The agony of creating websites
As of this writing, August of 2014, I am finding that most websites being created nowadays are being done by hard-working amateurs. That is, spouses, nieces, nephews, etc. who are just trying to help out. And it is possible. *Click-and-Build* website companies have been around for a long time. And they don't take technical skill, just a LOT of hard work.
And this *do-it-yourself* stuff is nothing new in the world of Graphic Design. If you've ever wondered how a company's brochure could have possibly looked that bad, it was probably designed by a hard-working amateur. And the reason has stayed the same, cost.
Hiring a designer costs money. If a brochure, or a website, isn't really in your budget for your company, I can't blame you for getting someone to do it for free. And design isn't rocket science. You find some pictures, put some text next it, add a logo, and you're done. I've been doing it since I was 19, and teaching it since my thirties. And to my surprise, some people have a natural talent for it. But most people are just working VERY hard. And I kind'a feel sorry for those people. And the final result mostly turns out looking very sad.
If you've ever seen a pro do something, you know that they can achieve some pretty impressive effects in a very short amount of time. I mean, really, the people who put a new roof on my house were done in no time. I'd still be up there, many years later, trying to find the nails. And even then it would be a mess, and leaky.
But the reason that I became discouraged with web design overall is that it's like trying to hit a moving target. As soon as I knew HTML, I had to learn CSS. As soon as a design looks great on a desktop computer, another version needs to be created to work on a cell phone. For a while, there was Flash animation, and on, and on. I really do feel sorry both for the pros out there who design websites, and the amateurs. They are both working very hard!
So, if someone is creating a website for you, appreciate their agony. Pay them well, whether a pro or amateur, whether with money or appreciation. Some day this will all be funny, and ancient history, but right now it isn't. It hurts.
Posted by Brad Hall