As a designer or developer, the operating system that you use has no influence on your skill level, creativity, or craftsmanship. Unfortunately, if you are a designer or developer who uses Windows, whether because of choice, comfort level, or economic necessity, you tend to get looked down when you mention your operating system to other designers. At times, it can seem like every other self-respecting creative on the planet uses an Apple - and I've even been asked half-seriously by a client, "where's your Mac?"
I had a bit of an epiphany today. For the past 3 months I have been working as a part-time employee developing a web store for Discover Outdoors General Store (now American Expedition. Today, we were able to launch the site. Just four hours after the site was launched, however, I was asked to sit-in on a conference call with a salesman for a pretty big national e-commerce "solutions" company. The guy had some pretty hefty client names to throw around, and some strong features, as well - Iphone apps, Facebook integration, the whole nine yards.
Starting a web design business as a sole proprieter in a small town has presented many unique challenges. I want to start out by saying that I didn't initially start out by trying to be a sole proprietor. I wanted to find a good job. Unfortunately, all the jobs I interviewed for directly out of school were for local companies that didn't put a fair market price on web design jobs. I actually had better luck landing work independently - and so I accidently became independent. I'm writing this article to share what I've learned in in my first six months, in case someone else finds themself in the position I was in.
I recently created my first flash game, and most of my learning came through trial and error. There were many times during the experience where I realized things that I wish I had known at the beginning, and these are the three main tips I would like to give to other people considering doing the same thing.
Every business needs a web presence, but a website that never gets updated can quickly become stale and outdated. Being able to update the site and create fresh content is essential if you want to keep your site useful to customers. Unfortunately, few businesses can afford to keep a web developer or designer on staff to do this for them. With a content management system, however, you can easily create and change the content of your website without having to learn code or call a web developer.