You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

March 20, 2005

When I started this business in January, a few short months ago, I'd already built quite a few web sites for friends and local organizations, and I'd been the webmaster of a large site for 5 years. I could write HTML in my sleep. I had some learning to do, yes. But I told myself I could easily master a few new tricks.

Hm.

I was using an older version of Macromedia's HomeSite and Jasc's PaintShop Pro to build fairly sophisticated sites…in pure old-fashioned HTML with about 100 tables a page and 10,000 spacing gifs. Reality hit fast.

It hit hard.

In the last three months I've somehow taught myself the rudiments of Dreamweaver, GoLive, Acrobat and PhotoShop. I now know that CSS is not a ladies' organization and blogs are not something people disappear into in Scotland.

Thanks are certainly due to a wonderful site I stumbed across early on—Smiley Cat Web Design. I took away a list of design e-newsletters to subscribe to, suggestions for design tools, tips on stockphotography, great advice in color and search engine optimization, recommended books and a whole lot more.

I followed up on almost everything, and I'm telling you, it's made all the difference. Smiley Cat helped me get my feet on the ground and devise a plan for how I was going to go about becoming proficient in this business. Now, at least, I knew what it was I didn't know. And that's half the battle. Well, maybe not half— but it's a beginning.