What happened to the web designer?

By Daniel Imbellino

It seems people build websites these days using templates and programs like WordPress to do all the work for them. Some use web design editors like Adobe Dreamweaver, etc. The problem is, using these programs does nothing more than make people lazy and stupid. The web designer is truly a dying breed. No one seems to code anything themselves anymore, everyone has a program to do it all for them. Also, there’s nothing original about having 1,000,000 sites on the internet that all have the same exact layout and appearance. Sure, WordPress is great, and I’m using it for my personal blog, but there’s nothing creative about “point and click.” Content management systems can make our lives easier, and dumber.

I recently built a new website, but instead of munching on pizza while I simply drag and drop, click a button and type text, etc, I decided to go all out and code out the entire website myself using nothing more than notepad in Windows. The design, the content, and everything on or within the site was developed by me (except for the flash games that is). Designing a site in this manner today is a daunting task for sure, especially since webpages must be able to adapt to the screens and devices that are being used to view them. I used media queries extensively to make the site work on everything from smart phones to LCD desktop monitors.

The best part about designing my own site from the ground up was the fact that it’s my own original design and content! I made it all myself, and its totally unique as compared to anything else on the web. The site is called http://www.pctechauthority.com, and it’s dedicated to information technology related tutorials of many kinds. It features web design (including HTML, CSS, and XML), computer networking, PC hardware & software, search engine optimization tutorials, etc. I admit it was a lot of work. I not only had to design the site and all of its graphics, layout, etc, myself, but I also had to create all the content as well. To be honest the whole process made my days in college look like a walk in park.

For me it was truly a learning experience. I spent 6 months designing the site from the ground up, and working 100+ hours a week in the process. Three times I got really ill, the third time being the worst as I truly thought I was dying. Nonetheless, I was dedicated to it, and fought through the enormous fatigue that came with its long and grueling process to make it all happen. Was it worth it? I can admit, at many points in time I thought it wasn’t, but honestly, I learned more in the last 6 months since starting this project that I’ve learned in the prior 7 years, including the time I spent in college. So much that I didn’t understand just makes sense to me now. The entire process was fraught with constant nagging problems that I had to some how find a solution for.

Until working on that site, there was so much in this world I took for granted. Think about it? We buy everything we want, and so we just assume its ours because we deserve it. It’s too bad no one takes the time to consider how hard others worked so our society can have all the things that make our lives so simple. Your car, your phone, your xbox, even the computer screen you’re staring at right now, someone worked to the brink of exhaustion  so you could have all the wonderful things you do. The question is, do you really appreciate it? What if web designers didn’t exist, what would happen? Would there be an internet at all? Its hard to imaging that anyone, much less myself, could ever work so hard to create something, yet others haven’t a clue as to the sacrifices that were made to achieve easy life we all live today. You fire up your laptop, type a query into Google search, and, “Voila”, the information you were looking for is right there on the screen. Yet, the unrelenting work of others to make the internet and any and all technology as a whole available to the world remains largely unseen. Like it almost doesn’t even matter. Now I understand, I truly do.

So is the web designer truly gone for good, or is there someone else out their who still appreciates it the way I do? What would happen if everyone had a computer program to do everything for them and they never had to think about anything, then what?