Miscellaneous: thinking about web design as careerstarted by Mankey on Sep 2, 2004 — RSS Feed
I'm a c/c++ programmer with 5 years experience working in cubicles for other people. I've been recently laid off, and started a slowly dying real estate business. Actually, it's dying rather quickly. So anyhow... I thought I might get into freelance web programming. I downloaded apache and php and started digging up forums like this, and finding programmer resources. I know I need to get a website of my own. But I have some questions, of course. Does anyone want to share their wisdom?
How viable a career is it (assuming I'm not an idiot)? Where does a fellow advertise himself? What sort of things would you recommend I do or not do? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
How viable a career is it (assuming I'm not an idiot)?
It's a perfectly viable career - even for idiots. Whether it is the right one is another matter.
Where does a fellow advertise himself?
In the WPDFD Web Design Directory.
What sort of things would you recommend I do or not do?
First design a Web site that will impress potential clients of you talents and take it from there. You can do this with samples of your work, gems of philosophy or just sheer trickery.
What not to do, is a site that looks like every other one or trips over itself getting the message across.
Thank you for the reply.
I've found this discussion pretty interesting, so I thought I'd weigh in with my input. Five years ago, I started an online sports uniforms store together with my wife. I had a simlar background to yours, but both of us had to learn a lot (PHP, CSS/XHTML, Photoshop, etc.) to build our website. It was a slow process, but we ultimately made a lot of money from the venture. The advice I have is to be persistent, even when it doesn't seem to be going exactly as you'd hoped.
We recently sold our sporting goods business and started a new business selling website templates. It's taking some time to learn the business, but with persistence it will likely pay off.
I recommend that you learn well the principles of SEO. If you want to sell some of your products or services, I'd recommend using Zen Cart or Magento for your shopping cart.
Those who are considering a career in web design should ask themselves whether they are right for this kind of job and even they have any inclination towards it. Anyone can consider a career as a web designer, but there are those who are more likely to succeed in it: people who have a good grasp of what is quality content and can recognize the importance of accurate and relevant information, people who are very creative and have an artistic streak in them, people who have already studied web design and wish to make a career as professionals, people with a talent and eye for aesthetics.
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