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Are web dev forums part of the problem?

LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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We are back in the school, college or whatever holiday periods, so little is happening.

My discussion is prompted by Nancys discussion on cheap web sites, (fiverr.com) and the rise of d.i.y. Site builders such as wix, and the frameworks such as bootstrap and wordpress. Along with the demise of Muse, and the lack of Dw having a clear plan for the future, (or do they).

Given that almost anyone can build a site now, cheaply, and to a resonable standard using site builders or even programs like Dw, Wappler and webflow. Is it unreasonable to expect anything other than clients turning to alternatives to the traditional web designer/developer?

We even offer to help those turning to those alternatives, simply by answering questions that they post in forums such as this. Some of us then go on to make public 'how easy it is' to build sites by those 'click to do' methods that Dw and other offerings use.

If we think it is easy, and everything should be easy, then why should clients pay us to do anything, after all if they get stuck, all they have to do is ask here or in one of the many other web dev forums. One of Adobes reasons given for EOLing Muse, was that wix, etc, does it better and cheaper. By that I would say they could see that the market for designers/developers building small static or simple cms dynamic sites was no longer profitable.

So should we even consider helping those creating small buisness or personal web sites, (in some cases almost building the site for them). Or should we stop and think about how much help we should give first?

No reply requirerd, just a few 'musings' I am having today.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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I'll generally try and help people on forums such as the Wappler community or even people in real life as it often creates a learning opportunity for myself as well.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Brad+Lawryk  wrote

I'll generally try and help people on forums such as the Wappler community or even people in real life as it often creates a learning opportunity for myself as well.

But you have not mentioned the underlying question.

Why should people pay you to design/develop a web site, after all, all they require is a template, then forums will answer any questions they may have, show them how to do anything, or even do the work for them.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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Sorry, I did miss the point made in your initial post. 😉

Back when I did have my own web design business I used to encourage those that wanted to do it themselves. More often than not they eventually became clients once they found out that they couldn't do what they wanted so easily. If they didn't become clients in some way they likely never were going to be clients.

I think almost every 'service' based tarde/occupation is facing the same thing. If I need to fix some plumbing or fix my car I can simply go to Youtube. I don't though. I choose to pay the people that do it.

But I'm rambling here ...

Why should people pay us? I think the ones that are serious about their site do pay. The ones  that don't are perhaps less knowledgeable in current trends, technology and likely aren't big Internet users in the first place. I think in a lot of cases the more help and resources available to the self designer group the more overwhelmed they get.

Yes, there will be some people that successfully build their own sites. My wife for example with no web design experience has successfully built a couple sites in Weebly. Probably took her five times as long as it would have taken me but she was able to meet the goals of those websites. So I think if you can do it yourself these days, why not?

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LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Brad+Lawryk  wrote

Yes, there will be some people that successfully build their own sites. My wife for example with no web design experience has successfully built a couple sites in Weebly. Probably took her five times as long as it would have taken me but she was able to meet the goals of those websites. So I think if you can do it yourself these days, why not?

That's the point of the post.

In this and 'other' forums designers/developers are saying that they are loosing clients to those doing it themselves, (with or without a web site builder such as wix, webflow, etc). But with forums like this helping, and site builder programs like wix, (etc) doing the work for them, (and offering very good templates) I cannot see the design/development of small sites, (commercial, e-com or not) being profitable to web designers/developers anymore.

The argument that it is difficult, is nullified by the videos that are available, (even from the products themselves) showing and saying it is easy.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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pziecina  wrote

I cannot see the design/development of small sites, (commercial, e-com or not) being profitable to web designers/developers anymore.

I agree that small sites are no longer profitable. Being in a small town that is the majority of my local demographic. Therefore I have shut down about three years ago and went to work for my biggest client solely doing their web based stuff.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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Im not sure what you call small websites, the £500 touch? In that case lm not interested in getting out of bed for that kind of money.

All of the websites l've build have been under 10K though, between 2 - 7k in most cases. The client generally has a successful  small business to run and cant afford 2 months to build a website themselves and then 5 complete days four times a year to update it regardless of if l provide them with a CMS, its too dull to contemplate for the client so they employ me to do it for them at reasonably good money and its repeat business, where most money is made.

Could someone do it cheaper and better than me, yes of course, but there are others who will do a worse job and charge more. Its never been easy to secure freelance  work but thats how it is, you win some and you lose some.

I have clients that have been with me for 15-20 years because they like my attitude. They know l will provide a one to one personal service, day and night, give advice, even if they dont really want to hear what that advice is and return a professional product.

I dont think it is just all about the money. You have to value your own skills at the level you think you are worth and if youre not getting the jobs then its possibly time to do something else rather than prost-itute yourself in a profession which you have a passion for.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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osgood_  wrote

All of the websites l've build have been under 10K though, between 2 - 7k in most cases. The client generally has a successful  small business to run and cant afford 2 months to build a website themselves and then 5 complete days four times a year to update it regardless of if l provide them with a CMS, its too dull to contemplate for the client so they employ me to do it for them at reasonably good money and its repeat business, where most money is made.

Then you are not building the site just for the 2-7k are you. You are doing it for the repeat buisness, which is a long term commitment between yourself and the client.

One question though. How often are the sites rebuilt?

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LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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Then you are not building the site just for the 2-7k are you. You are doing it for the repeat buisness, which is a long term commitment between yourself and the client.

I get consistant business, year on year, so yes l agree, if all you are doing is building 2k websites, with no repeat or additional business your most likely close to dead in the water

The sites are rebuilt usually every 5 years but some are much older than that. There are even about 3 l think which are not responsive. Im actually contemplating  if l will rebuilt any of them at this stage since l no longer get much satisfaction in the start to finish process. Im more of trouble shooter these days, get in, sort it out and be off. Well see, its not over until the fat lady sings

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Community Expert ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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Yes, I completely agree with Brad's point of view.

why make a website, and what are we talking about, what is the purpose when we talk about creating a website?

and then is it a website, or an application or something different?....

so many questions that will completely refine the answer and can be oriented differently this answer.

I know so many companies, non-profit associations, organizations that simply need some online communication tools, using or not using complements through social networks... and they have done everything, and set up from A to Z, only with online tools and some tutorials here and there.

the communication works, the feedback is positive, (we can always discuss yes but... and if... and if... or it would be better if...) but well... the web largely works like that... it is also a little bit for this reason that about ten years ago the name web 2.0... the participative web

why pay for a web development?..... uh.... no (apparent) reason

and to take Brad's example, if a plumbing job becomes too complex, then it's certainly time to call a plumber... and therefore pay her for a service that will be fully justified

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LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/B+i+r+n+o+u  wrote

why pay for a web development?..... uh.... no (apparent) reason

So where are all these people taking degrees, learning the trade, (so to speek) being employed.

Yes, I know everyone knows my view, in that it is in the development of large commercial applications, with the company/organisations 'landing pages' being no more than a 'side show'.

But what does everyone else think, and is it possible to move from developing small sites, (better done by wix, etc) to large applications?

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LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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pziecina  wrote

Is it possible to move from developing small sites, (better done by wix, etc) to large applications?

.

Anything is possible but its not likely. If you are using an automated builder then you are going to be technically inadequate therefore ruling yourself out of any possibilty of landing a job not only in an average development  agency but certainly one that is above average building large, complex applications. Thats just my opinion.

Those that use the wix approach are using the 'good while it lasts attitude' then moving onto the next career whatever that is. These folk have no passion for anything, they just drift along the wind. Sadly there are more of them in this day and age.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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So where are all these people taking degrees, learning the trade, (so to speek) being employed.

Yes, I know everyone knows my view, in that it is in the development of large commercial applications, with the company/organisations 'landing pages' being no more than a 'side show'.

But what does everyone else think, and is it possible to move from developing small sites, (better done by wix, etc) to large applications?

the majority of the students I meet in university (bac + 3, +4 level) are already developing in an impressive way.

they are comfortable with languages such as PHP, C#, Objective C, Java, Javascript, Node, Python... and mainly they do what are called work-study contracts here in France.

most of them, when they leave school (60/65%), work directly in large companies that manage their own site internally (a bit like the one for which Brad works)

they are companies operating in all types of sectors of activity, shops, newspapers, online services, e-commerce, users to users.

another part (30/35%) is absorbed by large communication groups, or IT services companies specialized in web development

the remaining minority (5/10%) are self-employed, but the market is difficult for them, as they have to prove before they can succeed.

finally, there are still some who are oriented towards journalistic positions, or CNRS (pursuit of studies in the research sector)

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LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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Thank you Birnou,

You have just confirmed what I thought was happening.

It does bring another question/thought to mind though, in that web dev forums and questions posted on them, are not really representitive of those actually working in the profession. So would it not be better if we replaced much of the forum with more extensive tutorials, and simply answer questions/problems relating to those tutorials?

I don't want to get into a Dw specific discussion, but I'm still trying to think of who uses Dw. As Dw is a no go for applications.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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pziecina  a écrit

Thank you Birnou,

You have just confirmed what I thought was happening.

It does bring another question/thought to mind though, in that web dev forums and questions posted on them, are not really representitive of those actually working in the profession. So would it not be better if we replaced much of the forum with more extensive tutorials, and simply answer questions/problems relating to those tutorials?

I don't want to get into a Dw specific discussion, but I'm still trying to think of who uses Dw. As Dw is a no go for applications.

Knowing who uses DW is THE question we've been asking for years, back in the days of Macromedia.

I would say that today, there are still two types of users, but here I only engage my vision of things and my feelings about the various meetings I have had during consortiums or other seminars.

on the one hand, there are still former users who still have CD-ROM versions of the installers, and here I am talking about the CS versions

and on the other hand business users who have access to DW from a CC account. In this group we can include universities and other institutions that have been consumers of Adobe products for many years.

so I don't see in these users (and I don't want to offend anyone by saying that) web developers.

who uses DW CC then to really develop? or use this tool in an agency... uh..... me in NEXT version for a few days to develop a new project (voluntarily) and see what really comes out of it and give a new test to a flow that would integrate DW

and next to that... Who? Who?

I don't think many people...

many personal site development users, or associations, have migrated to much better adapted solutions like those that make the news of this forum, and which I think bring many more solutions in terms of response, usability and possibility.

I don't use them personally (and have never done so) but I am totally confident in the very objective, and realistic, analyses made by Ben (thanks Ben)... Brad also did quite a few when he frequented DW CAB and or Alpha;).... (thanks Brad)... others too (thanks others)

so in summary, I don't think many people use DW CC in development mode. (I didn't say anyone, I said not many people)

the question should be... why are we all here... and why are there still people who frequent the forum, without using DW

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Community Expert ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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sorry if my english is not clear or badly use.. I'm just a silly french frog... kermit.. do you remember ?

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LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/B+i+r+n+o+u  wrote


the question should be... why are we all here... and why are there still people who frequent the forum, without using DW

That's a good question and I consistantly ask myself the question 'why do I bother with this forum'. I guess the answer is old habits die hard. I was a DW user for many, many years until it took the decision to commit suicide.

These days the forum is a poor reflection of what it once was and it's forerunner was, when many contributors from beginners to advanced contributed to what was a lively and educational environment..........which mostly revolved around web-devlopment, not just implementing frameworks, plug and play approaches, or at least it was minimal.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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I actually posted a discussion a couple of years ago with the title of 'why are we here', but I digress.

Going back to the original intent of this discussion, I think that when it comes to building the small commercial sites, participation in forums which in general say 'web design/development' is easy, and we are here to help just to prove it, actually makes people think it is easy. Devaluing the profession.

I have spent the last few days thinking about what a small site web developer could conceivably offer a client, that would not within a short time be offered by 'do it yourself' web site builders, and to be honest I came up with the answer of NOTHING. I can think of features that a D.I.Y. cannot do, simply, due to the time required and the knowledge required, but it would be a never ending cycle of learning, experimenting, then implementing. All of which I get the impression small site developers, neither have the time or inclination to invest in.

So long as those who cannot move into application development, (and by that I am not talking about just CMS's) promote or look for 'quick and easy ways/fixes', they are in a 'no win' situation. Simply because whatever they do, and then possibly post in web dev forums about how easy it is to do, clients will naturally think that they are wasting money paying fot their services, if it is so easy to do.

Maybe we also require a discussion on what is required for 'enterprise' applications, and how a small 'web shop' could offer such services, or slowly expand into that branch of web development. As I'm sure it must be possible, but I don't think it can be the 'point and click' workflow, that many think is possible, simply because every project has different requirements, that are not a 'one size fits all', or possible via automation, (no matter what it can do).

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Community Expert ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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Late to this civilised discussion as usual and a lot of what I would've stated has already been said.

Like Brad, I have found myself in a situation where my larger customers are consuming more and more of my time, leaving me little wriggle room for new customers.

Like Nancy, I started out with Dreamweaver and have found (and still find) it a great product for what I needed, namely a coding environment where I could dictate the code and not the other way round.

Many things have changed in web development over that period and for a newbie, it has become overwhelmingly so. The complexity of web development has chased many designers (non-coders) to using Wix like products. These products produce an end result that they are looking for without any web development knowledge. Yes, it did hurt my pride when I lost two of my customers to a Wixer.

Like Birnou, I feel that current users of Dreamweaver are the grey army and those that get Dreamweaver free with their CC account. As a standalone product it is bad value for money compared to the alternatives.

Getting back to what Paula said:

So should we even consider helping those creating small business or personal web sites, (in some cases almost building the site for them). Or should we stop and think about how much help we should give first?

With the exception of Dreamweaver product related questions, I think that it is outside the scope of this forum to provide tutorials or even complete solutions.

Wappler, the only real Dreamweaver alternative.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 17, 2019 Jul 17, 2019

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pziecina  wrote

I have spent the last few days thinking about what a small site web developer could conceivably offer a client, that would not within a short time be offered by 'do it yourself' web site builders, and to be honest I came up with the answer of NOTHING. I can think of features that a D.I.Y. cannot do, simply, due to the time required and the knowledge required, but it would be a never ending cycle of learning, experimenting, then implementing. All of which I get the impression small site developers, neither have the time or inclination to invest in.

I think that largely depends on how demanding the clients are and how discerning the web-developer is themselves. I would hazard a guess the small time developer, who uses wix workflows etc, probably thinks of something they would like to be able to include but if its not available as default instantly forgets it, probably says it's not possibe to the client or very expensive, or has to put a call into thunderbirds, whereas a professional web-developer thinks of something and implements it the majority of the time, ending up overall with a more satisfying result for both the client and the developer.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 17, 2019 Jul 17, 2019

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The trouble is, these site builders offer ways of including much of what most small sites require.

They even have plug-ins for on-line bookings that can easily be adapted, and the ecommerce offerings are easily on a par with wordpress. The basic functionality offers all that most static sites require, but once one looks into the plug-ins the features become much more impressive.

It is the ease of use and the ease with which many additional features can be included, that may make site builders so attractive to the small buisness. Also don't forget the initial cost is small, (less than a monthly cheap phone rental) so there is no large outlay for someone just staring up a buisness for themselves.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 17, 2019 Jul 17, 2019

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I couldn't agree less with you...;)

the fact is, as Ben said, everyone's self-esteem takes a hell of a ratatouille in the blaze... so we might always find fault with the fact that a package is usable almost out of the box and can't be effective... but that's the way it is

as many have certainly noticed, the profession of web developer has become more refined and has become hyper specialized in complexity... then... and then, as we say in France,... "in the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed are kings... "

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LEGEND ,
Jul 17, 2019 Jul 17, 2019

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I didn't say that the look of the sites created with these site builders is good, (though if an ex Muse user is building it, it may well be good) but the additional plug-ins and what they can do, do add many features that once required a developer.

A good web designer/developer could try and compete on quality, but that is a questionable selling point, especially when a comparison of costs is made between the self build, and the developers offering.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 17, 2019 Jul 17, 2019

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I must admit that my english is quite light on that one... and I don't know if you're right with me... but on my side, I completly and 1000% agree with you.... (both of your two last message... )...

so if you felt dfferent on what I said in my previous last comments is just because I missed my joke ....

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LEGEND ,
Jul 17, 2019 Jul 17, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/B+i+r+n+o+u  wrote

I couldn't agree less with you...;)

It was this comment that confused me Birnou, I did think of asking for clarification, but as I wanted to make the statement regarding quality anyway .

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