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Web Development as a Skill(A bankable skill for 2021?)

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KushShah9492

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So, I've been meaning to learn coding and web design for a long time now, and I'm still perplexed. While there a number of services(wordpress, pixieset, wix,etc) I still wonder "Why would Someone go through the process of coding for long hours if he could just customise his site from any of the above services?" I wanted your opinion on the same, should I start learning code? I certainly won't know a lot about coding from just a course, but I suppose that'd be the best place to start. What do you guys think?
 

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Depends on your long term goals.

If you want the skill of coding to build bigger things later (your own app or solution) then it can be time well spent.

If you just want to sell some websites it is not really needed. Just some basic html and css will cover you.

I'd suggest starting with the end in mind - what do you want to do and then what skills would you need to make that happen.
 

KushShah9492

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Depends on your long term goals.

If you want the skill of coding to build bigger things later (your own app or solution) then it can be time well spent.

If you just want to sell some websites it is not really needed. Just some basic html and css will cover you.

I'd suggest starting with the end in mind - what do you want to do and then what skills would you need to make that happen.
I need to build my own website for my business within 2 -3 years. That's the long term goal, do you think it's viable to learn coding for that? I also might be moving to another country so it wouldn't hurt to learn a new skill for freelancing right?
 

alexkuzmov

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So, I've been meaning to learn coding and web design for a long time now, and I'm still perplexed. While there a number of services(wordpress, pixieset, wix,etc) I still wonder "Why would Someone go through the process of coding for long hours if he could just customise his site from any of the above services?" I wanted your opinion on the same, should I start learning code? I certainly won't know a lot about coding from just a course, but I suppose that'd be the best place to start. What do you guys think?
Looks like you are jumping from one venture to the next.
What happened to the SEO thing?
 

Speed112

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I need to build my own website for my business within 2 -3 years. That's the long term goal, do you think it's viable to learn coding for that? I also might be moving to another country so it wouldn't hurt to learn a new skill for freelancing right?
You don't have to go all-in into coding. If you use Wordpress or some other platform to build your website (for yourself or others) you can ease into it by learning html/css to help with customizing and building your mind for problem-solving, and then move on to php and js for more complex tweaks. Learning through doing is very effective.

So why 2-3 years?

You seem to have aligned goals and desires: learn coding + build your website, so just get started with both and figure it out along the way. Get yourself a domain and hosting if you haven't, jump on stack overflow and build your website. It's gonna suck at first, but that's fine. Good thing you don't have to do it for a client as your only source of income and with a strict deadline. The pressure you'll have is under your complete control, as is the progress you'll be making.

And to answer your initial question... web development is still viable. Businesses still need sales and clients, and websites are a great way to augment the sales process. The end result and the RoI is what matters most, moreso than what language you program the website in or whether you take shortcuts through WP. The opportunity cost for them to do it on their own is poor, so ofc they're going to hire an expert to do it for them.

Someone mentioned an SEO venture. Web development and SEO go hand in hand, if the purpose of your service is to help people create more value, and not just have a pretty business card through a virtual real estate property.

@Andy Black has a lot of good content on here about how you should do these things. Some are years old, but still very relevant today.

Good luck and don't waver

P.S.: You can build your own website in like 2 weeks with 0 experience or know-how. Don't be discouraged.
 

mdot

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The barrier to entry for creating Wordpress sites is extremely low. As a result, there is SO MUCH competition in the space. I would wager that you would need to be exceptional to escape the noise in the freelance world, short of being constantly hustling for your next client.

I can actually provide a perspective of a client. The company I work for is trying to overhaul their website. Apart from a standard set of about 30 pages, we also wanted to implement a parametric search function of our products. This is something you can't accomplish with just a plug-in or a theme. It requires knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP and SQL to implement. Also, when we give a sketch to a designer, we don't want to hand-hold. The theme should be responsive, the animations should feel right, the pages should balanced, consistent and clean. An eye for design and usability is a key asset in this regard.

So to summarize, we would need:
  • Ability to build a maintainable Wordpress site (basic requirement)
  • Deeper knowledge to customize beyond the theme
  • An eye for design - someone that doesn't just build a website, but architects one
So far, most developers we've contacted through common freelancing sites have been unable to fit these requirements.

I qualify the following from experience in web design from about a dozen scratch-built static and dynamic websites. The second and third point will take upfront effort to learn. You'll need to learn HTML/CSS at the minimum, and the basics of Javascript/PHP/SQL (syntax, basic concepts etc). You'll need to study modern site design - learn what looks good, what looks bad, what's easy to use, what could be improved. Take cues from current design and UX principles like those used in iOS and Android.

When you are proficient in these points, you'll find that the extra effort to implement them is actually quite small, because they are built-into your workflow. Despite this, you'll set yourself apart from the majority of "theme-only" wordpress developers.

My company will probably end up paying someone 3-5 times more than a theme-only developer. In my estimates the project would only take about 1.5-2 times as much work (plus the upfront learning) compared to a theme-only project.

Good luck!
 
Last edited:

KushShah9492

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Looks like you are jumping from one venture to the next.
What happened to the SEO thing?
I am into SEO still, and won’t waver from that. However, I thought I could provide more value if I knew web design and SEO as well.
 

KushShah9492

Bronze Contributor
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Jan 2, 2021
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India
The barrier to entry for creating Wordpress sites is extremely low. As a result, there is SO MUCH competition in the space. I would wager that you would need to be exceptional to escape the noise in the freelance world, short of being constantly hustling for your next client.

I can actually provide a perspective of a client. The company I work for is trying to overhaul their website. Apart from a standard set of about 30 pages, we also wanted to implement a parametric search function of our products. This is something you can't accomplish with just a plug-in or a theme. It requires knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP and SQL to implement. Also, when we give a sketch to a designer, we don't want to hand-hold. The theme should be responsive, the animations should feel right, the pages should balanced, consistent and clean. An eye for design and usability is a key asset in this regard.

So to summarize, we would need:
  • Ability to build a maintainable Wordpress site (basic requirement)
  • Deeper knowledge to customize beyond the theme
  • An eye for design - someone that doesn't just build a website, but architects one
So far, most developers we've contacted through common freelancing sites have been unable to fit these requirements.

I qualify the following from experience in web design from about a dozen scratch-built static and dynamic websites. The second and third point will take upfront effort to learn. You'll need to learn HTML/CSS at the minimum, and the basics of Javascript/PHP/SQL (syntax, basic concepts etc). You'll need to study modern site design - learn what looks good, what looks bad, what's easy to use, what could be improved. Take cues from current design and UX principles like those used in iOS and Android.

When you are proficient in these points, you'll find that the extra effort to implement them is actually quite small, because they are built-into your workflow. Despite this, you'll set yourself apart from the majority of "theme-only" wordpress developers.

My company will probably end up paying someone 3-5 times more than a theme-only developer. In my estimates the project would only take about 1.5-2 times as much work (plus the upfront learning) compared to a theme-only project.

Good luck!
So, to cut your point short, I need to have more than just basic knowledge to find an out of the box solution to any problem, and then learn by doing stuff along the way?
 

KushShah9492

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Andy
You don't have to go all-in into coding. If you use Wordpress or some other platform to build your website (for yourself or others) you can ease into it by learning html/css to help with customizing and building your mind for problem-solving, and then move on to php and js for more complex tweaks. Learning through doing is very effective.

So why 2-3 years?

You seem to have aligned goals and desires: learn coding + build your website, so just get started with both and figure it out along the way. Get yourself a domain and hosting if you haven't, jump on stack overflow and build your website. It's gonna suck at first, but that's fine. Good thing you don't have to do it for a client as your only source of income and with a strict deadline. The pressure you'll have is under your complete control, as is the progress you'll be making.

And to answer your initial question... web development is still viable. Businesses still need sales and clients, and websites are a great way to augment the sales process. The end result and the RoI is what matters most, moreso than what language you program the website in or whether you take shortcuts through WP. The opportunity cost for them to do it on their own is poor, so ofc they're going to hire an expert to do it for them.

Someone mentioned an SEO venture. Web development and SEO go hand in hand, if the purpose of your service is to help people create more value, and not just have a pretty business card through a virtual real estate property.

@Andy Black has a lot of good content on here about how you should do these things. Some are years old, but still very relevant today.

Good luck and don't waver

P.S.: You can build your own website in like 2 weeks with 0 experience or know-how. Don't be discouraged.
@Andy Black always has something valuable to offer, whether it’s business or life. The thing is It’s going to be hard to push myself through the barriers of frustration of not being able to build a website, but once I do.. I’ll at least have a new skill For myself :)
 

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What about just using Carrd.com (if that’s the right domain), or Linktr.ee?

What I’ve got wouldn’t pass as a site, but I still get enquiries and sales. Why is that?

(To see my “sites” check out https://andyblack.net and Inbound Marketeer)
 

alexkuzmov

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I am into SEO still, and won’t waver from that. However, I thought I could provide more value if I knew web design and SEO as well.
You could.
However these are 2 different skills, none of which are web development, thats a third one.
All of these take years to develop.
SEO is a main work skill
Web development is a main work skill
Web design is a main work skill

If you are looking at web development or design, you`ve already wavered away from SEO.
Not focusing will cost you way more time.
Focus on one thing and get good at it.
If you want to be good at SEO, you cant distract yourself with web design or web development.
 

sparechange

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web dev is so funny to see talked about as a big thing now a days, maybe like 30 years ago, but now everyone and their dog is doing it, why pay the bills? How about creating a real business?

Just my 2 Canadian pennies, actually they don't exist anymore.. I meant my nickel.
 

KushShah9492

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web dev is so funny to see talked about as a big thing now a days, maybe like 30 years ago, but now everyone and their dog is doing it, why pay the bills? How about creating a real business?

Just my 2 Canadian pennies, actually they don't exist anymore.. I meant my nickel.
LMAO, So just focusing on one thing then. Just know the basics(or use wordpress or any other services to create small websites).
 

KushShah9492

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Jan 2, 2021
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You could.
However these are 2 different skills, none of which are web development, thats a third one.
All of these take years to develop.
SEO is a main work skill
Web development is a main work skill
Web design is a main work skill

If you are looking at web development or design, you`ve already wavered away from SEO.
Not focusing will cost you way more time.
Focus on one thing and get good at it.
If you want to be good at SEO, you cant distract yourself with web design or web development.
Alright, so maybe get REALLY good at SEO and then try my hands at web dev then?
 

KushShah9492

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Jan 2, 2021
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India
What about just using Carrd.com (if that’s the right domain), or Linktr.ee?

What I’ve got wouldn’t pass as a site, but I still get enquiries and sales. Why is that?

(To see my “sites” check out https://andyblack.net and Inbound Marketeer)
If the main aim is to get sales and enquiries, then maybe these would work.
 

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