May 3rd, 2010
Goodbye WordPress, I have to move on or back to a better blog system, Expression Engine. You change my code when I tell you not to. You need plugins just to work like a normal blog. Most of your plugins are crap and are not kept up to date. I almost roll on the floor laughing every time someone calls you a CMS; you are not even a good blog! Back to EE a blog that is powerful and well designed. EE is a blog that take a few hours to skin, not a few days. Goodbye WordPress this was the last try
March 8th, 2010
Over the years I have come to the conclusion that all clients are from hell. It is just what degree of hell they are from. Below are some questions that I have been asked many, many times. They are not in order except for the first one. I’ve lost count of how many times that one has been asked.
- What’s a browser?
- My neighbors son has a program to make websites and he would of built it for $300.Why are you charging so much?
- I don’t understand why we can’t use the pictures I found while surfing?
- Can’t you use that site I like? All you would have to do is change the logo change the copy.
- Do I need an email program for each address?
- When are you going to change the password so only I know it?
- I had the portrait taken with a green canvas background, why is it taking so long to remove the background?
- Why is this store software as time consuming as my old eBay store?
- I sent you a word document with the copy for that page; why did you shorten it to only 6 paragraphs?
- Why do you want 50% up front? I want to see what I am getting for my money.
- Why do changes cost more money? I might not like the design in the end and want it changed.
March 2nd, 2010
Going freelance is a big decision; you are basically going into the wilderness. To be blunt, most freelancers fail. The failure rate in 2008 of start-ups (small businesses) was 80%. The last survey I took was 2005; (only way to get them free) the failure rate for freelance web designers for the first 2 years was 98%. As you can see the cards are stacked against you. The biggest reason for most small business failures is planning and lack of capital. Many web designers also shoot themselves in the foot.
Lack of Discipline
You must treat freelancing like a real job. Are you the type of person that can concentrate no matter what kind of distractions are going on around you? You must be able to do the work without letting the distractions effect you. If you can’t work without a boss stopping you from being diverted by the constant stream of chores and chaos that happen in the home environment, rent an office or find a new job.
The hardest part of discipline is solitude. You must be able to work alone and keep from letting you mind wonder. It is very easy to become bored with what you are doing and then seek something to distract you from the boredom. For most people that distraction is the TV. Make sure you do not have a TV near by! If you need a distraction go for a long walk and clear your mind. I grab a sandwich and walk to the fitness center to workout for 45 minutes for lunch. When I get back I am ready to go, mind cleared and new ideas flow.
Lack of Knowledge
To quote the movie Dune “fear is the mind killer”! Fear in any small business is always a factor but you must overcome it. In the web design business there are two types of fear that will bury you.
Trying to make your price quote lower than any others. You can not compete with the bottom feeders. There is no way for you to make a living trying to compete with someone that thinks $600 is good money. You can churn out website after web site for cheap but in the end all you are doing is going around in circles. Wearing out you creative side and working long hours to eek out a living.
The fear that the job is too big. No job is too big!! Put together a team of people and bid on those large websites. You can not always work alone. I put my first tem together in 1998 and still use 70% of that team when need. They still use me when they have the need. Don’t let the big jobs scare you away, become the captain of the team and act like the captain.
Working without a contract
“There’s a sucker born every minute” by P.T. Barnum. If you work without a contract you are that sucker. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard freelancers complaining about being taken advantage of or not being paid because they worked without a contract. I don’t care how much you want the job, never work without a contract. It might not put you out of business but sure can hurt.
After 14 years this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to hear more, tell me. If you think its hogwash tell me