Most people have no idea what I do!

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Hey guys,

Sorry it’s been a few days since I’ve posted.  I took a little vacay, but I’m back now so expect to see pretty regular posts.

I want to take a minute to talk about one of the most depressing things about being a web designer.

Most people have no idea what I do!

I’ve been working for the past 2 weeks to learn how to develop in WordPress, one of the most powerful systems for web design on the market today which currently powers over 25% of the internet (including this site!).  Using WordPress is pretty intuitive, but developing in WordPress is a total different story.

I have a subscription to Treehouse.com so whenever I need to learn something new, I go on and study.  I’ve spent 20+ hours working to learn how to do this one task and to call it frustrating is to put it mildly.  Then, after studying, I got to work developing my own custom theme based on a website that the client wants to be able to manage themselves, without knowing code.  WordPress makes this possible, but of course getting the “designer touches” is never going to be an easy task.

Now, a little backstory, I built a completed website (the largest I’ve ever built…) for a client.  I delivered it to them as a mockup.  They LOVED it.  It was new, fresh, innovative, and met as many of their needs as I could possibly predict.  There was a problem though.  It was all hand-coded using HTML, PHP, CSS, JavaScript, and the Bootstrap and jQuery libraries.  These are things I’ve been learning for years.  They haven’t, so in order to manage or make updates to the website, they would have to e-mail me to get something done, which works for most of my clients so I didn’t really give it a second thought.  I offer a unique service in that I manage the websites I develop.  That wasn’t going to work for this client so, despite how much they liked the website, they turned down the redesign and the work I had spent hours and hours on turned out to be for nothing.

But I’m stubborn.

Even though they didn’t ask me to, I went back to the drawing board, learned how to develop in WordPress, then how to make a pre-built website into a WordPress website by developing custom themes, learned the WordPress coding system and went to work developing this theme.  They wanted me to find a way to update their current website, but with the system that it was developed in, there was no way for me to do a great deal of the things I needed/wanted to do.  So, I set out to meet their needs.  I set a deadline with my business partner that was nothing short of unreasonable for the task I was taking on, but I managed to make it a day early!

I finished it today and I’m ready to deliver it to the client as a mockup.  I’ll undoubtedly get to walk through it with them early next week and hopefully it will get approved now.

Meanwhile….nobody has any clue how much time and effort goes into web design.  I work hard to make things look easy so my clients never have to see the complex things that going into design.  But, it’s depressing and frustrating somewhat that I can never get that pat on the back to make the work feel appreciated.

I admit, I like “attaboy”‘s.  I like knowing that the work that I do is appreciated, but that’s sometimes very hard because the work I’m doing doesn’t have obvious tangible products.  All people really see is the finished product.  It’s like moving a building a house and people not seeing the hard work that went into making it happen.

That’s the frustration of the day.  Meanwhile, stay tuned for the big reveal if the client accepts the new design.  Whether anyone knows what it is or how it came into being, I’m proud of it…..

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