So you want to be a WebDeveloper?

Recently somebody contacted me on behalf of a customer of my freelance business. I was asked if I could help out as they were reworking the customers' website.

I think I've written about that particular customer in the past, but here is a brief overview: years back I've implemented a small website with a customer relationship management backend. Basically, there is a site where you can request a quote and the people in the office get the request for it, prepare it through the website and can send it.
There is also the functionality to update some texts and appointments on the page. Nothing special, but a great learning project for me back in the day (if I remember correctly it was around 2014 / 2015). Obviously, the PHP code I've written is way outdated and I'm wondering that it's still running nowadays (it is still PHP 5.6 or something).

So I was wondering how they were reworking the website? The customer doesn#t have access to the source code and to the hosting environment. Well, technically they have access (I've sent them the password way back), but they clearly didn't access it.

My idea then was to ask what and how they are working on it and what they would need from me. Turns out the customer wants to change some font on the site and generally rework the layout. But the person contacting me had a problem with changing the font and embedding a video.

At that point, I was already suspicious because it sounded like the person doing the redesign doesn't have a plan of web development or Webdesign in general.

Fast forward I now know they are using a free website builder to "click together" a new website. I mentioned it should be easy to embed a font via CSS as long it would be made for the web and the licence would allow it.

Back comes one of the greatest sentences which fully supported my thought that the person doing it doesn't have a plan: "Soweit ich das mitbekommen habe, ist der Website-Builder auch mit CSS kompatibel." which translates to "As far as I know the website builder is also compatible with CSS".

What this sentence tells me (and my coworkers which I asked if they share the same thought) is that the person doing the rework 1. doesn't know about the CRM system, 2. has no idea of HTML/CSS. I'm not going to blame the person for not knowing what is running, but I'm going to blame the customer for using the daughter of an employee (probably without pay) to rework the website.

I've been telling the customer for years that we need to redo the website and it is really risky to leave it running with that old PHP version. But things that cost money don't get done.

Since I want to kill off my hosting business anyway (it doesn't pay for itself so I will need to shut it down and only host my own stuff) it will be fun to talk to the customer in person. I think I will bring it up along this line: "Great that you're finally reworking the website, I want to shut down my hosting business anyway by next year so [the person that contacted] me can fully take over". I wonder what the reaction will be.
Sounds like paying a little bit to have you refresh the website would be the right move. That client will find out the hard way. I recently bought some domains for Be Wellthy because I like the idea of having a website and home base besides just a Substack newsletter. Problem is I dread the hassle of setting it all up. Everyone says building a website is no code now, but that has not been my experience. vorsprung durch technik
2021-12-21 13:44:46
Well, paying me wouldn't be inexpensive (I'm normally charging 60€ per hour) and to be honest, I don't want to do it anyways. I've got way too much work to do at work, so I'm not seeking a large side hustle.
Yep, my client will definitely find out the hard way, but I'm at a level with my freelance business that I'm thinking about quitting altogether (because it costs way more than it truly brings in).

A coworker recently built a website with I will be helping him out in the future and took a peek at what is possible with the editor. Didn't expect much, but was surprised at how detailed their documentation and feature set is. Maybe I'm going to dedicate a post on that later on.

Haha, yeah, "Vorsprung durch Technik" is definitely the Audi ad I hear sometimes, but it isn't true anymore since Tesla entered the automobile market.
2021-12-21 14:15:50
i'm surprised you didn't like the website builders that exist today. I'm like 
in that I find solutions like 
to be great and flexible for 99 percent of websites.

Philipp I've also had to part ways with clients in the past -- recently too -- as well. Sometimes you keep helping someone because you know they'll have nobody to turn to, but eventually you can't just keep doing that. unless you're retired lol.
2021-12-21 14:37:19
My foray into web building was Word Press (still never figured out the difference between .com and .org) with some type of plug-in called DIVI. I started with what I thought was a simple landing page with email capture, and it was nightmarish. I would be willing to try one of the other tools, but when I say no code I mean NO CODE. The moment someone brings up that I need something called CSS or HTML to do something, you lost me. 
2021-12-21 14:51:52
Youll like Wix/SquareSpace muchhhhh betterrrrr

 is at some weird stage of trying to cater to too many people (developers, content people, grandparents, etc)
2021-12-21 14:58:06
Yeah, sometimes you just have to move on from clients.

Totally, WordPress just wants to be the all in one package and thus does nothing good in my opinion. It was such a great piece of software years back.

 What I've seen from Wix is you really don't need any coding skills at all. I'm almost thinking about moving my own sites to it :)
2021-12-22 07:31:50
Okay, it's settled then. I will try Wix. I am cautiously optimistic.
2021-12-22 13:41:28
But Jason says Wix is slow and a pain to use and recommends something called Carrd. 
2021-12-23 01:34:17
I think I've heard about carrd before. Looks like a landing page builder and seems way cheaper than wix. It probably depends on what you want to build.
Both offer a free trail, so I would recommend trying both :)
2021-12-23 05:27:41