Hmm…Reasons why web professionals will never go out of business…(rubbing my goatee ever so gently as I’m deep in thought)
There is this common misconception among commoners who are uncommon to our profession of web design. Allow me to elaborate on this misconception through a conversation I had with my wife.
Wifey: So why are you making websites again?
Me: Because I hate ugly websites, and I like coding the design for them.
Wifey: But you won’t make any money in that. People can just grab a template or do it themselves. What do they need you for?
What do they need you for? … I made it a personal mission to answer this question.
At the moment, her words punched me in the gut worst than what Adrian Brody felt in the Houdini movie. I became frustrated by her challenge, but simultaneously motivated. As the internet sophisticates, behind the scenes operations complicate.
What use to be done in simple HTML and table tags, is now being created in a vast number of languages to continue moving the needle forward. The irony lies in the more we strive for easy usability, the more complex things become. We have frameworks and platforms to build upon, but someone needs to maintain those same things to make sure we are able to use them.
The Reasons Why Will Provide Job Security
Since I chose web design and development as a second profession (writing and teaching are my first), it has become a creative outlet for me. It also quiet the naysayers who doubted my career path in writing. When I attained my Bachelor of Arts in English, I had aspirations to be a famous author.
But I allowed the haters and their career killing questions (are you going into teaching with that thing?) to not murder my dream, but stab it until life slowly left it. Fortunately the wounds were healed as I fought to keep my dream alive through daily writing.
Then miraculously, I found a way to defibrillator in web development. Learning that this world needed writers not just for content, but coding as well shocked new life into my pursuits. I was blessed with the second chance I needed.
Now I’m here married to two skills that are married themselves. And no one is divorcing anytime soon because we get along great especially writing and web design. With that said, here are the five reasons why they are never going out of business.
1. Sites will always need management and maintenance
Number one in reasons why web designers will never go out of business is because sites will always need consistent updates and changes. Whether you’re looking to build a new site from the ground up or you’re looking to clean up an old one, an expert in the field is required.
Like any technology, websites present their own problems: formatting issues, down servers, corrupted code, some mysterious functionality issue, etc. All these problems require skilled web technicians—someone who devotes their time and energy understanding internet technicalities.
As if with a car, you wouldn’t think of changing the oil on your own–unless you are super cheap or seriously strapped for cash. I’m not saying you aren’t capable of changing the oil, but why would you when specialist are out there who know more than you and me? I know personally if I change my own oil, the error margin will widen.
It doesn’t need to be said, but I’m going to say it anyway: there are a ga-zillion websites in existence. There are a ga-zillion more waiting to be built. New businesses, current businesses, writers, teachers, niche-y producers all need a website.
Unless these people are looking to enroll in a coding bootcamp, online courses, or watch youtube tutorials until the cows come home, it’s highly likely they will outsource development of their websites.
2. Technology always changes
3. Content Managers and WYSIWYG editors will always need manual coding and design
I have WordPress to thank for making me realize this. Before I jump on the WP bandwagon, I always thought WordPress was nothing more than a template providing CMS (content management system). I thought it was simple in its use sort of like the 80’s Nintendo–hit the start button, grab a controller, and you’re good to go.
Nah man. WordPress required me to blow into cartridges to figure out how to make my games work. In other words, WordPress has pushed my skills further than I ever thought possible. Before WP, I preached the gospel of “From Scratch” web design. I didn’t believe in using templates. At all.
Then I came across a client who requested that they wanted a site from me where they controlled the back end. Instead of sticking my chest out, adjusting my voice to sound like a child who impersonates a grown-up, and say, “Ha, ha, I only build websites from scratch,” I accepted their request.
Despite my reservations about WordPress, I immediately chose it based on its popularity. “WordPress. How can this be?”
Thinking I’m wise, WordPress quickly made me foolish; I underestimated it’s raw power crumbling to my knees of it’s unique difficulty. I couldn’t just jump right in and begin to use it. And if I couldn’t do it, how can a mere mortal begin to master it?
As a developer, WordPress required me to know the building blocks of web design before I could gain access through it’s front door. Before I could even begin to think about tweaking a theme, I had to master what is known as the “Dashboard.” And the dashboard has very DEEEEEEPPPPP learning curve.
Wordpress is not exactly a linear system or tool to use. It has a lot of intricacies that requires guidance to navigate. And with it’s ever growing library of plugins, updates, addition of themes, and an dense codex disguised as an instruction manual, it’s completely overwhelming–even to someone with prior coding experience.
But these are reasons why WordPress is putting food on the table for a lot of people. Front end or back end, WP has enough challenges for a diverse array of titles. I chose to elaborate on this segment with WordPress because it offers the biggest benefit and reward once you begin to learn it. It actually makes the life of a developer easy when managing different projects.
4. People do not have time to manage their own site
Besides death and taxes being for certain, I’m confident these lovely three words are an addition: people are lazy. Point. Blank. Period.
On a podcast episode from Internet Business Mastery, one of the host expressed a frustration about poor content marketing advice some people give others. “Oh well you missed the boat. It’s too many podcast or blogs out for you to start one now. You should have got in earlier.”
I use this as an example because this statement evolves into a mindset that paralyzes a lot of people from moving forward or taking action. Nothing can be further from the truth. Despite a saturated online field, demand is still high.
As a matter of fact, it is the saturated market of content curators that are keeping designers and developers in high business. As a content curator myself (I have a blog, youtube channel, etc.) my focus shifts a lot towards producing content, not web designing/developing.
Don’t get me wrong–I love, absolutely LOVE this profession migrating from a “from the ground-up” designer/developer to now transitioning my skills to WordPress graduating to PHP and theme tweaking. This has eased my career drastically having a server platform to manage client websites.
5. Web designers and developers are needed to solve problems.
Despite our technological trek uphill, people want to talk to other people…At least when it comes to troubleshooting. Speaking from my own experience, I love skipping past the automated gate keepers to discover a human being after pressing “0.” Or waiting on the line to speak to a customer service agent. This same feeling applies to people who have a website plagued with technical issues.
People in need of a website or who already possess one receive a peace of mind knowing there’s a fellow human being they can discuss pending issues. As a designer/developer myself, my clients call me all the time about technical issues. After I explain the basics on how to use, say a WordPress site, I remain on standby for other issues that may arise. While other designers may see this as terrible (I just design the site ready to hand it over to my consumer), I see it as a business opportunity.
Most of my clientele is unwilling to handle these problems on their own. So I’m paid a monthly fee for upkeep and maintenance of their site which obviously keeps me regularly in business. Others initially think they want to have DIY (do-it-yourself) approach in the beginning to keep money in their pocket, but eventually find that the problems are too big.
And trust me ladies and gentlemen, the problems, needs, wants that arise in web design equates to big business for us. Until the day our titles become automated thanks to machines and/or a hive brain, designers and developers have no reason to drip sweat on our brow.
Basically because we are part of the collective designing and developing the hive brain.
*Author’s note: While I personally love this industry and the opportunities coding languages have provided, I have no intentions on uploading my consciousness anytime….EVER!