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Why This Web Designer Takes a Back Seat to Her Clients

The first website that I ever got my hands on was nearly twenty years ago. It was my dad’s auction website, which was created by someone else on some obscure online platform that I can’t for the life of me remember. I recall that in order to update his auction calendar, I would struggle every time to find the place to update his information, and I had no ability to change anything visually. Since I was a good speller and had attention to detail, I offered to take over that role along with designing his auction flyers to save me the stress of finding typos all the time.

Soon I was able to get his domain released and gave him a redesign with a drag-and-drop builder. I enjoyed using that at the time because I was able to easily choose a template and then “make it pretty”, sort of. I made a few other pages that way, too, and they served their purpose except that they weren’t SEO optimized and were a bit pokey on the upload time. With no ability to change colors and functionality hindered based on the template used, my own curiosity soon led me to learn how else to manage my clients’ web pages.

My new master plan was that my computer programming son and I were going to join forces in my new endeavor of website design. I would design the layout, pages, functions of links and buttons, design the graphics, and consider the overall look and goal of the page, with him writing all the code. We quickly learned that a designer and a programmer don’t always speak the same language, even when they are blood relatives. It was an EPIC FAIL, but he got me to learn the basics of HTML and CSS so that I could understand why what I was asking for was sometimes impossible, and why when I changed something that I thought was minor was wasting a whole lot of his time.

With a love for learning new things and a sparked desire to become competent at web design, I walked into the world of WordPress web design so that I could undertake it without my programming son. Over the last year and a half, through a deployment, family demands, an overseas move, and then a military retirement, I have continued to juggle my career aspirations. After hours and hours of problem solving, researching, learning, and trial and error, I have gained lots of confidence and knowledge about how to navigate content, build responsive sites, utilize plugins, widgets, and explore some great themes. I can even call myself a WordPress Web Designer now, which is a pretty great addition to my graphic design skills, social media savviness, and my passion for marketing.

What about my poor, neglected business page, though, am I right? With only this little blog post to add, it’s probably not going to change substantially in the near future, and that’s okay with me. It certainly doesn’t have the pizazz and fresh content of my clients’ pages, but when I look at my wins for their businesses, I am pretty proud of myself. So what if SummitAMP LLC takes a back seat when I get to enjoy my dual screens from home with a lake view? I am still learning new things every day, meeting challenges head-on, and juggling my busy family. My dad’s simple auction page? Well, it isn’t so simple anymore! While I’m breaking new ground as a Web Designer, he’s still enjoying high quality auctions after 32 years, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. My other clients are pretty amazing too, but his web page has been getting most of my attention lately, so Pavlis Auction & Realty gets the spotlight in my first blog post. I hope to share more with you another time…time to enjoy the perks of living next to a lake in Minnesota!

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