Passing of the Torch

Passing of the Torch

This has been a long time coming but I want to announce that I’m officially closing the web hosting and associated content management portion of my business effective at the end of 2017. While it’s been quite a ride, a combination of factors have forced me to evaluate everything I’m doing right now and I’ve made the decision that closing much of my business is the right thing to do at this point.

First, Don’t Panic!

If you currently have a website with me, don’t worry–it will be well taken care of going into 2018. My very good friend Dougal Walker will essentially be taking over for me; he’s been running his own web consultancy for a number of years and is not only accepting my own book of business but looking to substantially grow his website hosting and development business over the long term as well. Dougal and I have been planning this for the last few months and he will have a new website up shortly regarding his many services, so don’t worry–everyone will be in good hands!

Still Time to Migrate

I’ve also spent the last year or so telling all Huelsman Way clients that it’s time to migrate from their original DNN sites to WordPress. That hasn’t changed; a few of my clients have already migrated (such as the Berkeley Running Company and The Frugal Broker) but many remain on the original DNN system. I did spend the past few months trying really hard to migrate the original sites to the latest version of DNN but the amount of work involved would be just as much as simply migrating to WordPress, so the need still stands.

Migration Timeline & Costs

Throughout November and December, Huelsman Way clients should give some serious thought to migrating their sites to WordPress (assuming, of course, you’ll want to be included in the transfer from myself to Dougal). If you prefer to seek another host or web developer before the end of the year, that’s perfectly fine–now is the time to do it. Note that unless you want to migrate to another host running DNN (which are few and far between) I can’t automatically move the site away–it will need to be “copied and pasted” into another system (in other words, “migrated” to another server, which is what I’m already advocating). Naturally, I recommend just staying with Dougal, but it’s certainly not mandatory.

While Dougal will charge everyone for their annual hosting in January like I always did, I will keep the original DNN sites operational through the END OF APRIL 2018. Hence, I’m basically giving everyone six months to decide how best to move forward with their sites, either having them migrated to WordPress or migrated and hosted elsewhere. These site migrations won’t be free but our plan is to try and keep them to $400 (for smaller sites) and $750 (for larger sites).

Dougal and I will keep everyone posted regarding additional migration news and logistics.

Reasons for Moving On

Please recognize that I wouldn’t be taking this action without due cause. First, my day job at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction requires more of my time now as I help to further develop new financial systems; the work is utterly awesome but it’s equally as challenging and I really need to focus. Second, my wife Susie’s mobile DJ and wedding business is doing extremely well and a lot of my time is taken-up with that. Third, I will be 55 in December and I still have other things I want to do, so I’m basically “retiring” from the day-to-day thing (I’m not going away but rather just slowing down).

Finally–but more importantly than everything else–my mother in Fond du Lac was just diagnosed with stage four cancer and I know the journey ahead for our family will be very hard. So, I do need to clear my plate as best as possible so I can focus on her and my family.

I’m Not Going Away!

Again, I’m not walking away–I will still be accessible to everyone and in almost-daily contact with Dougal as we transition over the next six months. But come January 1st, Dougal will become “the guy” and he will continue with the dedication, value and outstanding customer service I hope I’ve provided to all my clients all these years. Expect follow-up messages from me in both November and December!

Professional web developer residing in Waunakee, Wisconsin.

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