The Joys of Website Design

I don’t often write about work here as this is a personal weblog but when you’re self-employed it is sometimes hard to get away from work. It is always there, I am the business and there’s no getting away from myself, however hard I try.

It is therefore always good to remind myself why I’m self-employed and to think about the alternative of a ‘normal’, 9-5 way of life. There aren’t many jobs that you can start at 4am if you want, just so that you can go windsurfing in the afternoon. There aren’t many that will give you a 2 hour lunch break so that you can go for a bike ride and run either. Working from home allows me to get lots of chores done at the same time as work as well, and when friends come calling for a coffee I can just stop and have a coffee with them.

Yes, things can be stressful when work isn’t quite running as smoothly as it could. As a freelance website designer, there are always little problems to fix and clients to help, but that’s what I get paid to do. I pile the pressure on myself by doing my utmost to fix things immediately and keep all my clients happy 100% of the time, but now and then things that are beyond my control, and nothing to do with me, can throw a spanner in the works. When this happens I do get a little stressed. I really should try not to let it get to me, and think about why I do this.

At other times things can be too quiet and then as a self-employed person you start to worry about where the next pay-cheque will come from. December and January were pretty quiet for me, but thankfully things seem to have picked up a little at the moment. In fact, the new projects I’m working on are actually proving to be quite enjoyable. Some of them are new projects for clients I’ve worked for in the past. They are nice clients to work for (which is always a bonus), I already have a good relationship with them and that can really make a difference.

The projects themselves are enjoyable as they are, in the main, relatively small projects that I’m starting from scratch. Most of it is front-end design work and user interface stuff too. So, rather than doing lots of  bug-fixing, head-scratching, messing around with server configurations and such like I’m actually getting a chance to get stuck into some actual web ‘design’ work. My days have been spent inside Photoshop and bathing in the joys of plain old HTML, CSS and some jQuery.

It’s always nice to be creative and have something to show for your efforts, even better if your clients like the designs as well. I’ve got the basics down for three new sites already this month, I can’t show you them yet as they aren’t ready for public release and still need quite a bit of tweking, but the screen shots should give you an idea of the designs. I also have another three or four projects on the back-bolier waiting for the go-ahead, although thee are slightly larger and more involved projects. Lets hope I still find some time for some windsurfing.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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