Tom, What The Heck Does A Web Developer Do?

The short answer is – I don’t really know!

I do know what I do, however.

tomstierThis post focuses on Tom Stier/Promote Globally, so I will not be mentioning any client names. Also, I don’t wanna get in trouble!

Many years ago, a web developer designed a site page by page in Dreamweaver. Now, with WordPress, a website IS the software.

Site owners can add and edit posts or pages if they have the time or inclination to do so. This has moved some of the work I used to do to more of the set-up, function, troubleshooting and strategy areas.

Elsewhere on this site I talk about the whole social media/website posting synergy, so I won’t go into that here. In a nutshell, if you build a website, they won’t come until they see a link to it on social media.

Communication is essential, and I do a lot of it. I respond to client-related emails continually through the day. I’m happy to answer a quick technical question, then some discussions develop into step by step tutorials or my preparing detailed options for the best way to implement some function or strategy. I’m a fan of getting verbal discussions preserved in an email thread. Email & phone interaction takes up several hours of a typical workday.

Last month in web development

I’ve enjoyed an association with a New York City-based online retailer going back almost ten years. The continuing work for this retailer involves collating product information – descriptions, pricing, and images preparation – from several manufacturers, then populating the retailer’s online shopping cart. The site owner is preparing another project for which I am creating branding, and consulting with him on social media strategy for the project.

I built, host & maintain several sites for an alternative education initiative. Last month I created a new education program page, updated registration forms and the connected payment processors, and updated an integrated site bulletin board. The organization has a dedicated social media/eblast person and we coordinate when new posts are added on the site.

For a health services website, I created a banner (Client reaction to first pass: “It is just right!”) & information page for a fundraiser, and reconfigured the site home page to include the new banner. We also set up a new Facebook page for the organization and, as Admins of the new page, created the first post.

For an author, I updated their website header, re-configured the home page, and added a banner w/rotating testimonials to help promote a new novel.

For a small press publisher, I fixed problems with PayPal orders not completing, isolated a php version mismatch, and updated their site & shopping cart software. They asked that I do the same on another site they owned.

For a commercial artist, I did the WordPress, Theme & Plugins update on her site. One of the downsides of using any dynamic website software is that the base software and additional bits of coding (Plugins) sometimes don’t get along. This is why you always backup before updating.

Last month also saw the same variety of work done on sites for another author, an intuitive, a land conservancy and an opera composer!

The business of business

When you are in business for yourself, you have to keep bringing in business. To that end, I prepared two estimates last month. One of them was quite involved, going through a few re-configurations and then meeting in person with the organizations’ members.

Billing for work that is done is also essential. I spend some time every day notating work and populating invoices. Yawn.

I host sites, so there are occasional maintenance interactions with my server providers. Hosting has become much more reliable than it was in the past, and we are very happy with our current choices.

My domain name provider, however, began sending renewal notices for my domains to somebody who should not have received them! Many phone calls were required to get them to stop doing that.

So, that’s what I did last month…oh, almost forgot, I may have also done a LOT of lighthearted, persuasive posting on Facebook for my favorite candidate for President 😉

Make sure you voice your choice!