17 Sep 2008
Web design is still a growing part of computer industry.
Believe it or not, most business STILL do not have a real web page. The market really fell out for the computer hardware business but we still are seeing a large demand for web design. The good thing about web design is that it has become easier and much cheaper to do but the perceived value has not gone down. There are many companies out there selling sites for $5,000 or so that outsource it and pay less than $200 to get the site made, pocketing the rest. I figure I can find a way to make a better site and charge much less.
When it has come to web design our company has usually passed it off. It was not our core business, it was something that no one at our company knew how to do. A few times we hired people to help us do web design for clients but every time it has failed, the designer was not as good as they thought they were and the client demand more than they originally wanted.
So now that our core business is down I decided that I would personally learn more about it. Yea I know HTML, I know tables and forms, and I have built many pages over the years but to do the really good ones you need much more. You need to know CSS to make it look good and have the same format. You need to know PHP so that it is easy to change, dynamic and more functional. So I set out last week to learn these two things. CSS was easy, it is a simple concept that took only a few hours to learn. PHP was much more complex because it is much more powerful, but after a few long days I feel I am good at PHP also.
The next step was to test out my ideas by making a simple website for one of my customers, I just happened to have one who needed a web page, so I built one for them. You can check it out here. During the process of building this site I also have found a ton of really good resources
If you have been a reader for a long time you will know that I am all about delegating things. My general rule is that if you can find someone who can do what you are doing for less, and is at least 80% as good you should have them do it. The problem is that for me I have not found this, everyone wants to charge way too much and I have not found anyone who can even do the whole job at 80% the level that I now can. I have found people who can do parts better or worse. This is why I am not delegating. If I start getting larger I may start to delegate more. But in reality if you are building up a libary of tools it makes it much faster and easier.