At the beginning of the year I was contacted by someone who had read my Reading roast dinners blog, who wanted a website for his fledgling recruitment company.
Yes – he had seen this crappy box on the right that took me 5 minutes to make and decided to contact me.
He had a Wix site which he had put together himself – but as an exceptionally busy person, he was unable to devote more time into making it look more professional – it was a bit messy. I’ve seen far worse on Wix…you really do have to put a lot of time into it to get it looking good on there…and even then you are limited to what they offer.
Personally I think Wix is abhorrently painful. Squarespace is bearable – I did do some custom changes on Squarespace a while back, which were at least possible, albeit very hacky.
It came at a good time for me, it was the beginning of the year and I was on a 3-month detox so I needed something to keep me occupied on the weekends.
It was potentially a nice little project that I could build on WordPress, with the possibility of expanding it when his business required it. At this stage, neither of us felt that anything more than a one-page website with a contact form was required.
The difficulty for me was the design. I could have just used an off-the-shelf theme but I kind of view that as cheating, especially when someone is paying for it. Plus I wanted to push myself.
Getting good quality, free stock images was easy – but working out what to do with them, and how to display the text in a friendly yet professional manner was my main challenge. In the end I went for matching pastel overlays – but cropped them diagonally to give the site some personality and edge.
Mostly the text provided was sufficient – I just wanted to make it clear on the heading what Neary Services offered, and how to contact them. I kept the heading font that he had used on the Wix site, as I quite liked the informative and direct feel that it gives – and used a standard font for the rest of the text. One thing I often see people doing that have no knowledge of design, is using way too many fonts, and there were a few on the Wix site!
I think in the future I will do even better, but as a first client website I was proud of my efforts.
The client was delighted, really really pleased with it – and even bought me a couple of beers to celebrate. And we are going for a Sunday roast next weekend.
With a bit of luck, there will be more websites to come that I can build in my own time, and supplement my earnings and experience. And yes I will be paying tax on it…guess I’ll have to work out soon how to do that.
I do intend on doing a few posts, just general updates on where I am and where I am going as a developer career-wise. I do keep having to pinch myself to remind myself just how far I have progressed. Don’t hold your breath – I’ve been intending on doing this post since April.