In a few months the first website will turn 21 years old. A lot has changed since then. In fact now if you run a website older then 5 years, it’s ancient. As a web developer I often imagine what I’ll be doing in 5 years, 10 years and so on. I work in an industry which literally did not exist when I was born. I don’t expect I’ll be doing the same thing my whole life.
I started in the web industry 6 years ago. I began building websites on nights and weekends for a few small clients. I found my niche in the small business market. I decided on WordPress as my platform of choice.
Most small business only need a very basic website. WordPress is a great way to do just that. Very few need ecommerce, client portals or the plethora of other complex setups. The majority of my clients hired me to redo their website as their current one was antiquated. A new design and some fresh frontend development and they were good to go. At least until the next redo whenever that is. If you have a website you know what I mean. It’s a continuous cycle of redesigns and redos. I suppose there will always be a need for custom design/development services however I don’t think the majority of businesses have this need. In the next 5 years I’d imagine a shift from custom design/development to off the shelf hosted solutions. If you ask me today, I would say Squarespace and Virb are leading the way.
After 3 years of full time development work I’ve shifted my focus on providing managed WordPress services. This was a goal I had since I began creating websites. I think the management aspect of a website has been largely untapped. There is a disconnect between what clients need and what solutions are offered. This goes far beyond just hosting. While I’m slowly figuring it out, I’m excited the direction I’m headed.
As I enter this new slice of the web industry I ponder the same thoughts. How long will hosting services be around? Will Google or Amazon release something good enough for the masses? I guess that’s the fun of it all. I’m in the deep of it and no clue what will happen next. There is no place I’d rather be!