How Website Salad Got Started

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So here it is. The very first blog post. Exciting times! Coffee Code & Content is the name of this blog which will feature articles, videos, reviews, tutorials, and even just opinion pieces related to building websites. Currently, there’s just a single author (me), but there will be others added soon.

I want to be able to use this blog to share my own web development experiences in the hopes of helping others. While experts are welcome Website Salad was really an idea to bring together do-it-yourself website builders. I personally have no degree in design or coding. I have no certifications or fancy certificates. I’m not even well known for my work. What I do have is a love for the hobby.

I first started building websites around circa 2000 to 2002. The very first site I built was on a WebTV since I was too poor at the time to afford a real computer. Yet I somehow managed to create a chat site called SurfToob. It really taught me how to code, manage a server, and to work with daemons and command-line server interfaces. That’s also where I got my first taste of Javascript.

I wanted to tell the world about SurfToob, so naturally, I learned how to market and advertise which has changed and evolved so much since then. That lead me to build more commercial websites which were quite profitable. Learning about on-site optimization and SEO helped gain a lot of traffic for those sites, and a good profit too. Those sites were eventually sold for large (I’m talking stupid large) sums of money. I never intended to sell them. Other businesses found them online and wanted to buy them.

Having done this a couple of times I was sure this would be my career path until my dying day. Things eventually took a turn for the worse when I sold a final website, and had nothing to replace it with. In fact, I haven’t been able to replicate that kind of success since. That was in 2013.

I had tried building websites for local small businesses. By that time WordPress and similar content management systems had really taken off. And while I had to read books, study programming languages for countless hours, and come up with my own code solutions, that was no longer the case for anyone who wanted to build a website in 2013. Now people just point and click a new site into existence sometimes in a matter of minutes with no coding knowledge at all. Try explaining to a potential client convinced they can build a website on their own that they need a web developer. That’s a whole post by itself.

I did manage to get a handful of clients, but it was in no way profitable. Bewildered and defeated it was time to get a normal 9 to 5 gig like everyone else. Fortunately one of my clients who had a brick and mortar shop needed help with listing products for sale online. Yeah, I was making an hourly wage now much lower than what I had made before, but it was a job. It was also a job that still involved web development. It also helped me to learn the many different aspects of selling, shipping, and managing products for a physical store with an online shop.

During this time I had all but given up on web development as a career. It wasn’t until recently it occurred to me that I didn’t enjoy doing it because I made a lot of money (though I did enjoy that part). I enjoyed the building. The tweaking. The designing. The bug smashing. Overcoming those obstacles that sometimes took weeks to find a solution to. I simply love building websites.

That’s what gave me the idea for Website Salad. While most web development sites focus on a niche, SEO for example, this one has a little of everything related to web development. You know what else has a little of everything thrown in? Salad. I know that’s silly, but it makes perfect sense in my mind. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and I hope it encourages you to register and get involved. I would love to hear about your web development experience in the comments. I promise to reply to each and every one. Thank you!

 

 

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