WordPress, is the most popular CMS in the world … and for good reason.
Spoiler Alert: Yes, WordPress did approach us to do this.
Also, SPOILER ALERT: we don’t know how to use spoiler alerts…
It’s not selling out or corporate schilling because we actually believe in and love this product, and are happy to tell you guys about it. It works for us and we hope it works for you, if you need something like this; plain and simple. Yes there are other platforms comparable to WordPress and if you are happy with them, more power to you. But if, you’re curious about it, we think you’ll find what you’re looking for, whether it be style or function.
We could list all the amazing functions and plug-ins right here but it’s easier to just watch the vlog.
That way you can see my awesome sweater-jacket too 🙂
These days, UX and UI are by far the most important aspect of any web app and perhaps, most software written. At least any software that has a visual component.
Let’s get down to it! For those of you on the fence about becoming programmers and are reading this and breathing a little shallow because you have no idea what we’re talking about, “and oh my god, I can’t do this, I don’t know anything…” Breathe, my friend… You are welcome here and all is revealed to those who ask…
UX = User experience. Essentially how a client/customer “experiences” a website. IE: are the articles too bunched up that it hurts the eyes? Are all the buttons the same color? Is the “BUY NOW” button right under the product so you can see it and not have to go looking for it? Etc.
UI = User interface. What the user interacts with to “experience” your product. IE: Touch screens, laptops, phones, etc
I’m not going to lie, these things do overlap sometimes and the blurred lines can make even the most seasoned programmer start muttering curses under their breath, like Yosemite Sam. But instead of separating the two, let’s lean into it. Let’s look at a set of principles that will make all your work in UX (with a dash of UI) streamlined, simple and elegant…
I really recommend watching the video for further explanation because, “there’s a certain set of rules but there’s also a bit of an art to it. …I’m going to teach you some of the rules that I’ve learned over the last few years in terms of designing UX for user interfaces whether it be websites web apps or mobile apps…” …and also I want you to watch the video. Enjoy!
PS – As always, stick around after the chat for a soothing ride that ends up…in a cemetery!!! I know, right?!
…Fair warning: this may get a little depressing but it’s worth it; promise…
Chances are at one point or another you’ve felt the itch. That feeling of wanting a change of [job] scenery, maybe even a new career path. Some of us grab opportunity by the horns and just make that switch, others make a more calculated move that usually involves taking some courses, making some phone calls and waiting for the right time to jump and land on the “terra-firma” of a new career.
Much to the utter amazement of the last group of us who unfortunately feel like there’s no chance; maybe we feel like we’re under-educated, maybe our present job has sucked all the motivation out of us or maybe we’re just scared to fail and fall behind on payments (mortgage,bills,etc.).
I’d imagine the issue becomes especially worse when you’re looking into technology jobs, like a software developer. Our insecurities about our own skill and ability to learn can be almost crippling. We may even ask ourselves what are real benefits of investing myself in this field? Not to mention the time/energy commitment and how much money are we really going to make?
Short (and admittedly somewhat vague) answer: lots of things. But right after job satisfaction, let’s face it: it’s money. How much will do I stand to make? Check out this video and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised…
Also, if you’re wondering how stable a software development job is, check out this page.
The good news is, the more time you invest in learning new skills and competencies, the more money you can charge knowing that you are fully worth that amount <the more you learn, the more you earn>. So get out there and absorb all the knowledge you can. It may take time, it may take more energy than you thought, but it’s worth it and so are you!
Do Web Developers need to Promise Web Sales for Clients?
So you’ve got a client; maybe they’re your first, so you really want to do a good job and WOW them. Maybe they’re not but you’re a professional and always putting your best foot forward. But these clients are asking/demanding something that you’ve never really had to deal with before. They want you to prove the efficacy of your work. They want a tangible return on investment. Maybe you want this job so bad that you decide offer a guarantee that few others in your field can offer…
Can you/should you offer web sales?
Short answer: No. Why would you? That’s not really your job. General rule of thumb: “If you have to convince a business that a website is good for their business, then you probably should move on to another business.” “It’s like convincing a business that having a telephone is going to be good for business, so that the client can call them”. In short it a little crazy, bordering on unreasonable and not you responsibility.
On The Other Hand…
If you’re positive you can deliver on this promise (maybe you’ve even negotiated a tidy 25% of the sales generated from the website on top of your fee), then provided things go smoothly, Cha-Ching! But, would you be about to watch this video if you were 100% sure things were going to go smoothly? All sorts of problems can arise from you not being an expert in the client’s; not knowing what drives sales or their model, to your client booting you and you having no recourse, just to name a few…
We’re gonna look at some of the challenges facing web sales for clients and throw a few tips and strategies your way. And just in case you’re feeling a little anxious by all of this, stick around to the end of the vid where we’ve got a nice little view and a moment of serenity to keep things in perspective. For some of you already in the middle of a bad client web sales drama, take a breather.
Applies to web design and just about any type of programming too!
A HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL!!
Let’s start off with a scary premise… You’re starting a project or maybe you’re knee deep in the middle of one and you just feel stuck, or trapped. You’ve become mired in details and trying to be a programming hero, and you feel like you’re going in all directions at once! You need a better way to manage your workflow, young padawan…
In this video we lay out 5 steps to speed up your workflow whether a web designer or a programmer you be! Without too many spoilers, I’ll give you a little taste of what I’m talking about with tip number 4: Get the UI in front of the client ASAP. You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t…) how many programmers and designers want to have this almost completed, work of DiVincian (yes that’s a word now) art to show the client. Nope, “You can mock all this up in HTML and you get the feedback from your client as quickly as possible.” Wouldn’t it suck to build something up and then have to change “…core behavior in your application because the client didn’t quite know what they wanted until they saw it?” Check out this video and free up some more time, money, and sanity for yourself.
For database driven websites (web apps,) typically the biggest bottleneck is the database. So be sure your database is optimized. With SQL based databases, that starts with proper table design and smart indexing. That will handle 98% of websites performance needs.
How about image optimization?
Back when I started building websites, in the day of the dinosaurs (1990’s)we used to be concerned about image size, and how ‘big’ the webpages were in terms of kilobytes … but we live in the YouTube generation now, with high speed mobile internet, HD and 4k video being watched on smartphones. That means that a data limitation is typically NOT the bottleneck anymore … it’s processing (of code) on both the client and server.
If you are reading this, you probably want to learn modern web design and development, or you may already know how to build websites, but you want to become really confident in your web skills … just like all my students who took my unique web design and programming training course.
After you take my course, you will be amazed at how much you know! Below, you will find a few student quotes, screen captured from YouTube comments.
Love the YouTube channel, I just wondered what your thoughts on Webflow are? Will it spell the end of web development as we know it (coding) or will developers have to adopt a more visual approach to building a website with such as platforms like Webflow? I realise that the system is built for designers, however without the need for a developer on a platform such as this, the code is seminally marked up, they keep increasing the features capability and complexity, I ask the question where do we fit in if platforms like this become very popular?
I don’t see it as a threat – it is a tool.
A big part of modern web design and development goes WAY beyond code:
Site aesthetic design – pre code design if you will
UX – making the site EASY to use
Information design / architecture, if you will. WHAT to place on the site
Setting up the domain, hosting … the basic mechanics of it
Tweaking – I’ve always found that no matter how good the tool, you will need to know code to tweak it
Then there is consulting on social media strategy, content marketing strategy
Finally, the websites function: do they need an e-commerce setup, wordpress, etc …
So Webflow, if it works as perfectly, can help automate the process and perhaps shift your time allocation (meaning you’ll write less code,) but you will still have plenty of work to do as a web designer/developer.
This is nothing new. In the early 2000’s, we did lots of stuff as web designer / developers that we no longer have to do because of better tools … and it’s a good thing!
Regardless of the tools that come out, it’s still good to know the code behind the pages and to learn how to put things together, because it will make you life easier as a web professional and even as a small business owner.
I like to start my articles with the conclusion – saves you time:
Dreamweaver is not relevant in modern web design. Why?
To make good websites, you need to understand the code behind the sites. You need to learn code.
Dreamweaver does have a code editor but there are many more capable code editors out there that are free or at least much cheaper than Dreamweaver.
Because you need to understand code, Dreamweaver’s point-n-click tools are becoming relics of the 1990’s when web code was so bad, that tools like Dreamweaver were a godsend.
Let’s elaborate on the last point. Web design in the past, when the languages (HTML, CSS) were not as mature, the process of coding a website was rote; it was repetitious and mechanical. You had a lot of crappy tinkering to do, just to get a website up. In that environment, tools like Dreamweaver were welcome because they wrote the code for you.
These days, with the much better browsers (that read and process code properly) combined with highly effective web design frameworks like Twitter Bootstrap and JQuery, apps that try to hide the code from you (like Dreamweaver) are not that useful. In fact, they are counter productive because often times, the code they generate can get in the way of building a clean effective website or web application – it’s just too thick.
Browser Developer Tools Put another Nail in Dreamweaver’s Coffin
All the modern web browsers have a very powerful set of developer tools that allow you to see exactly what is going on in your pages codewise; you can even change (for example) your CSS on the fly and see how it effects the page without touching your underlying code. This makes for ultra fast development.
Dreamweaver has these sort of tools but you have to be in Dreamweaver to use them and they are not necessarily 100% accurate in terms of what the web browsers will display – you might as well test in the web browser since people visit sites with web browsers and not Dreamweaver!
There is nothing wrong with Dreamweaver if you largely ignore the point and click tools, and stick to the code editor. But if you do that, why bother forking out the big money for Dreamweaver, when you can find more effectively code editors like Sublime Text or Notepadd++ for free or for much much cheaper than Dreamweaver?