Last night I had a nice dinner with my family after a nice quality time talking and recollecting our old memories in the evening. I was feeling pretty light-hearted and on getting some private space, I started cherishing the memories of my first days of being a web-master. It was a great feeling. Although I wasn’t technically sound enough, the thirst of knowing ‘just how to do it’ not only taught me a lot of things in terms of coding but also, it taught me how to deal with stress of work and the feeling of seeing my work actually taking place in front of my eyes was something I will always fail to describe with my words.
So today when I have had a small walk through the path of web-technology, I couldn’t help drafting this open mail to those who sneak out every night in front of the computer to try and learn developing and maintaining the new website they recently have created or spend sleepless nights trying to find the precise widget to colour up the pages.
First of all, congratulations, you have taken the most crucial step on the way of being the perfect webmaster you can be. I deliberately used the term “webmaster”, not “developer” because I believe while development is a massive part of what gets a website up, it definitely is not the entire part. There lies something more.
Look, I don’t claim myself an expert in any way. I believe what I have learned so far or have done is but a first step towards the ladder of technology. I just wanted you to get a small little brotherly push in case you ever feel frustrated or demoralised.
Listen, I don’t intend to provide any ultimate mantra at all. But, I am just sharing what I have gone through. You’re the one to determine your journey. But maybe, these words could sometimes accompany you during your lonely walk?
1. Treat your project like a baby
Yeah, that’s right. You’re a bit too early to get a real one but your first website cannot stand even a mild ignorance from you especially since this is the first time you’ve involved yourself in such a project, it requires your fullest attention.
My mentor once had told me, when you’re learning how to code make sure you write coding, you read coding, you talk coding, you dream coding and you think of coding even in toilet. And that is pretty true you know. Give your site all of your attention and stay calm and slowly move on.
2. Just do whatever you want
I know, many veteran social media experts would say that you should have a precise goal for your website to succeed. But then again, you haven’t got on web because you want to earn a lot from your site. But because you just wanted to create something that you can own so that you can share yourself to people on web. And that is all what matters. Being your first website, it doesn’t have to be perfect, in any aspect you see — technology, content, niche market, goal, SEO. Remember, you’re the boss here and you have got the freedom of taking it to any direction you want. There’s, however, just one condition — just do what you feel like doing. You wanna post on recent gadgets? Do it. You want to write your tips to get a girl in school? Get on board. You wanna change the background to raw red? Do it if you like it.
3. Determination and Patience
I remember spending an awful lot of time figuring out why the corners of one element don’t render correctly using CSS on Internet Explorer and how to do it. Being a new-comer, sometimes you don’t even know what possibly the problem could be and of course, how to fix it. But just don’t give up, keep on trying.
You know, when I created my first website somewhere around 2005 or 2006, I didn’t even know that terms like Apache, MySQL, Php, Shared Hosting, VPS even exist. Keep your mind open to intake any new thing that comes in.
4. Let Google be your Second Home
Make sure google search is a mere click away and make clicking the ‘go’ button your second nature. Like I said, you’d come across a lot of things that you never knew existed and before moving on to the next page, it’s worth making a search
5. Get a bit techy
You know, even if throughout your life all you have done with your computer is using MS Office to do projects, taking print-outs to read web-materials, when you’re gonna start your own site, be it on a stand-alone platform like Blogger, WordPress.com or Tumbler, a little knowledge of fundamental programming always comes handy. Even if you are fascinated by your paper on Victorian Age which probably has nothing to do with Apple (the Job’s company), it is always easier to get it on web if you possess the fundamental knowledge of HTML and CSS.
Better read up a little on www.w3schools.com before starting off.
6. Don’t fall for premium “be a top-notch web-master overnight” guides
Just because they usually don’t cost much doesn’t mean that you have to fall for them. You would find more than a thousand e-book on google that promise you to reveal all the secrets of being the best web-master in 24 hours at a very small price. Let me tell you, you’d be wasting your time and money. There is no such thing. Most probably what they would teach you can be found on W3Schools or Tizag for free. All you gotta do is have faith in yourself, have some patience and make one step at a time.
Just as I told you, treat your very first site like your baby, give it a lot of attention and after a few years, you’d feel proud of the step you had taken with your first site. And probably, would feel a bit nostalgic too.
Photo Credit: flickr – ivydawned