How important is it for web developers to have a website?

It has seemed odd to me that some web developers like to give advice on building websites to their customers, and yet they have spent very little time on their own website (if they have one). They may know how to put the general pieces together and make a website look good or functional, but they do not know how to conceive a successful website. Instead of being the ultimate source for knowing how to make a site profitable and bring in traffic, we often times do what we are told and make a website, and our usefulness ends there.

I’m not talking about a company website. I’m talking about a website that is not attached to the company you work for.

The biggest benefit I see in maintaining a personal website as a web developer is that you come across systems or code that you would not have come across at your job. I have experienced this myself, because the only time I discovered anything new was when there was a need for it (when I didn’t maintain a personal website). Often times the solution I found was not the best that was out there.

Part of the problem as I see it is that in order to make things profitable, we focus on creating the product and getting it out the door, and spend very little time refining our knowledge and keeping updated on the latest technologies. We are not in the type of industry that you can simply learn how to work with it and forget about it, because it is constantly changing. New systems and tools are launched all the time.

Over the past two months I have increased the amount I post on Montana Programmer, along with spending more time promoting the site. I have learned a lot and I expect there is a lot more to learn. I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with you on this blog! But I do know there are many of you out there who have information that could help us all.

Do you make a living as a web developer and have your own website? If so, what have you learned since you’ve started the website that you did not know before?

Photo provided by clix.
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5 thoughts on “How important is it for web developers to have a website?

  1. I’m a college student that just opened my web design business 2 months ago, so I’m not “making my living off of it.” But I’ve learned a heck of a lot just in those two months, and I’ve only had one client and one prospect.

    Articles, blogs, books, and forums have given me great insight. After learning PHP on my own from articles and a book, I was actually able to skip introductory programming at my community college even though I did not have experience with a computer science class at all beforehand.

    The most important thing I’ve learned is to never, ever stop learning.

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    • Joseph,

      Thanks for sharing! Yeah, if we continue to learn, their is no limit to what we can do and where we can go.

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  2. Very true! Anyone who is doing professional web design or development work should have a website.

    As a freelancer or small firm it’s even more important! I’m aware of several freelance web developers and web design firms in San Francisco that don’t have professional sites for their businesses. It amazes me that they can find work without any kind of portfolio to show, but I guess as long as the market’s good it works out… for now.

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