Web design vs. web development vs. content creation
Ever get the feeling that nothing ever gets done? No matter how much time you put into something, when it’s done, you still feel like you’re at step one. That’s what I’m going through right now in terms of my web site. I keep jumping back and forth between web design, web development, and content creation. I want to accomplish it all but find the lack of time and priorities stuttering my progress.
I am of course talking about my site/blog/CMS. With no set task list I find myself jumping around randomly with no set goals. This of course leads to nothing getting done. The closest anything gets to includes a half-asses site design, or a half-working CMS, or a rarely posted article. I need to change the way I do things if I ever plan completing anything.
This element should be coming last, but I keep making it first. Maybe it’s because I hate working in a site that’s just plain ugly. Or maybe it’s the fact that I get bored quickly with my site designs. So, instead of working on more important web development projects, I find myself redesigning my site for the 100th time. Changing the colors, changing the font, changing the layout, etc.
I too often find myself in Photoshop creating a new site design, or browsing some CSS design showcase site, looking for ideas. While at the heart of it, I have a barely functional CMS that needs a lot more attention if I ever plan to make it public.
So from this point forward, I’m going to try and put the web design aspect in the back of my mind, and focus more on web development. Once that’s done, then I can put my full attention into the design aspect and hopefully create some really great designs.
In the end, I really do love writing code, and I love working on my CMS. But there’s still a lot of work to be done. While most of my site functions are there and working, there’s a lot of features that I started awhile ago but never finished. And instead of finishing those projects I keep getting ideas for new ones, and I start building those instead.
Follow this workflow a few dozen times and you’ll get a CMS with a bunch of features that barely work, or contain lots of bugs. Worse yet, is when I decide to revamp a feature that was finished and working perfectly, only to never complete the revamp, and have another half-working feature in my CMS.
So I finally created a task or ‘to-do’ list that will prioritize and hopefully keep me on track. I’ll get my high priority projects out of the way, clean out the bugs, then, and only then, work on adding new features. Let’s hope I can stick with it.
In the end of this battle the main thing that suffers is my content and the visitors who don’t care about any of this except my content. So I try to write quick little articles to post to my site, only to throw half of them away before they ever get published. Meanwhile, the ones that do get published are not exactly top quality, and are few and far between.
I swear, it only seems like yesterday when I published my latest article, only to realize it was more like a week ago. Crap! Now I need to find something to write about and publish it quick! You can say that this article is kind of like that, though I had the idea of writing about this for awhile.
So I need to setup a time when I can create my articles and publish them on a regular basis. Maybe set aside an hour ever other day to create a few articles, and then slowly work on them, releasing them periodically, or when I deem them ‘good enough’. I have lots of ideas, or articles that I want to write, it’s just that they get the least amount of my time and effort.
Anyways, this article kind of let me release some of my feelings (wow that sounds girly). I needed to vent a little bit (done); I needed to let you guys know what was going on (done); I needed to write another article to try and keep my dying reader base from… dying (done); and I needed to ask if anyone else has encountered this. I’m sure lots of people have and I’m just curious how they worked through it. What priorities or plans worked best for you?