Giving a little but getting a lot in return – the satisfaction of building websites!
by Sam Davis
In my job, I get a huge amount of contentment in being able to bring new business to a company by developing a website for them which is aesthetically pleasing, functional, and easy to find. I always take pride in being meticulous with every project I complete, sometimes being overly obsessive about pixel perfection – however it means that I can sign off every job with the confidence that I’m delivering everything I set out to do, and more! As a result, I’ve been lucky to get a lot of positive feedback for the work I have carried out.
As a designer, the nature of my web projects being like a conveyor-belt of jobs means that I end up churning out new sites on a weekly basis. Despite the positive comments I receive every so often, the pre-occupation in keeping the flow of clients happy means that I often forget how my creations are helping to make a difference to people. When I do realise how impactful they have been though, it really does make me feel very good!
It’s not the money in the bank or the amount of visitors a site gets that fuels me, but it’s the way that people can feel that my work has helped to change their company in a beneficial way.
Over the last year or so, I have come to the realisation that making a positive difference for a business is possibly my favourite part of the job – it’s not the money in the bank or the amount of visitors a site gets that fuels me, but it’s the way that people can feel that my work has helped to change their company in a beneficial way. For this reason, I have wondered what kind of gratification I would get from helping someone outside of the world of business achieve their web dreams – an individual, for whom I could help turn their website idea into a reality. So, I had an idea…
It has well been documented on this blog that I am an AFC Bournemouth supporter, and over the course of the last year, I have made a number of new friends who support the team. One of them is Dorset born and Cherry-mad Andrew Corbin, aged thirty-seven. Andrew, who lives in Bournemouth, attends the Barnabas day-centre in Poole, which is a lively, well-equipped social hub for adults with physical and learning disabilities.
After finding out about my line of work, Andrew mooted the idea of creating a website – and he set about signing up to Wix to create a brand new blog. However he struggled to use the system, and asked for my assistance in using the site to create some pages where he could list his hobbies, and display a few details about himself. After popping over to his parents house to give him a hand, I began to realise that I too would find it excruciatingly painful to use Wix! Even as a seasoned web-developer, it was just so over complicated.
In a way, I wasn’t overly surprised at how difficult it was to use it, compounding my opinion that some visual website builders like Wix and 1and1 can be terrible, therefore I suggested that I should build it for him free instead – a relatively simple website which would enable him to blog regularly, update it himself, upload videos, and much more! For someone like Andrew, I thought it could be an amazing way for him to share his passions with the wider world – as well as giving him another hobby in terms of updating it regularly.
I didn’t quite realise how much he was loving it until I got a letter of thanks from him in the post!
Since handing over his website, which boasts a clean yet effective design, Andrew has been really enjoying telling his family and friends about his new page, and is already using it to help promote various events at his day centre. He seems to be so proud of it, and whilst I knew how much of a positive impact it could make for him, I didn’t quite realise how much he was loving it until I got a letter of thanks from him in the post at the weekend! No one has ever done that before, so it was such a lovely thing to receive.
Although I have gained lovely reviews and feedback from clients via Facebook and Google, getting this letter was amazing, conveying a different level of gratitude – justifying to me that making AndrewsLifeBlog.co.uk was really such worthwhile thing to do! It has given me renewed enthusiasm at how a simple website can help an individual to rediscover their interest in a hobby, as well as provide them with a positive focal point for them to share their pride about their achievements to the wider world.
His website contains an About page, a Jokes section, and also there are also dedicated write-ups on each of his hobbies. These include going out on his parents boat, ten-pin bowling, and of course watching the mighty Cherries. Alongside his blog, where he can write about his activities in life, I have even implemented a sports news section which automatically updates when highlights of AFC Bournemouth matches are posted! Can you do this with Wix? I think not!
One of his brainwaves has included creating a football vlog, which I have helped to help him put together.
I am so chuffed about how it has all panned out, and it’s wonderful to now see him suggesting new ideas for his website via Facebook and Whatsapp. One of his brainwaves has included creating a football vlog, which I have helped to help him put together. Recently we attended the AFC Bournemouth vs Arsenal match, and I was pleased to help Andrew get a video put together for the sports section of his website – you can watch it below!
Of course, making free websites and videos isn’t something I would usually do – after all, I do need to make a living, but after learning how much Andrew appreciated it, I am going to try to do something like this once every so often, as it really has given me a lot of enjoyment and fulfilment!