Building Websites The Amish Way

Who would have thought a move to Amish country taught me some lessons abut building websites.

A little backstory first. In the last five years, I’ve moved four times. The first move was to get away from the hustle-bustle of the big city. The second, we got an offer on our acreage and 100-year-old farmhouse. The third was due to transfer that the Hubs got which moved us to our “ideal” area. Turns out our ideal city didn’t gel with our idea of our forever home.

This last move presented itself as an opportunity to once and for all move to our dream area. Not many houses come up for sale here in our price range that don’t also need tons of work. We never thought we’d find a home, let alone the perfect home. But we did.

It was in an Amish community that doesn't embrace modern technologies — not least of which includes building websites. I moved here because I’m an old soul who cherishes this Mayberry type community and the simple people who surround it.

Kinda clashes with the WordPress, technology-driven geek that I am.

Not really…I’m slowly learning how to marry the two worlds. Having the best of both parts of me working together instead of clashing is such a refreshing way to live.

The Amish are a different type of people.  They’re savvy business owners who sustain themselves and continue to thrive.

I’m fascinated by this.

Every time I visit a farm, shop or stand it gives me a chance to how they run a business.

Daniel, for example, is a furniture maker. I’m helping him build an addition onto his home for his in-laws. Not helping in the physical sense. Every time I walk into Daniel’s store, I buy another piece of furniture. (Coming soon…a beautiful oak desk and chair for my office). Enough lately to fund his expansion.


Because of the quality. Because of the one-of-a-kindness (is that even a word?). Wish I could bottle that when I'm building websites for everyone.

The Groundwork

Take the wood for example. Daniel uses only oaks and maples. Fine hardwoods. They may be a little more pricey, but you know the finished piece will hold up and last for years.

This is why I choose premium themes for building websites on WordPress. With a premium theme, you get a well-coded site that Google loves. And because there’s a team behind the design, you also get updates when new versions of WordPress come out.

The Customizing

Daniel customizes his furniture to fit the needs and desires of his customers. Everyone starts with a blueprint or plan and then he makes it work for them. Could be the color stain added, the pulls on a drawer or in my case, adjustment to the width and length.

I love to customize premium themes for my clients, too. Every business and business owner is different. Their needs are different. Their vision is different. Their processes are different.

Which is a lot like WordPress. Everyone starts with the same framework, but you choose a theme and plugins that will make your site work for you.

With so many options to choose from, it’s best to get advice from someone who stays on top of timeless resources, as well as today’s trends. Having a designer who knows the best options makes creating the site easy.

The Production

You'd think that with Daniel making all these custom pieces it would take forever to get my order delivered. That’s not the case.

Daniel embraces his version of outsourcing. He works with another craftsman to supply some of his inventory. He’s great with tables and chairs but gets china and curio cabinets from another Amish woodworker.

This reminded me of the many partners I work with to supplement my skills and available time. I partner with copywriters, graphic artists and marketers so that I don’t water down my craft.

This allows me to concentrate on pulling your site together to make it work for you and your visitors. Having the best resources at my fingertips means it won't take me months to give you the site or page you need now.

The Reason

Daniel does business the way he does because spending time with his family and on worship is important to him. He also recognizes that he's honed his skills with particular furniture types, but others would take too long to get right.

This simple relationship with my furniture builder has helped me to shape and change my business. Because of the coding and usability skills I've acquired, WordPress is my tool of choice. This doesn’t mean that I can't offer support on other technologies, but WordPress is what I’m best at and love to do.

I’ve stopped spending time providing everything to everyone and started offering WordPress production, support, and maintenance. I’m now able to do the things I love while providing the services that make me excited to get up in the morning.

How about you…need an awesome website or an update to your existing one?

If you need help with WordPress or your website, let's talk digital. Stop struggling with your site and start honing the thing that makes you a kick-ass business owner.

What is one thing you would change about your website? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

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