Almost thirty years ago I started getting into website design, more as a hobby at the time and to challenge myself to learn something new. I found a program called HotDog Pro, which was pretty well an HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) program, so there was a lot of complex coding involved, which I really didn’t have the patience for. It’s so very long ago that I don’t remember what sites I even created back then.

Over the years since I have used a number of design programs, each a little easier to use than the previous and finally settled in with Microsoft FrontPage for many years. It had some quirky things, but, all in all it wasn’t bad and I created many, many sites with it. Just recently I upgraded to Microsoft Expressions Web which I really love.

Although I did build sites for clients, like a band site for The Salmon Armenians, one I really enjoyed because it introduced me to having small snippets of their music and my first eCommerce site to sell their CDs. They were great to work with and really loved their site which held up for a number of years. I also built sites for non profits, like the Kelowna 8-ball League, which was another challenged with adding all the weekly stats. This site was the first time I used a theme because I had found a great template with some cool pool graphics and even a Flash header with the sound of the cracking balls. Pretty cool!

As it got easier and less time consuming to build out sites I started marketing by building a demo site and then sending a link to the customer. I searched out sites that were pretty dysfunctional, which is something I have never understood. When clients pay for a site they expect it to work. I’m constantly amazed at the sites that cost thousands of dollars, yet have so many things that don’t work. Some things are forgivable, like external links that suddenly aren’t there anymore, but somebody needs to be in control of the website to keep it up-to-date.