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9 Signs You Shouldn't Hire THAT Web Guy

02.11.2008
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My employer specializes in creating websites for middle-sized businesses. We rarely create "Mom'n'Pops" websites and generally don't pursue contracts with major corporations. Working with mid-size business has given me the opportunity to speak with executives and "decision-makers" within each business. Our discussions eventually end up with the other person telling me about their previous web developers and how their current site is ineffective as a sales to or representation of the business. There are some definitive characteristics about my customers' previous web persons and without further adieu, I give you 9 signs you shouldn't hire THAT web guy.

1. He Calls Himself a "Webmaster"

Any web guy that calls himself a "webmaster" probably isn't a master of anything. The term "webmaster" has become a translation for the word "amateur." The web has diversified into so many different realms that webmaster is no longer meaningful (was it ever though?)

2. He's a FrontPage Expert

Any developer / designer with a degree knows that Microsoft FrontPage most definitely isn't a professional tool. FrontPage will pass for Mom and Dad who want to create a website dedicated to their dogs, not someone who's trying to do business. I'd argue that a solid Web Developer should work at code level.

3. He'll Submit Your Website to [Inflated Number Here] Search Engines

Submitting your website to hundreds of search engines would be great...10 years ago. Websites are indexed by relevant search engines by how rich their content and keywords are. Search engine optimization is big business and submitting sites to search engines simply isn't the way to get to the top of Google.

4. He Wants a "Designed By ...." Plug on the Bottom of Every Page

You've paid this person to create a marketing tool for you -- not a billboard for him. Your website is a launch pad for your business and Poindexter McScooner is simply the man behind the curtain -- keep him there.

5. He Created a Cool Website for [Insert Family Member / Friend Here]

Your business needs someone who's been there before. The most common answer to my "Who was he and what business did they work for?" question is "Oh, he did a website for the CEO's daughter's [insert lame organization here]." I honestly hear that friend-of-a-friend story all the time. Choose someone with a sizable portfolio that can provide references.

6. He Can Make You a Great Splash Page Flash Animation

Translation: "I can spend dozens of hours wasting your money to create something that will take too long to load and will be skipped more times than dessert at a bad restaurant." Consistency and website flow are important to web design -- not meaningless animations that waste visitors' time and your money.

7. He Mentions He's a HTML Expert

Who the hell isn't? I would argue that dropping any language acronym on a customer (PHP, Ruby on Rails, ColdFusion, etc.) unless they ask is meaningless fluff. A mechanic could use a banana on my car if it would fix it. Keep your tools, especially HTML, to yourself -- the customer doesn't care.

8. He'll Fit a Cool Counter on Your Site

You'll add an ugly relic of the early internet on my site so that my competitors have an idea of my web stats? Sweet!
Counters make a website look as unprofessional as possible -- don't use them.

9. He'll Place a "Best If Viewed in..." Message on Your Website

Any real Web Developer knows that he doesn't make the rules. Follow standards in the initial build and then fix it in Internet Explorer -- that's the flow. No responsible programmer would place a "best if view in..." message on the front-end of a website.

References
Published at DZone with permission of its author, David Walsh. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

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Comments

Matthew Schmidt replied on Mon, 2008/02/11 - 10:03am

Classic :)  Reminds me of the days when the web was simpler (and more hideous perhaps!).

Stefan Koopmanschap replied on Mon, 2008/02/11 - 11:59am

nice, but mainly because it's funny and hardly because it contains useful information.

Chris Ravenscroft replied on Tue, 2008/02/12 - 4:46am

Right on the money. #5 did not really make me giggle, though; it's unfortunately all too common.

Eric replied on Wed, 2008/02/13 - 5:46pm

I referred to myself as a webmaster the other day, and you're right -- I did kinda feel like a douche just after the word escaped my mouth.

GL S replied on Fri, 2008/02/29 - 2:37am

Interesting.

For #9, I put "the best view with" statement in my personal site and in sites that I have done free for the community. Although the support for IE is there, but I would love to recommend non-IE browsers to the users. That does not make me a 'fake' nor irresponsible web developer, does it?

And for #6, I would also like to interject that no matter a splash page is done using Flash or HTML/CSS, in most cases, a web guy that develop it for a website is not a professional one. I believe there is no need to have a splash page in a normal website, unless the splash page serves specific purposes.

ken replied on Fri, 2008/02/29 - 5:07am

10.) His writing is full of errors that are definitely not just typos.

"Without further adieu, ..."

J H replied on Fri, 2008/02/29 - 8:13am

Wow. This article poster is a tool. I disagree with point 5. Web Designers have to start their career off from somewhere, just like the article poster did. And if you think the only way to start off a design career is to go to University then you are sincerely mistaken. Experience has always trumped qualifications. I would rather have some guy who's actually had some experience in doing sites even if it is for his grandfathers-friends-pet-dog than some tool who has just come out of University landing a job and expecting to have some champagne party because he is the 'bees knees'

/end of rant

 

Shahid Hassim replied on Fri, 2008/02/29 - 1:52pm

Quite accurate but I disagree with point 9. He'll Place a "Best If View in..." Message on Your Website

I use joomla and there is a slideshow component that cannot work in IE6 because of the way it handles transparencies. Ever open gmail in opera? It's a total mess. 

So what would you do in that case.

 

 

Andrew Crawford replied on Fri, 2008/02/29 - 2:38pm

I work at EMI music canada, dealing new bands and high profile artists, building banners, flash appa and websites, I also freelance on the side to make some extra cash. I would tag my self as a Flash Developer and Flash Animator

I saw this today and had to show my co workers, some point hold true but others are just right out to lunch.

4 - Offer the client a discount on the price of the project to add created by text in the footer. Client saves money, makes him/her happy. gets your name out, good for people new to the bizz or when trying to land some freelance work

6 - What the client wants he/her gets. If the client has requested one then give them it, they are paying you money to build what they want. Flash developers love using load counters and buffer bar pre loaders, but a flash intro can cover up the same old numbers and loading bar every flash website has. Also depents on the target demo, if you build a website for a bank then they might not want one, if you build one for a band there is a good chance that they will ask for one. If you want a job as a flash animatior, a kick ass intro on your portfolio could be the thing that lands you a job.

7 - Clients want to know your skill set.  Alot of clients know what they want, and depending on the client he or she may know about the world of web development, they may already have a website and need one made that will work with the current CMS and server they have.  If you dont tell them the skills you have, you will never get a job.  If they need someone who knows PhP ASP and you dont tell them you can do that, what the hell are you even doing in the bizz.  Developer, designer, programmer, whatever you want to call yourself, you still need to define the skills you have because everyone who calls themselfs a developer doesnt know ASP, and everyone who calls themselfs a programmer may not know how to do actionscript.  Sure saying you know HTML might sound silly since the first thing we all learn is for the most part html, things like ruby on rails, ASP php AS 2.0 / 3.0 need to be listed to the client, it may be what makes the job. 

client - "so what are you"

guy - "Im a Web Developer"  

client - "you get the job"

-- 2 weeks later --

client - "you said you are a web developer and you dont know ASP"

guy - "I only know how to do html and css"

 

9 - web standards in mind. remember that the majority of the internet still runs IE. And you can never ever be 100% W3C standard, some things just dont allow for it. Usability standards are one thing but code standards are another, you will never be able to keet true to the W3C guide lines unless you build the most basic of seb pages and remove functional working objects. the percent of people running 800x600 and 1028x768 and up is so close right now that you may need to inform of what will be best to view the site. depending on the target demo you may or maynot want to inform them that it can be best viewed at this rez or in this browser. take a look at this website. The standard is still a ruff 800x600, this site was designed for a larger rez, because the majority of people who come her run a higher rez, its target demo.

The client is number 1, making the client happy will inturn make you happy, return bizz is always good.

ed replied on Fri, 2008/02/29 - 5:18pm

I also disagree with #1. Larry pretty much sums it up. As far as front page is concerned, i never used it nor do i recommend it, but if gets the job done, thats all that matters!

Michael Ott replied on Fri, 2008/02/29 - 6:29pm in response to: Shahid Hassim

Then don't use the slideshow component. Develop an alternative. That's what good web development is about - finding solutions that work for everybody - not just certain browsers.

If you were in my dedign team with your attitude, I would have to let you go.

Rita replied on Fri, 2008/02/29 - 8:32pm

LOL. No offense, but if I couldn't see your picture, I would have said, "The guy that wrote this article can't be very old. About 25..." I have been a "webmaster" for 20 years and your list would apply to what I call the very lowest of the low: people who took a class in high school, bought a book or learned from making free yahoo pages when they weren't tweaking their myspaces with rhinestones, pukey colors, ugly graphics and free flash mp3 players.

I'm sorry but "webmaster" is the term for people who design, build and maintain websites. If I hear web developer, I and almost everyone else in the business think, "back-end coder, database person etc". You better have a DB admin ticket hanging around your neck and be a pro at ASP, JSP, PHP and MySql.  And "Web Content Manager" sounds like someone trying to make a janitor into a "Clean-up and Maintenence Specialist". I'm a webmaster. BTW, I have won just about every award imaginable and I coded for years in Front Page. It was a great & super fast tool if you knew how to clear out all the extraneous code.

HTML expert a joke? Crap, I wish half the 22 year old flash-gurus coming out of Bob Buffoo's School of Web Design knew HTML 1/4 as well as I do. Maybe then they would be useful on a daily basis doing real (and sometimes boring)work instead of the spending 3 days making a flash cartoon for their social networking page. I can look at a page of code and tell you where any problem is in a few seconds. Of course, I also know CSS, JavaScripting, Flash, XML and a load of other apps. You have to stay current but HTML is the heart and soul of the web.

I agree that Counters and "Best Viewed In" inclusions are garbage and always have been. I remember when GOOD webmasters would have to code pages to look good Netscape Navigator and IE and then Firefox, when they were wildly different and it was a real chore. Nowadays, cross browser compatibility is a piece of cake! "Best Viewed In" is a lame excuse for not trying very hard.

By the way, the best way to get to the top of Google is to do what most businesses do... give google a crap-load of money and they'll put you there, bypassing everyone.

Michael Ott replied on Fri, 2008/02/29 - 9:24pm in response to: Rita

[quote=RitaGS]

By the way, the best way to get to the top of Google is to do what most businesses do... give google a crap-load of money and they'll put you there, bypassing everyone.

[/quote]

That's a joke right? How about just following good SEO practices? I have managed to get nearly every one of my clients to the top (or at least 2nd or 3rd) without having ever paid a cent to Googe. In fact the idea of paying Google never entered into my mind.

On that subject, any 'designer' who says he can get you to the top of Google because he/she 'has a special relationship with them' is pulling your wang.

Mackenzie replied on Sat, 2008/03/01 - 5:08am

OK so now we know how to tell which male designers are bad.  How do we tell the bad female designers apart from the good female designers?

Wogan May replied on Sat, 2008/03/01 - 8:52am

David, I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with most of your points here.

1. He Calls Himself a "Webmaster"
I agree that "Webmaster" is about as common as "CEO of my own blog". But it does put across the messgae that you're somewhat experienced in building, running and maintaining at least one website, as Rita suggested. "The guy who did the site" sounds more like someone who just patched a few lines of HTML, then got out of there, and does not look professional at all. If I was an employer, I'd rather have someone who could comfortably wear the sign of "webmaster" around his/her neck.

2. He's a FrontPage Expert
You do realise there's such a thing as a "FrontPage Novice"? Therefore, by definition, a frontpage "expert" knows the program inside and out, is familiar with every single form, function and plugin, and is able to build lots of pages at high speed - as well as manually edit the HTML code and keep it up to date. I would pick a veteran FrontPage designer over someone who prefers Notepad any day - because I know they can get the job done. Evidently, I'll need proof, but I'll get to that later.

3. He'll Submit Your Website to [Inflated Number Here] Search Engines
Generally, search engine submissions take a lot of time, and yes, they're not an end-all solution. But by manually adding a site to the search engine, that engine will discover the site a lot quicker than if it was just left to find it via crawling. Then, it's obviously up to good SEO practices to make sure the rankings improve. Submissions to engines - any amount will do - are a big help to a well-designed site.

4. He Wants a "Designed By ...." Plug on the Bottom of Every Page
Personally, I would allow my site designer to stick his name there - because it means that he is proud of the work, and is willing to leave his name on it. If someone told me they would build the site but wanted no backlink, I'd wonder at the quality of their work, and at their ethics. But by saying "I built this!", you effectively put across that you're reachable, and have nothing to hide as far as your work is concerned.

5. He Created a Cool Website for [Insert Family Member / Friend Here]
This is potentially the biggest nit I have to pick with you. First off - how do you expect a newbie web designer to have any sort of portfolio? Someone could have just spent the last six years studying web development, design, languages, databasing, SEO, and AJAX. Now he's on the market, with zero client sites to his name.

How the hell is he supposed to get anywhere like that? He could potentially build a few demo sites and host them, to show to his potential clients, but by producing a real-world example (even if it was for the daughter of his uncle's company) he is putting the "I'm ready to do business" message across.

If I was going to hire someone, it wouldn't matter WHO the previous clients were - but if I could see a client-directed site in action with his name on it, I would consider him a candidate.

6. He Can Make You a Great Splash Page Flash Animation
First off, Flash does not always equal "bad" - that's just the popular anti-social media at work. It is possible to create fast-loading professional-looking Flash introductions that will make a site stand out. And so long as there is a "Skip Intro" button clearly visible, I would probably go for it. The intro page for the site generally sets the mood for the rest of it, and, if done properly, will be a great help.

7. He Mentions He's a HTML Expert
Just as FrontPage, there are HTML newbies that understand the HEAD . BODY . CONTENT . CLOSE formula. Then there are HTML novices that can cook up a page in Notepad in three minutes. Then you get experts that write inline styling on the fly, never needing to refer to a WYSIWYG output to know what they're doing. Then you get professionals that put all the CSS in seperate files, comment the lot comprehensively, tab-space the code to make it neat, include DOCTYPE, and hand over a standards-compliant HTML document the next day.

Yes, being an HTML expert could potentially be the biggest weapon in any website "guy"'s arsenal. I'd want someone like that working for me, just so that you know.

8. He'll Fit a Cool Counter on Your Site
Tacky cPanel CGI counters are oldskool, yes. But invisible tracking dots like those of Google Analytics are not, and if my designer told me that he could install one for me, I would go for the option. Scripts like that also count as Counters, you know, and personally, I'd like to know how many visitors I'm getting, and where they're coming from.

9. He'll Place a "Best If View in..." Message on Your Website
If done discreetly (font-size: 8px, in footer), I wouldn't mind. Yes, designers are supposed to code around things like browser differences. But have you noticed just how many browsers there are on the market today? I would build a site that functions in Firefox 1.5, then make it work on IE6, and post a note like "Best in Firefox" in the footer.

Resolution-wise, 800 wide is the somewhat-accepted-norm for fixed-width sites. Fine. So now a user from the eighties pitches with a screen resolution of 640x480. Now what?

Overall, I'd prefer sites that can automatically scale to the size of the visitor's screen resolution. Ultimate compatibility. But if I know that my site uses features like CSS highlighting colors - that only Firefox and Safari supports - I would agree to a small warning being posted on my site. In the footer, where it can be found if needed.

After all, having invested good money in a good website, I want to make sure my visitors are clear about how the experience is going to be best for them. And you can't account for every situation, hence the warning.

David, dude, you really have to put just a little bit more devils-advocate-style thinking into your articles - every coin has two sides :)

~ Wogan

Larry replied on Sat, 2008/03/01 - 1:36pm

[quote] Resolution-wise, 800 wide is the somewhat-accepted-norm for fixed-width sites. Fine. So now a user from the eighties pitches with a screen resolution of 640x480. Now what? [/quote]

With the exception of Mr. Walsh it sounds like there are some people reading/replying that know what they are talking about so I would like to hear some thoughts on “resolution”.

 

I have a problem believing we should stick to 800 wide formats. When was the last time you saw a 15” monitor for sale?

 

I try and set up a site that will display comfortably at 1024 but in the event the user has a wide screen they can utilize as much of the screen as they want. It does tend to make background image file sizes a little cumbersome but the overall effect is more esthetically pleasing. Also I think setting up a site for 800 is way too restrictive and a huge waste of potential resources.

 

I say it’s time to step up the base to 1024 as the minimum standard and go from there. Go have a look at the majority of sites that use 800 and imagine what they could have done with the extra width; I think you would have to agree.   

 

So, now that I sound like some zealot politician, what am I missing here and where am I wrong in setting up a site to display on a 20”widescreen?

 

s cannon replied on Sat, 2008/03/01 - 3:33pm

*Making notes of which people who have replied who I wouldn't hire.....

 You're wrong for setting up a website that can only be viewed properly on a 20" screen, because of the 7 computers I use on a regular basis, NONE have a 20" screen! I navigate away QUICKLY from such inconsiderate pages/companies.

 The reason FrontPage and such tools is NOT a good tool to use is that they add hundreds of KB to a web page. The #1 point in making a web page is to make it easy to load. Yes I know, a 100-KB site takes an infinitesimal time longer than a 50-KB site, but that still makes a difference in how much gets stored on the server. If you work with computer systems a lot, you know how quickly storage space gets eaten up. Saving a little (or a lot) on every page really does add up.

And you must know a LOT about HTML in order to "delete the crap that MS adds". If you know that much about it, why not just use Notepad??

 The majority of people who would hire a web designer person (whatever title you want to give them) aren't going to know the difference between ASP and a snake. So telling *them* your skillset is meaningless. You could make up letters all day (I know GQX!!!) and you'll sound impressive. However, if you are making a site for, say, the CSS bloggers, you better know your stuff and announce it.

HTML will get you so far, but if that's all you know - even HTML and CSS - your site is going to be pretty bland, compared to what you can do with javascript, PHP, ASP, etc. Give me an online form that submits to an email address using only HTML. In fact, do, because I need one!

 The #1 rule I look for in people who "do web sites" is KNOW THY AUDIENCE. No matter who you are doing the site for, or what they want, you must know the sorts of people who are going to view the page(s). If they are 60-year-old women who barely know how to log in, looking for sewing materials (hey my mom is one, so YEAH 60-y-o sewing ladies!), then simple HMTL with maybe some CSS would be perfectly fine. If, however, you are making a worldwide e-business site for a computer manufacturer, then by golly, you better know more than that. A toddler's site for reading skills? You better flash yourself to death!! 

If I am looking for someone to work on a site, and they make no reference to who the audience is, they don't get past the initial interview. Period. My site needs to reflect me/my organization/my business, but MUST cater to the audience. I can proclaim who I am all I want to, but if users don't like/can't work the site, it's pointless and a waste of money. 

 My humble 2 cents.

Webbie, web designer, webmaster, webmistress (Icky^2), website "do-er" to 3 1/2 sites....

Susan 

 

Larry replied on Sat, 2008/03/01 - 6:10pm in response to: s cannon

[quote=scannon] *Making notes of which people who have replied who I wouldn't hire..... You're wrong for setting up a website that can only be viewed properly on a 20" screen, because of the 7 computers I use on a regular basis, NONE have a 20" screen! I navigate away QUICKLY from such inconsiderate pages/companies. [/quote]

You didn't read my post, I said set it up for 1024 but format it to display on a 20" widescreen. There is a big difference.

[quote=scannon] FrontPage and such tools is NOT a good tool to use is that they add hundreds of KB to a web page. [/quote]

Give me a break ! The average size of any page set up in FrontPage has to be around 15 kb. It might be a good idea to know what you are talking about before you make statements like that.
 
[quote=scannon] and you must know a LOT about HTML in order to "delete the crap that MS adds". If you know that much about it, why not just use Notepad??[/quote]

Why not use Notepad . . . well does word or line wrap come to mind.   

[quote=scannon]The majority of people who would hire a web designer person (whatever title you want to give them) aren't going to know the difference between ASP and a snake.[/quote]

So what should a we do when asked about our skillset? Tell them they are to stupid to understand? 

[quote=scannon] HTML will get you so far, but if that's all you know - even HTML and CSS - your site is going to be pretty bland, compared to what you can do with javascript, PHP, ASP, etc. Give me an online form that submits to an email address using only HTML. In fact, do, because I need one! [/quote]


Did you bother to reread this part after you wrote it?


One important point with Javascript is that you don't need to know it to use it. There are some amazing people out there that are more than willing to allow you to use their work as long as you give them credit.

I'm gonna get yelled at for this part 


PHP is nothing but a pain in the @ss. You need to know exactly what you are doing and how a change in module X will affect module H. I work in PHP and it gives me a headache.


If I have to I can work in ASP to a limited degree but my short foray into ASP convinced me that I will never succeed with it and that it was initially written by some IT guys that wanted their employer to buy faster servers and more bandwidth.   

Last year I made in the neighborhood of 150k, I work mostly in FrontPage, I set my pages up for 1024 minimum, I like HTML, one of my first web sites was for a friend to showcase his back yard project. One of my clients refers to me as the Web Master. Last year I made in the neighborhood of 150k.

Byte Me! :0)

and just a final note this web page you are currently viewing is format for 1150

Kerch McConlogue replied on Sun, 2008/03/02 - 12:02pm

#7 regarding experts of any kind...

I noticed this other post in my mail box today from ProBlogger

If you are a real expert or guru, other people will do the talking for you. They will let others know the depth of your knowledge or abilities. They will call you with these terms, and the praises will be genuine and valuable.

And besides, my mother always told me that no one would like me if I brag! It's tough to get work if no one likes you.

Donica Taylor replied on Mon, 2008/03/03 - 6:22am

OMG - Flash Openers make me feel like I am held hostage. Can't stand them.

The second intranet I ever worked on, was Frontpage....hated it. That was what the company had and I was their full-time employee working in another capacity officially. I had to use it in 2001 for them, never again have I used it, never will. I have the capability to offer the FP extensions in hosting packages but I have been successful at thus far discouraging the use of Frontpage.

Counters are for idiots, I mean amateurs, it's back-end statistics and analytics that rock!

How many search engines are really going to help you? SEO is a time consuming process of 'smart' submissions and linkage. That submission blast is like SPAM and could get you booted from the best places to be.

This is a great post, however, I do disagree with a couple of points.

 

1. He Calls Himself a "Webmaster"

Although this is a "catch all" title, it is what most people who will eventually hire you will understand and are seeking. In my world I wear many hats under the title webmaster: Marketing Specialist, HTML Coder, Troubleshooter, Designer, Consultant and so much more . Webmaster gives the proper clue then you have to explain or document your particular skill set. I would certainly like to see an alternative title suggested rather than throw the opinion out there that it translates to amateur.

 

4. He Wants a "Designed By ...." Plug on the Bottom of Every Page

Also not true at all. SEO practices are all about creating your electronic network and this a totally relevant link. When you are the designer/developer/master of a site you should be proud enough to put your link to claim your work and also take on the responsibility if a viewer wants to report an error or try and reach a person at the site you have designed or for any reason whatsoever. For the site owner, they should be proud of the affiliation they have with you and want your link included. When you produce a site for a client, you generally get involved in their business, it should be a long term relationship and broadcast. The only times I have opted not to put my link at the bottom is when the client input has gone to the extreme or if they wanted the site to appear as if it was done in-house. There have only been 2 sites from my early days that the clients refused guidance on the design and the final product did not reflect my standards, no way was my link going there. The clients were happy, which is the point, I just wouldn't want more work in that direction. In the end, those particular clients did not last in the business world. I guess it was telling of their future that they would hire an expert for a project and refuse the expertise for which they paid.

 

 

 

Tom Freeman replied on Mon, 2008/03/03 - 11:05am

Lol very funny and very true in so many ways :)

s cannon replied on Tue, 2008/03/04 - 10:49am in response to: Larry

I most certainly *DO* know what I'm talking about. I inherited a web site from another person who used FrontPage to design it. I cleaned out all the crap that program put into the pages and reduced the entire site server space to 20% of what it was originally.

That means I cleaned out 80% of the files. 80%. From 100x to 20x. Now that is what I call inflation.

I actually use NoteTab light, a free HTML editor. To do edits while I'm on the road, NotePad is perfectly fine for quick little updates. Notepad does word wrap - go to Format, and check WordWrap. Perhaps a little experience with the dissed program might help.

My pages use a lot of JavaScript, all freely available. As I incorporate more, I learn more about programming it. I'm fully behind the use of more advanced techniques. My comment was about those who feel that knowing HTML means you are a terrific web design person. I'm disagreeing there.

I was able to pick up some php script for my online form, swapping the page at 4 PM on Tuesday, and such. I'm not yelling at you here, but I don't find it that troublesome. Not every language is for everyone.

My point about the skillset is that IF THEY UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT, by all means, roll off all the acronyms your heart desires. Please read messages carefully before you start flaming back at people. It's just plain rude. If they aren't up to speed about the difference between ASP and PHP, you need to have a dialog with them about what their needs are and what you are capable of. As in "Yes I have set up three other online e-businesses blah blah blah," not "I use X tool and Y tool."

I will yell at you for this - I don't give a crap how much money you make. Whatever works for you and works for your clients is fine. But knowing your skill set now, and seeing your attitude toward them, and knowing what you charge (overcharge??) for your work, I'm not going to hire you.

and just a final note - nearly all of my audience needs to put on their reading glasses to see this web page. Older? yes. Stupid? no. Pissed that the font is too small to read? You betcha. You totally ignored my main point - the audience is what matters.

Larry replied on Tue, 2008/03/04 - 2:26pm in response to: s cannon

My intention was not to make you angry, the FrontPage remarks I made were accurate. The fact that you took over that web site and reduced the overall file sizes in another program has no bearing on what I said. What I said was that in the hands of someone that knows the program (FrontPage) the page size can be as small as 15 – 20 kb. MS made the correct assumption that a major component of the people using the product have no idea what they are doing from a coding perspective and loaded up the pages with crap that would insure the page would work within the site structure. FP 98 worked . . . FP 2003 works well, nothing in between was worth the cost of the CD it came on, too much backend manipulation by the program.  Now Expression Web has been released and they have forgotten everything they learned in the past.  At this point it is a good idea to move on to other coding options for anyone working now with FP or concidering the move to EW. Just don’t make statements about a program based on one bad experience.

NOTEPAD: I’ll be damned . . . you’re right. Thanks . . . I guess my final statement in the last paragraph applies to me to. But I wasn’t really dissing the program, I have it open all the time on the desktop and rely on it heavily. I have a copy of notepad light in my download directory but haven’t had the time to check it out.

Your HTML position applies to all programming languages. There is no single language that makes you a terrific web designer. But there are some terrific HTML web designers out there.

Regarding PHP you made the most relevant comment on this page when you said  “Not every language is for everyone.” That has been my point pretty much from the start. (KUDOS to you.)

Regarding SKILLSET  I agree with much of what your comments but as to my  being rude . . . you said  . . .

"The majority of people who would hire a web designer person (whatever title you want to give them) aren't going to know the difference between ASP and a snake."

If I was rude I apologize . . . now it’s your turn to apologize to the majority of people.

Regarding your yelling at me. LOL you know as much about my skill set and attitude towards my clients as I do about yours. . . (SFA)   

As to the amount of money I make, that was a smartassed crack on my part not meant for you so much as anyone reading this that thinks they are better than their piers.

As to your not going to hire me. LMAO as much as I am enjoying our discussion I wouldn’t want to work for you. It would make for interesting but painful workdays.

Finally, one more apology, I didn’t ignore your main point, I agreed with it fully. In retrospect I should have had the courtesy while I was dissing your other comments to state how correct you were about understanding the client and audience.        

Larry replied on Tue, 2008/03/04 - 2:34pm

To All Readers Of This Post

Listen to s-cannon, she is right about understanding the intended audience

Also listen to s-cannon about me . . .

Don’t’ hire me! . . . I will overcharge you & I will generally have a bad attitude towards you

Bad Larry Bad

Wouldya Blowme replied on Thu, 2008/03/06 - 12:57am in response to: Shahid Hassim

"So what would you do in that case."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_enhancement

 

And my GMail works great in Opera?

sabeyr thabti replied on Sat, 2008/03/15 - 10:23pm

i really enjoyed reading this not beacause it informative ... god no just because i can really relate to this like with frontpage and webmaster back in the old days with geocities.

sabeur
http://nekrif.com

Louise Gorrie replied on Tue, 2008/03/18 - 10:01pm

Let me ellaborate on point 5.

5a. His own website looks like s*#t

You go to view the website of the previous "designer" only to find half the pages don't work, it was built using tables that don't align (even in IE!) and the client is wondering why their website is not sexy? Did they think he was too lazy to do his best work on his own site?!?

 

replied on Mon, 2008/05/05 - 4:06am

Wow. This article poster is a tool. I disagree with point 5. Web Designers have to start their career off from somewhere, just like the article poster did. And if you think the only way to start off a design career is to go to University then you are sincerely mistaken. Experience has always trumped qualifications. I would rather have some guy who's actually had some experience in doing sites even if it is for his grandfathers-friends-pet-dog than some tool who has just come out of University landing a job and expecting to have some champagne party because he is the 'bees knees'

 Regards  <a href="http://ooyes.net">website design</a>

Mark B. replied on Fri, 2009/02/20 - 3:38pm

I crowned you the king at #2.  

Mike OS replied on Fri, 2009/03/06 - 3:44pm

The problem with this whole debate is determining what a web developer is nowadays. Anyone that can write a bit of HTML calls them self a web developer which can’t really be argued against but in reality it isn’t really someone that is particularly skilled. I write everything from a basic five page ‘we have a presence’ type sites up to fully OO enterprise level web applications using Visual Studio mostly. When someone that uses Frontpage or Dreamweaver claims to be a web developer I feel that my entire profession is being undermined, worse still most employers just don’t get it until their Frontpage/Dreamweaver guru has to complete a task beyond their capability. Most Frontpage/Dreamweaver gurus don’t realise just how much they don’t know which is why I can see why some people have reacted badly to this person’s article. The difference between me and other web developers at my level and these Frontpage/Dreamweaver gurus is like the difference between a supersonic jet and a tricycle.

In any case I would disagree with 5, and partially disagree with 4 and 7.

Number 4 is a good way to generate new business as long as the link isn’t totally obtrusive and you offer your client a discount. It can also help with SEO as long as the site becomes popular; however developers should be careful because if the company offers a poor service you can be damaged by association. From the client perspective though I would say no, getting people to your site can be hard enough so why encourage them to go elsewhere!

Number 5 I totally disagree with, you have to start somewhere and that is probably the best way. No one is going to employ a developer with no experience and you can’t get the experience unless someone employs you. There is nothing wrong with developing sites for friends and family as long as those sites are as professional as any you’d do for a company and showcase your talents. This is another reason why number 4 would be useful especially if you are developing these sites for free to build up your portfolio.

Number 7 I mostly disagree with but not entirely. I would never brag about the fact I can write HTML as I’d expect to be laughed out of the door; everyone and his dog can write HTML nowadays, but you should list your skill set. Not all clients are stupid, many know exactly what they want so you should tell them. I have my skill set listed on my website so at a glance a potential customer will know if I can help them, yes I could leave it out and let them call me so I can go into sales mode but why waste their time and mine. In any case I much prefer working with people that know what they want than those that don’t as it saves a lot of time and headaches.

Consider every web developer job ever listed, they always include the skills they expect the user to have so you should do them the same courtesy. Recruitment agencies are the same; they always know what their clients needs and the first thing they ask you is what you can do. What about all those sites that just need updating, in this instance you’re frequently forced to use whatever language the site was developed in and the client would be looking for people with those skills.

So yes include your skill set but endless bragging about it isn’t necessary especially in relation to a language like HTML which is a foregone conclusion.

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