Issue #480

Defeating Perfectionism

Well, this week, I turn 46. Not really a big deal to me. But, for just a second, I had a realization…

I’ve been working online for 26 years now. 😱


Actually, I was making websites earlier than that. But, they sucked. 😂 Anybody remember Geocities and the Netscape browser? Yeah, those were the days. But, it was in 1998 that I started doing anything online seriously. That’s when I started my first online business. And I was just a baby, man!

And here I am. 26 years later. A little more round. A little more gray. Sitting in a nice home office with my family in the other room… and putting the finishing touches on the 480th issue of my newsletter for you on this lovely Monday morning.

Time flies when you’re having fun. 🤩

So, let’s get into it…

What’s coming up in this issue:

  • A solution to perfectionism – the ultimate killer of getting anything done
  • WordPress Quick Bits (some cool updates!)
  • How to merge changes from a staging site into live without breaking anything

Let’s go…

Defeating Perfectionism

Have you ever gotten into a seemingly endless loop trying to make something perfect?

I have. In fact, like many of you, I have definitely been guilty on several occasions of spending way too much time tweaking my blog theme. It is easy to do. You end up trying plugins, tweaking the theme, trying colors. It is like the inner artist comes out and you’re sitting there looking at your blog like a canvas!

Same with writing a blog post. In the end, any blog post can be better. You could add more to it, add better images, tweak something, reword something. But, all that time you’re doing that, the post isn’t live. It isn’t being read.

Whatever it might be you’re working on, that quest for “perfection” is just a paralysis. In fact, it is actually just an excuse, when you get right down to it.

In both cases, one has to ask… at what point is it actually DONE?

If you want to make fast headway and get things done in a short time, you cannot be a perfectionist.

That doesn’t mean you put out crap. What it means is that you realize that perfection is NOT attainable. There is no such thing as an absolute. There is no such thing as perfection. It is an illusion. In most cases, you can’t even define it.

Perfection is a hidden standard. It is an unknown. Any real standard, to be a useful standard, has to be known. If it isn’t known and defined, it becomes a hidden standard and isn’t useful. And if you spend your time trying to attain it, you end up spinning your wheels endlessly.

So, how do you defeat this need for perfection?

You certainly don’t need to release crap. You don’t want to put stuff out there that you’re not proud of. But…

You need to make the unknown… known.

In other words, define EXACTLY what “DONE” looks like.

Set out, in advance, the specific goals of your actions and what exactly you’re looking to accomplish. Then, when you get that done, you are DONE. Know the result you’re shooting for, then when the result is achieved, you move on.

When you define your “DONE”, make it specific. In the world of software development, there’s a thing known as “feature creep”. It is when, as you are developing the software, you keep thinking of new cool things to add. So, you set out to create one thing originally and, before you know it, you’re creating something 10X more complicated.

Spend the time in advance to plan what you’re doing, outline it, and have specific end targets to it. You can always improve upon it later once it is out there. But, the last thing you want to do is never even launch what you’re working on because you’re too busy engaging in feature creep.

The other thing is…

Your market will never know that you don’t think it is perfect. 🙂 They will literally never know. All that private wrestling you were doing in the background to try to seek this hidden standard…. it isn’t recognized by them. It won’t cross their minds. You’re just sitting there spinning your wheels going nowhere in your own little world.

So, stop worrying about it! 🙂

In short, it comes down to 3 things:

  1. Define clearly what the goal is and what “done” looks like. Outline it specifically.
  2. When you get to that point, be willing to declare it done and move on. Launch it. Ship it. Check it off as done.
  3. Know that perfection is not attainable and it isn’t defined, so chasing it would be like chasing a rainbow.

If you want to make rapid headway and leverage your time well, you must defeat perfectionism. You’ve got to get things done and release them to the public.

Thinking about fishing won’t catch a fish. Trying to build the perfect lure won’t catch a fish. Only having the hook in the water has any chance of catching the fish. While you may have been trying to build the perfect lure, somebody else is catching fish with just a worm.

This Week In Concierge

Here’s a bit of the activity from last week among Concierge client sites:

  • Built a quick one-page site to help a new client kick off a new business
  • Re-built a client site with Kadence (removing BuddyBoss in the process). Site looks so much better! And we’re fixing so many little annoying issues along the way.
  • Worked to debug auto-login functionality for a user registration form
  • Switched yet another client to Kadence and fixed a TON of annoying theme issues along the way.
  • Multiple site migrations
  • Lots and lots of questions answered and itty-bitty requests. 😎

I’ve definitely been getting a lot of interest in people converting off old theme platforms and modernizing to Kadence Theme. Sometimes, people come in with old themes that are really hard to modify… or they’re coming in with Elementor or Thrive Themes sites. Thrive Themes people are definitely looking to bail after being screwed over on license renewal fees by the new owners.

I find a strange joy in converting sites over to Kadence Theme. They always look so much better. 😇

WordPress Quick Bits

FluentBooking 1.4 Released. The guys at WP Manage Ninja have released FluentBooking 1.4.0. The biggest change in this version is the ability to add a “My Bookings” section to a page using the block builder. Basically, you can now give your logged-in members a place to view their appointment history, see upcoming appointments, etc. This used to require custom code before, but now it is part of the core product. As it should be. There are several other changes, and you can view them all in their 1.4.0 announcement post.

FluentBooking Exits Beta. FluentBooking is the new project management tool by the same team…. and it is currently on offer for a limited-time lifetime deal. It is also now at version 1.10 which has added a frontend portal, better user permissions and more. FluentBoards isn’t a product which is applicable to everybody. But, it is basically like running Trello inside your WordPress site and fully integrated with WordPress and other “Fluent” tools. For the right kind of site, this will be a big deal. Heck, even for me, this could be a powerful tool for my clients. But, I’m so ingrained in Basecamp I doubt I’ll make the shift, personally.

Presto Player 3.0. Presto Player is getting close to it’s major 3.0 release… and Adam posted a Youtube video where he is showing off some of the upcoming changes. It certainly looks to be getting much easier to use. Looks like the Media Hub is going to become more automatic. And while not done yet, looks like they’re going to make the playlist feature easier to use, too. We’ll see what they come up with.

Uncanny Automator 5.8. Uncanny Automator has been updated to 5.8 for both free and pro. New integrations with SureMembers, Aweber and Code Snippets. Also, the ability to execute your own database queries. They also now support import/export, allowing you to move your automation recipes between sites. Check out the changelog.

WP Engine Rebrands. WP Engine has launched a re-branding and new website. It looks good. They’ve also got a little “behind the scenes” on the thought that went into it.

WooCommerce 9.0 Incoming. The new 9.0 release of WooCommerce is scheduled for release on June 11th. Some new blocks coming to make it easier to build your checkout pages, product collections, and more. Also, they’re going to make it possible to test out a faster version of HPOS. Read more about what’s coming up here.

Fluent Forms Gets ChatGPT Integration. Interestingly, they put out a minor update to Fluent Forms which has what seems like a big deal. Fluent Forms now has an official integration with ChatGPT. This means you can just type out what your form to do and… it will just build itself? 🤯 I have yet to test this, but it is interesting that they’re not making a bigger deal of this.

Plugin Installation Goes Back To Normal. It is a little funny, but there’s been debate within the WordPress community about how plugins are installed. And you might have noticed that, after activating a new plugin, it just… sits there. It doesn’t redirect like it used to. And now, you get a “Refresh” button. They never should have changed it. And apparently, now they know that because in the upcoming 6.5.4 release, they’re restoring auto-redirect.

Unhappy With Your Site’s Performance?

Fixing the performance of your website is often confusing. Lots of jargon. Lots of advice… most of it confusing. And truth is, it is a pretty holistic thing to tackle. You need to have a “big picture” understanding of what’s going on. You can’t just install a plugin and be done with it.

When you book WP Speed Fix, we’ll fix up your site’s performance scores. And we’ll do it together. I have the experience and all of the tools. And we’ll get it done.

Going LIVE With Changes Without Overwriting Your Whole Site

So, here’s a little thing I come across many times…

You want to make changes to your WordPress site, but you don’t want to do it out in the open where everybody can see it. You want a playground where you can test things.

If your web host offers usage of a staging site, then that’s your best option. With just the click of a button, you can clone your whole site to a private staging area and then mess around all you want.

But, then what happens when you want to “go live” with the changes?

In a lot of cases, pushing those changes live can present a problem. That’s because you could end up overwriting the entire live site.

See, a lot of hosts that offer one-click staging sites also offer one-click publishing from the staging site. Thing is, not all hosts have a smart enough system to detect changes and merge changes into an existing site. Instead, they just overwrite the entire live site with whatever you had in staging.

But, what if you have a live site which is getting a steady flow of new content? New community activity? New subscribers? New orders? You can’t just overwrite all that.

So, in some cases you just have to bring those changes over on your own. Manually.

Here’s a few tools and techniques I use when I need to do this:

  • Customizer Export/Import. If you have made big theme changes, this plugin is handy for exporting all of the settings from your theme customizer. You can export out of staging and import into the live site and all of your changes will be live right away.
  • Need to move over some pages? You can use the built-in import/export process of WordPress to move that content over. Now, what if you only need to import SOME pages, but not all of them? WordPress doesn’t have this ability. So, here’s a little trick… You can create a new, bogus author profile. Re-assign those pages or posts to that bogus user profile. Then, during export, choose to export only the posts for that author. Just remove the bogus user profile when you’re done. But, this is a handy way to filter things out so you can control what you export.
  • Need to move over navigation menus? You can either just re-build them on the live site, or you could use the WPS Menu Exporter plugin. This plugin will give the native export the additional option to be able to export nav menus. Then, you can go over to the live site and import it.
  • Copy & paste. Yep, don’t forget that the Gutenberg block builder supports copy/paste, too. You can select an element, copy it to your clipboard…. and then paste it onto the other site.

A couple other tools you may want to check out are:

  • WP Merge. This plugin enables you to merge two WordPress databases together. Actually, what it does is sits on both the production and staging sites at the same time and connects the two sites together. As you work on changes in staging, WPMerge keeps a running record of the changes. Then, when it is time to go live, you can make those specific changes only on the live site.
  • WP Vivid Database Merging Pro. A purpose-built plugin for migrating changes from a development site to production. Works very similarly to WP Merge. More affordable, tho.

Those tools can help automate all this. But, in a lot of cases, we end up just duplicating our changes from staging onto the live site. We do it manually. But, it is much faster and we know it’ll work because we already tested it in staging.

Keep in mind, too, that you can build new pages right in place on your live site. If they’re not in your nav menu, chances are nobody will ever see it. So, just make it look the way you want. Then, if you want to replace an existing page with the new version, just change your permalinks. Change the permalink of the old one to something else…. then the new one to take it’s place. Change the nav menu to include your new page… and you’re good to go.

Here’s How I Can Help…

  • ConciergeI’ll be your “web guy”, helping to maintain your site for you do you don’t have to think about it. Also includes access to my agency plugin licenses, site analytics, and a massive discount on any potential project work on your site.
  • WP Speed Fix. Get the performance scores and core web vitals for your website fixed. Let me deal with the nerdy stuff. And let’s make your site purr like a kitten.
  • I’ll Do It For You: Via my technical services, I can dive into your site and take care of the complex stuff for you. Whether it be just some tweaks… or building out a full membership site and marketing automation funnel, I can ensure your WordPress site is working for you and not the other way around.
  • Book A Call Anytime. Via a private one-on-one call, I’ll make your business… my business. Easy peasy.
  • ONEPass – All Access Pass To Every Course In The Library. For one small one-time purchase, you can unlock every course in the Blog Marketing Academy library. For life.