NOTE: There are links to resources below for the self-taught web designers I’ve been finding that will help them continue the great work they’ve begun.
There are people here in Duncan who have built some impressive website presentations that function well, look good and tell their story quite nicely. They have much to be proud of in my opinion but in most cases, many small details that are needed to be addressed in the background were not covered.
One approach I have used over the years for finding work is to look at local web sites and find one that is missing something or perhaps could be improved upon to draw more visitors from the search engines.
One error I was making in the beginning was to bluntly ask a person if they wanted help fixing up their website. For a person who went through all the trouble of figuring out these tools, their cameras, scanners, etc., this turned out to be a slap and rarely turned into a sale.
When the internet was still new, I cut my designer’s teeth using the same kind of free tools as many of these people have and was part of a community of more than 3 million such people. Browsing through their creations was amazing at times as I was able to witness such diverse creativity on full display.
When not thinking about paying the rent, one of my joys out here is seeing this creativity and helping it manifest whenever possible. Duncan is not suffering a shortage of clever and creative people.
So what’s the problem? What are they missing?
These are just a few points to display the types of details I look for when offering to help.
Many Do-It-Yourself (DIY) programs will take anything you can create on the screen in front of you, and turn it into web page code with the push of one button. All of your images get placed into a file, pages linked together and code debugged with the push of a button, leaving you with a single package to load up to a web server. This is how most of them I find out here have been created.
– This approach, while looking good to any visitor and certainly creating a reason for a person to be proud of their design, creates a file in the background that is often 5-10 times bigger than it needs to be. It’s simply the nature of the approach which causes this and is pretty much a non-issue for a small site but it does affect page load time and for a multi-page site it can fill your server, cost more for renting web space.
– This approach rarely includes the step of creating META TAGs, the special line of code that search engines are looking for to help people find you. Notice the bar at the very top left of this web page. You will often see the single word ‘HOME’ here when a person has figured out these tools and made a website on their own.
– This approach takes the images a person has selected and simply adds them to the package without being worked up. The page you are looking at now, relatively speaking, is about 8-1/2″ X 11″ and if it had been built using the DIY method, could have an image as big as your computer all squeezed down by the software to fit into a small 2″X3″ box on the page. Oversized images load slowly and fill up space on your server that doesn’t need to be.
For the people who want to continue the fine work they have begun on their own, I shall end this post with a list of free resources to help and extend an offer to send me your link to add here on my site.
For those who would like some help fine tuning their place, I welcome you to contact me via the Live Chat Help feature you find here or by calling 580-475-6923.
– The bare basics of HTML and web page building
– Integrate Payment Processing with your site
– Find Royalty Free images to use
– Operate your cPanel managed server
– Find free software for developing