I built my first website in 1998. In terms of the Internet, that was the dark ages. So much has changed since then.
In 1998, I was learning a skill that relatively few people knew. It required the monotonous writing of code as there was very little software to automate the task and it was therefore a skill that was in much demand. I took advantage of this skill by making full use of it with my then employer and then several years later when I struck out to start my own business as a website designer in Nottingham.
It was clear from the start that one important key element of being a web designer was to keep up with the latest trends. Even back in those days things were changing very fast and it made one breathless just to keep up with the pace of change.
I always did keep pace though and here I sit 14 years later and the pace continues unabated and I find myself learning new things every day.
There have been many changes over that time too numerous to mention but the aspect I wish to talk about today is the ease with which so many more people can design a website.
Back in 1998 there was just a small percentage of the population who had the skill to do so but nowadays with the advent of software both online and offline, anyone with a modicum of computer ability can set up their own website in minutes. And depending on which service you choose, the results can be surprisingly stylish.
In my text above I make it sound like the job I do has become superfluous. This is almost true. To be accurate, the job I used to do has become superfluous. The very fact that I understand how to write HTML is no longer a selling point because almost anyone can use an automated service that does this for them. What I can do is to bring my many years of experience in building websites and finding out what works and what does not work for all kinds of websites to the table.
That means, when I create a website for businesses in Nottingham I am not just writing code for my customers, I am building a whole strategy to help them grow their business and their brand by creating an online presence that works for their individual needs. Much thought needs to go into the layout and design, the technology on which to run the website and also how best to lay out all the information to ensure your message is put across to the customer in a way that encourages them to interact with your business.
So the work of a web designer now incorporates their artistic skills, marketing skills, psychology skills and yes even their IT skills to ensure that your business has not only a website but a website that achieves something for your business and helps your business to grow.