simply for displaying the corporate information should be fairly straight forward, but if you were to operate an online shop, things would get much more complex and time consuming.
We run two separate sites; one is the online shop, and the other for writing the gibberish you are reading now. Our online shop you see today is the third generation site throughout our 5 years of existence. The first generation website was custom built with almost zero expandability. A lack of expandability would no doubt lead to redundancy, and surely we are a bit too young for that ! 🙂 So after much soul searchings and scanning through numerous analytic reports with unknown numbers and strange acronyms, our state of confusion escalated to a new hike. We needed to talk to a person via a good old fashion way called the telephone and we needed someone to explain what those acronyms are. It was clear we were, actually we still are, like Mr. John Snow who knows nothing.
The natural cause of evolution led us to a local I.T. firm who claimed to be an expert in developing online shops, or at least we thought so with their use of words like : online marketing SEO, online invoicing, custom design to suit your needs, solutions, solutions and more solutions, and we especially liked the word “Optimization” ! The firm representative even gave us her cell phone number in order that “we wouldn’t miss a beat and any questions we may have, feel free to give her a shout”.
Most importantly, the firm is a recommended firm by our favourite Paypal, and it goes without saying a premium service could only be accompanied by a premium fee. Everything appeared to be promising, and we were so ready for a complete revamped site.
Truth is, the online shop you see today is our latest generation. The previous version was being attacked by spammers, viruses and other malicious malware (a name we had recently acquired). Obviously we were spazzing out during the attack, our frantic calls to the given cell phone (or any phones) and emails were unanswered we were beginning to think the firm may actually be out of business !!! At long last, the very first reply we received from them was “we are not liable for the attack, and it will take about 2 weeks to fix the problem”. Till this day, we don’t know what the problem was, why the site stood naked and fully exposed to attacks, what they did to fix the problem, instead they kept saying “we are not liable” whenever we asked a question like a mother of a sick child.
After a long painful 2 weeks, a clean back up file was retrieved and we took the copy and transferred it to a new and oversea firm. Yes, all communication is done through emails and they do take the liberty to reply us on a timely manner. The new firm even recommended us to do a thorough medical inspection on the site, a preventive measure against any future spammers and yes, the malicious malware. Without thinking twice, we obliged.
And this medical inspection is why our site was temporarily down !
On a brighter side, our new service provider is actually much, MUCH cheaper than the previous one, and their service is pretty darn good. They are responsive, helpful and reasonable. We are now a happy camper !!
Maybe the online business is still new in Hong Kong? Maybe the budget we had was too low? Maybe the word “Optimisation” needs to be more than just a word? Maybe our site might come crashing down tomorrow? Maybe we should take a camera out and take the rest of the day off? Maybe we should buy more cameras and lenses to relieve the stress we had earlier?
Whatever tomorrow may bring us, we’d like to stay positive.