I name the names, shame on you!

Last Update: September 20, 2012
Oh, and shame on me, too!

A few months back, I was so green I could play Shrek without makeup. I've joked about it before, but I honestly thought SEO was the corporate level below CEO. Senior Executive Officer.

I knew nothing technical about websites. If you'd asked me to define CSS, I'd have answered: "A cop show, endlessly looping on Channel 5-USA".

However, to my fellow noobs, and perhaps of some small value to more experienced Members, here's a warning. I've proved the adage that a 'little' knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Just as an example, take registering domain names. It was my first day at WAU and I was ploughing through Day 1 of 30-Day-Success-Club when I caught a chat conversation between the hideous @veronica.l, the demon queen of domains and her pet imp @Kyle.

The end result of this eavesdropping on my "betters"? I bought 20+ domain names over the course of Day 1. I even got to learn about Flippa and Sedo, wandered over there and splashed serious cash on some of their lovely, bright, shiny, perfectly named offerings. This 'knowledge without understanding' had me avalanching down a slippery slope, with only one high point. It's left me perfectly positioned to write my own training piece, 'D.A.M.N.- The 12 Step Program', which in full is: Domain Addiction Management for Noobs.

Oh, and before I forget, does anyone want to buy some mint-condition .info's off me?

No. I thought not.

How about plug-ins? Fantastic, huh? There are thousands-and-thousands of must-have can't-live-without features for your site that are merely a click away.

Caveat Emptor. Or, Let The Buyer Beware.

I recall in my green salad days being curious about how membership functions could be added to a site. Who wouldn't be? I searched, found and downloaded the trial version of an expensive, apparently well-respected WordPress plug-in that offered to add that ability, "simply and easily". There was an auto set-up up button. Yup, I couldn't resist. I pressed it.

A few minutes later, I smiled, auto set-up complete. The result? Every page of my site was now and forever members-only, and instead of giving me the promised 100 members with two levels of membership, it left me with the ability to add a measly two members but with 100 different levels of membership. Nice. Uninstall it immediately, right? Nope. It overwrote my SQL table at install, permanently. SQL? Yup, I didn't have a clue either. It was either learn how to edit an SQL table, which I found out is not for the faint-hearted, or start again from scratch.

What about content formatted for viewing on mobiles? There are 400 million iDevices alone out there in the wild, with mobile browsing looking set to outstrip the desktop variety in just a few short years. That's got to be big business with huge potential for all of us. A brilliant opportunity, not to be missed. OK, there's plug-ins for that, aren't there, which automatically repurpose your site's content for mobile delivery? You've so gotta download one. Well, be careful. You might want to read Are Mobile Friendly Tools Like OnSwipe Stealing Traffic From your Site? by the redoubtable Margaret Andrews, before like me you plug-in to a nightmare and find you can't plug-out.

OK, to the point. I'm really writing this because I found out that I'm not only indulging in risky behaviour, I've also been guilty of unintentionally encouraging it. So, again, shame on me, too!

I was in the chatroom a few days ago nattering away with The Love-ly Luke (@That Helpful Dude) discussing a not inexpensive plug-in, when a fellow Member rightly pulled us up. He thought it looked like we were promoting it. In fact, that plug-in's only value was to Luke and myself because, being the bone-idle lazy sods we are, neither of us can be bothered to schedule and make our own back-ups. However, looking back, if anyone else was viewing our chat it might have appeared as though it was an absolutely essential purchase, especially from our positively fervent raves about it.

I just wanted to make it clear to any newcomers that there really isn't anything else to buy to make a success of your WAU subscription, well apart from possibly those wretched domains. No matter what you might overhear or read and whether or not they're incandescently glowing reviews, comments or reports on other extras or services from well-respected Members or even dissolute reprobates such as Luke and myself.

Even Jaaxy is optional. In fact, I have my suspicions that Jaaxy might well be a Government plot to keep us glued to our screens 24/7, muttering: "Ooohhh", "Aahhhh", "Yes-Yes-Yes!", its' spell only broken in my case when someone in the real-world shouts: "Num-Num"!

So, if you're a fellow noob, don't only look before you leap. Ask! If you're still not sure, blog your question here at WAU. Especially if you're unsure about a theme, plug-in or other 'extra' that might have the potential to damage your website. Or requires an outlay of your hard-earned dosh.

And for the more experienced fellows reading this, perhaps a timely reminder inspired from Margaret's piece is that not every theme or plug-in is always safe, no matter how great the reviews, who recommends them, where you get them from, nor how much you pay.

Rich. x

(Photo: Louella Parsons, WikiCommons)
Join the Discussion
Write something…
Recent messages
JGray Premium
This post couldn't have come at a more perfect time for me! The plan for after work was to find a better mobile plugin and a theme with a more functional layout. My browser was open to research some reviews of plugins and I got an email notification of this post. Never have I been so grateful for a distraction!
@RICH. Premium
Loving the synchronicity. I'm delighted it worked in your favour! Just to add some added value, Jay's broadcasting a WAbinar today on optimising sites for mobile viewing. I've reserved you a front row seat. :)

Kyle Premium Plus
Rich, that was an awesome article! You are a natural at writing content that keeps your readers glued to the screen.

I really enjoy getting perspective like this on other people's experiences and journey through the world of Internet business and their experience here at WA.

I think you are also going to lead a lot of newcomers in the right direction by the statement that "there really isn't anything else to buy to make a success of your WAU subscription". People are accustomed to thinking "what's the catch?" and there really isn't. Our goal is operating a self-contained community here that provides a distraction free environment and I think with upcoming changes you are going to see even more evolutions that take us closer to this point.

And regards to your mint condition .info's...this sounds intriguing...lol
@RICH. Premium
Hey Kyle,

Thank you for taking the time out to add your most kind comments on my musings, it's very much appreciated.

You might recall the writing bit of WAU is where I get hopelessly stuck, I've blogged endlessly about it and probably driven other Members to distraction with my whining. I'm still not good at it, but I am improving and will continue to improve, which is due entirely to the support, kindness and practical help offered by my fellow WAU'ers.

I trust you'll be suitably impressed that I now even know the technical term for: "What's the catch?". Upsell! In fact, you might live to regret your "I really enjoy getting perspectives like this..." remark as it's encouraged me to think about blogging a warts-and-all expose, perhaps illustrated, about my journey, arrival and first impressions of the WAU family.

Enjoy a few sleepless nights on me. ;)


Kyle Premium Plus
That would be awesome Rich. I continually appreciate your feedback and sometimes constructive criticism. If you think you have the best product in the world, it tends to create a lot of complacency which leads to very little innovation.

If I ever fall off of my tippy toes into a flat footed stance I know you are going to be there to push me back up! :)

Love your writing style as well, excellent stuff. Keep up the great work man and keep doing what you do!
veronica.l Premium
Great post!! As a CEO of the DAMN project I must say that your progress is amazing. Keep up your awesome work!!
@RICH. Premium
Miss Cricket.

You're so sacked. If you head-up D.A.M.N. we won't need 12-steps but a purpose-built rehab centre. :P

Thank you, Veronica, as always, for everything!

bigstevec Premium
hey rich -excellent advice - i'm very leery of adding programs on my site because - like you - i've been burned by programs that have conflicting security settings and been lost in never-never computerland without a clue - you might re-title this blog 'just enough knowledge to be dangerous' or, my fav, 'the techno-tard strikes again" - hope you recover from your domain ptomaine
@RICH. Premium
Thanks Steve.

Nothing's wasted, and in a way I'm actually very lucky, I learnt your valuable lesson about being "leery" regarding 'extras' very early on.

I'm loving the titles!

bigstevec Premium
btw - i'm going domain shopping this aft - wanna come
@RICH. Premium
Sure. I've got to get a pair of size 10 wedgies for a dear friend. Thank you!
I just want to reiterate the most important part of this post. You do NOT need to purchase anything else for your sites. You don't even have to purchase a domain, you can use free blogs like blogger or sites like Squidoo. Kyle and Carson really have includes everything you'll need to get started.

With regards to our live chat. We were talking about a plugin called Backup Buddy. Again, you don't have to purchase this!! There are free plugins that do the job just as well. It's all down to personal preference if you want to buy added extras like premium themes, paid for plugins, email marketing software, graphics pack etc. none of it are essential to making money online.

Nice little blog post Richard. The first part is a good example of a newcomer getting trigger happy with a loose wallet. You only need one domain name guys! If you're unsure what exactly to look for. Look at training modules here, either the 10 day starter module or 30 day success plan if you're now a paying member, or even ask in the live chat! There is usually someone there happy to help.

Take care guys! I'm happy to help if anyone wants it!

- Luke
@RICH. Premium
Oh, nice save Luke. :P

A fantastic point about Squidoo. I keep meaning to check it out, along with Blogger and HubPages. The "free" question pops up so often in chat that I'd really like to be able to offer some basic advice, preferably based on my own experiences.

OK, "a fool and his money..." and all that and I'm more than happy to wear the "sucker" badge with pride, but in my defence, if Vimini Cricket and Pinocchio hadn't been bragging in the chatroom about snagging 100 domains a day, I'd never have thought it a good idea, let alone prised open my purse. I so know where the blame lies, that pair fell right out of a very grim fairy tale.

I appreciate all your support and help, Luke, and especial thanks for always being such a good sport!