Lesson 1 of 3 – Be your own project manager


Below is a video transcript of sorts. It’s not a perfect transcript because that would be boring. And also, how do I transcribe 30 seconds of dancing with Minnie Mouse ears? Instead, it’s the same information presented to make sense as a written article.

ALSO – Did you arrive at this page via Facebook? If so, make sure you get the next lesson by asking for it here.


I’m Cath Wood. I specialise in teaching small business owners how to build their own proper, professional, mobile-friendly website.

This is the first of 3 lessons in which I’ll teach you some of the basics of getting started with your website. Getting started is the hardest part.

I’ll share the one BIG mistake made by a lot of people – which totally ruins their website – and I’ll teach you how to fix that. Even if we never work together that will be something you can take away and use in your business.

As a bonus, I’ll teach you a little trick that my workshop participants always love. I often find it’s the highlight of their day!

Getting Started is Complicated

When I first started building websites I had sooo many questions.

It was so complicated, like a whole new language.

What’s WordPress?
What’s a theme?
What’s a plugin?
What’s SEO?
What’s a cpanel?
What’s FTP?
What’s CSS?
What’s HTML?
What’s a domain?
How do I get a domain?
Do I have to worry about being hacked?
What’s hosting?
People talk about managed hosting and self-hosted hosting – what’s the difference?
Which hosting company should I use?
Do I have to backup my website?
How do I do that?
If I do backup my website, how do I restore it?

It’s quite likely you are asking the exact same questions. It’s so intimidating. You have no idea how the hell anyone knows this stuff, and you wonder how you’re ever going to get a handle on it.

I know that feeling, it’s horrible.

Small business clients have two things in common

Fast forward a couple of years. I was working with small business clients and I discovered that they have two things in common:

  1. Small business clients don’t have a big budget for a website
  2. They are very busy

Sometimes I’d wait a year for images so I could finish a website, then suddenly the client would have a break in their schedule. I’d get a message saying, “I’m sending you all my pictures today and tomorrow so we can get the website finished this week!”

The only problem was, that was the week I’d chosen to go on holidays.

It was clear that it would make more sense for small business operators to be in control of their own website. That way, they could work on their site whenever it suited them.

So….workshops happened

I started teaching workshops in small country towns around Australia.

The results were great. My students built fabulous websites.

Hannah built 2 websites in a week

Hannah attended my workshop in Busselton. After lunch she was like a woman possessed, pounding away at her keyboard oblivious to everyone else in the room. Within a week Hannah built two complete websites, which she continues to update as needed.

Before attending Cath’s workshop I was completely lost as to how I would be able to afford having a website designed for my business, but then I spoke to Cath about her workshop and she was so friendly and helpful and genuinely wanted to see me succeed! At the workshop I learnt so much and found that WordPress and the way Cath delivered the info was incredible! All of a sudden I got super excited and then had built two websites within the next week! I was hooked, the possibilities were endless and I had control! I can’t thank Cath enough for teaching me how to design and manage my website(s!), and it’s not just about how to design, we covered SEO, image optimisation and helpful tips, she really puts a lot in to her workshops and is so helpful!



I’ll introduce you to Shep in the next lesson

Shep built 3 websites after doing a workshop over Skype.

I recorded a nice interview with him recently and filmed him at work (he’s a performer) so I’ll share that in the next few days.

The workshop participants have a few things in common

  • They’re all small businesses
  • They’re based in rural Australia
  • They’re busy
  • They don’t have a big budget for a website

Who will build your website? You, or someone else?

Whether you need a brand new website, or you have a website that needs updating, you need to make a decision.

Will you pay someone to do it, or will you do it yourself?

Paying someone else

Remember if you pay someone else it’s not just the several thousand (plus) you need to allow for the initial design and development.

You also need to maintain and update your website on a regular basis, otherwise you’ll get no love from Google. It’s a waste of time, money and energy to build a beautiful new website then leave it stagnant.

If you’re paying a professional to do everything you’ll need to allow $10000 or more per year for upkeep.

If you have a budget like this for your website, ensure you choose someone with an excellent reputation. Even then, you probably want to read on.

Doing it yourself

If you don’t have a big budget (and even if you do, actually) I believe very strongly that you need to learn what’s involved in building a professional website.

Even if you ultimately outsource a lot of the work, you need to know what’s going on. Otherwise how can you effectively manage the project? You have no choice but to trust that the person you hire knows what they’re doing, and because you lack knowledge, you can’t check their work.

Outsourcing to India or the Philippines (or anywhere, actually)

Years ago I got pretty excited when I discovered that I could get websites built overseas for a really low price. However I learned the hard way that the people I hired didn’t always know as much as I thought. Because I knew even less, I wasn’t able to monitor what they were doing.

If you know exactly what should be done you can be the project manager for your own website.

Note that this doesn’t just apply to outsourcing to countries where English is not the native language. I have seen professionals in Australia, the US and the UK that charge a lot of money yet still don’t follow best practice. You must understand best practice yourself if you want to check your developers are doing the right thing. Otherwise you just have to trust that they’re the professionals.

Be your own project manager

In the next two lessons I’ll help you to level up your learning by teaching you some of the basics you need to know. That way you can be your own project manager.

I’ll answer the questions I posed at the start of this lesson, and since I know this topic can be a bit of a head explosion I’ll provide a handy PDF that you can print out and keep in your website file.

Then, when someone says, “Can I have your FTP details?” you can answer, “Do you really need the FTP? Can’t you do it through the File Manager on the cpanel?”

It’s good to get through the freaky, scary phase which is the very beginning of thinking about your business website. It gives you a solid basis from which to go forward. Then, you can build your new website yourself or supervise somebody else. Either way, you’ll enjoy a level of familiarity which will make things a whole lot easier.

See you in the next lesson 🙂

PS If you received this lesson by email you’ll receive the next one in the same way. If you arrived here via Facebook you won’t receive the next lesson unless you ask for it. You can do that here.

Your Turn

Please leave a comment below. What’s your biggest question about your business website?

Have you noticed that a photo shows next to the name of some people that leave comments, but not for others? Would you like to learn how to do that? If yes let me know and I’ll cover it in the next lesson!


  1. Olga

    You crack me up. Those dance moves

  2. Kim maguire

    Cath has described me to a tee an SEO working for a not for profit where budget is tight and time is at a premium. Thats me the one who is flat out then gets a break between jobs and fires a million questions at Cath!! She takes it all in her stride and I am very pleased with the end result this lady knows how to teach!!

  3. Kolleen

    Fantastic video Cath! And the course sounds great.

    • Cath

      Thanks Kolleen. Since you’re helping to teach the course this time I reckon it will be amaaaazing!

  4. Alicia

    I’m not even going to admit how many times I watched this just for the dance moves 🙂 The content was fantastic too!

  5. Harold Neel

    Great launch Cath! I’m a Luddite and Cath was incredibly helpful with my site, giving me good advise and having infinite patience with my learning curve. I’m certain her workshops will be fantastic for creating your own site. She is right that having the knowledge of how it all works gives you the power to make your site what you want. I look forward to the next video and the costumes!
    Go go go it looks really good.
    Cheers H

  6. Chris Scott

    Hi Cath, I ended up taking the time to have a look.. Yes you definitely kept your sense of humour. I think it was quite comprehensive it reminded me of some of the information from the workshops that I would love to refresh. At time the lip sync was out which was a little distracting. You have been an great help both building the website and also with the followup afterwards. Thanks Cath good luck with the new venture. Chris

    • Cath

      I know, that lip sync thing is weird, I’m not sure what the heck is up with it!

  7. Carolyn Forte

    I’m getting fired up and looking forward to getting this thang happening! Dance moves? Maybe stick to the handstands…..
    Thanks for the intro. Love the bed hair.
    XxCarolyn (bed hair queen)

  8. Bec Steele

    Ooh! Pretty sure I don’t have a little piccy… so sure – teach me how 🙂
    You know where i’m at with webbery. i think this is where my destiny is heading at the moment, so fill up my brain with nerdy goodness.
    Bec x

  9. Deonne Kruger

    I did Cath’s workshop in person last year. Cath is a down to earth trainer who taught me what I needed to know, without drowning me in technological information that I didn’t need to know. Cath’s workshop was definitely worth doing! I’m excited to see the supercharged version via the webbiedoo webinar training sessions!

  10. Noëlle Steegs

    You’re so RADIANT! And it shines through in how you interact with people, your video, the content… it’s so energising.

  11. David Blackmon

    What a wonderful, fun, and informative video Cath! Tons luck to you and your team! I think the dance moves were spot on LOL!

  12. Emily

    Hi cath great video great intro into web making

  13. Pablo

    I loved it!! Who wouldn’t?

    Masterfully delivered, Cath, congratulations.

  14. Jackie Uhd

    Fabulous Cath. Have you been raiding Fatso’s costume rack ?

    • Cath

      Ha ha ha – no, my niece’s dress-ups box!

  15. Beth Sheldon

    You are awesome Cath . I appreciate the dancing and dress ups immensely . Sounds great … I wish you loads of luck with the project . Thanks for all your help so far over the years with my website . It’s great having somebody who is so efficient and patient when teaching . Your the best !

  16. Glenda Ernst

    Thanks Kath. I am looking forward to more lessons and yes, I would love to know about the photographs.

  17. deb

    You’ve got the moves like Jagger LOL
    loved IT !!! Bring on the INFO 🙂

  18. Ben Healy

    Love your energy Cath and thanks for getting me back online with this stuff. Looking forward to the rest of the videos.

  19. Jinny

    Folk should beware … below the nutty exterior is a master of all things web. Go Cath!

  20. Kelly Morgan

    Hi Cath, the videos are awesome, a great refresher for me. I am surprised at how much I have remembered. You make things so easy to understand.

    • Cath

      Thank you Kelly. Also, there you are. Just this morning I was thinking, “I haven’t heard from Kelly, Ima ring her up!”

  21. Coral Woosnam

    Hi Cath, knowing Im pretty slow on the uptake, I finally had a moment to look at your lessons. Love love love the intro. Just like you…literally down to earth and energetic.

    • Cath

      Thank you Coral 🙂


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