So said the Web Designer.
“…long live web design!”
Now I’m very confused.
I’ve been designing websites for over 10 years. Like everyone else back in the Dark Ages I built my sites using tables and all those wonderful HTML tags such as font etc. It was all so easy in Dreamweaver: change the fonts, size, weight, color – and your HTML page would have more code in it than content. No wonder it took 3 minutes for a page to load on a dial-up connection. The advent of practical CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) ended this code bloat but still all we were interested in was getting a good design.
3 years ago I began developing in WordPress full-time. The dynamic features were fantastic (even back then) & the rate of development was extraordinary. Premium themes were just coming into their own for people like me: designers who appreciated the underlying functionality of WordPress but wanted to thoroughly customize the design. Since then the premium theme market has exploded. That first year I must have purchased 25 developer’s licenses. It’s almost impossible to tell how easy a theme is to customize until you see the back end; and you don’t see the backend until you’ve paid your money. 80% of the themes I bought were never used in actual production; but I discovered a number of wonderful developer’s whom I still use to this day.
For years I’d develop a site and invariably the client would ask, “Can you recommend someone for SEO?” Of course, I’ve met a number of people who “do” SEO – they tend to fall into one of two camps: 1) The one-size-fits-all advocate, “Do this and this and that and you’ll wind up in the top 5 on Google” or 2) the “Gee, I can’t give away all my secrets” type, which made me think their “secret” was they didn’t do much of anything. Or that SEO was incredibly easy. Or both.
So I decided to really learn – and understand – SEO myself.
When I started Last Laugh Creative I violated a basic SEO premise – don’t change your URL, especially if your original domain had a decent Page Rank. Well, design: samsara had been around for awhile, first as a static HTML site and, for the last two years, a WordPress site and had a Page Rank of 5. And now Last Laugh Creative has a PR so I’m building and learning and tweaking and setting up a wealth of “best practices” that I can use with my clients as I add Marketing to the Services mix.
I also intend to be as transparent as possible, both in terms of developing with WordPress and Marketing Strategies: what works and what doesn’t. Why keep secrets? If you want to do-it-yourself – great! If you want me to do it for you – sure, be glad to! There is an almost infinite supply of potential business out there, why hold anything back?
And, of course, I’ll continue to design websites, just as I will continue to develop them in WordPress – I just won’t stop there. Marketing, once the missing ingredient, becomes an integral component of the entire process.
Time to get started and see what happens.