I am a Tradie. A new generation of digital trades. I work hard, make a product, and deliver it to a client, sometimes if required, I continue to support it.
200 years ago, I might have been a carpenter. Working hard, crafting something usable and beautiful, and if it breaks, I come back in and repair it.
However these days my trade is being de-valued by cookie-cutter mass production, and low skilled labour pumping out low quality produce.
It’s the same thing that has happened to every trade throughout history.
We have Ikea pumping out thousands of chairs in a small variety of designs.
We have the backyard carpenter trying the best they can to copy what they see.
And we have the trained and experience carpenter making bespoke chairs that fit your body.
They are all selling chairs, but only one knows how to make a comfortable, useable chair that you won’t mind sitting in every day. A unique chair that helps the owner stand apart.
I’m a website developer, and I’m going through the same change in my industry as all other trades throughout history.
We have huge companies pumping out template sites for cheap. We have the home office worker following tutorials, and the professional developer working on bespoke projects.
The problem that our industry is having, is that a Chair is fairly easy to judge and understand. You can see shoddy joinery and bad materials, even hidden under paint.
But websites… almost anyone can make a pretty looking website, but a pretty and usable website that suits your needs. That’s a skill held by individuals. Not by mega-corporations, and can’t be found in a tutorial.
You can buy a template website from a company like Wix or Squarespace. It will be cheap, it will meet your needs, it won’t fit exactly right, and the coffee shop on the corner is probably using the same template as you.
You can get on Gumtree and find a retiree who makes websites for a bit of extra cash. It will also be cheap, not as feature packed, it will be clunky and difficult to use on a daily basis.
Or you can contact the professional developer. It will cost an extra few dollars, but the product you get at the end will be tailored for your requirements, with everything you want, and nothing you don’t.
Do you want your companies first impression to its clients to be an Ikea chair, an apple crate with a coat of paint, or a bespoke custom crafted piece of art?