Chronicles of Freelancing, Tech, Web Development and More.

Build that first site!

January 11, 2018

This is for all of new coders who want to take that next step but are afraid to. You know you want to code; you’ve spend spending hours on all of tech sites, studying in the coding courses and forums absorbing everything like a sponge. Now it’s time to put all of that knowledge to use and make your first site. But you’re hesitate. That’s understandable; It’s not easy to take that first step. But I’m here to help you get through your doubts.

1) What if my site is ugly?

If you ask any experienced coder what their first site looked like, most of them will equate it to that first family drawing they did when they were in kindergarten. Most coders first site is not appealing at all (some won’t even show their first site), but apperance doesn’t matter. What matter is that you code it. And, for encouragement, I’ll show you my first site I’ve ever coded:

This site I built was originally a portfolio site for my photography (which I still do as an hobby, but it’s all on Instagram now). As you can see, it’s not very appealing. Not only that, it loaded very slow and was extremely buggy. But you know what? I’m still proud that I did it and put that site out there. It made me realized what I was doing wrong and I was able to research and improve my skills from there.

2) What if my skills don’t improve? It feels like I’m never going to get out of this “New Coder” phase?

The only way you will see your skills improve is if you practice. And very few people ever get out of that “New Coder” phase. Technology is a constant changing field, so you’re going to have to stay on your toes with learning trends/technologies. But back to improving skills. Like I said, the only way to improve your skills is to practice. And you can look at different people’s websites all day, but nothing will come of your skills unless you try to use some of those techniques in practice. Don’t believe me? I’ll use myself as an example again.

This is my first professional portfolio site which I had up back in 2016.

This is the professional portfolio site I had up in early 2017.

As you can see, one site does have some improvement over the other. And I was really proud of what I did with the second site. In fact I could have stuck with it and improve on the design. But I decided to switched it up when I realized where I wanted to go in terms of design and presentation and knew exactly how I wanted to appeal to my clients (FYI this is what my current site looks like). Both of these sites are still up on CodePen as templates now, as a reminder and as a resource for others wanting to build a site (that first site is way too buggy and messed up to try to do anything with it). The point is that because I kept practicing and I kept learning new trends, I was able to get better at coding and in turn build my site better.

3) What if I get criticized for my work?

No one likes criticism. But the only other way you are going to get better (besides practicing) is getting feedback whether it be positive or negative. There is a huge community of fellow coders on Twitter and Facebook who are not only awesome, but are very helpful and honest. The majority of folks will be very encouraging, and at the same time will give you tips or point out any bugs that you may have. I had updated my site once, and after posting the link, someone had commented that my social icons was out of alignment on mobile. It’s a small thing, but if I did not have that valuable feedback, I would not have known that was an issue. And, if you are attempting something new and it’s not working properly, you can ask for help! There are tons of resources and people who are more than happy to help out. Trust me, we have all been there.

So what are you waiting for? Stop reading this and code your first site. I can’t wait to see what you make!

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