2011 in Review

#10

This was my 10th anniversary of working for myself. It dawned on me as I was starting to think about re-designing this site. I could scarcely believe it. I don’t feel like I’ve been at this ten years at all. I can’t say that every year has been a good year: there have been some shockers. Not every year has been a winner financially either but the advantages of freelancing have outweighed working for ‘the man’ so to speak. I can recall a number of occasions where I’ve wanted to pull up stumps and go work for someone else for much better money.

I can quietly say to myself that I feel successful. But why? Firstly, I haven’t had to get a full- or part-time job. I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to have some great clients – some old, some new – who’ve continued to trust in my skills and abilities. Secondly, and most importantly, because I work from home I get to share-care my 3 year-old son for half the week.

More websites

The print design side of the business started to slow – by about half if my calculations are correct. But the number of websites I designed and/or built increased. Each one presented it’s own challenges. I built more than I can show as a few were for other agencies. This is one area of the business I’m happy to expand. As someone who works solo most of the time getting any kind of contact with other creatives is quite enjoyable.

I was fortunate to have built two of the biggest sites I’ve ever worked on. I continued to learn more about HTML, CSS & smatterings of jQuery and PHP. Hooray for websites!

Learnt a new CMS

I’ve spent a bit of time with both Textpattern and ExpressionEngine over the years. They’re both competent CMSs that pack a puch depending on the site. A much as I admire them both they take different approaches to building a site. I’m always on the lookout for something new that covers some of the features of the other two that I find important. ProcessWire came to my attention in January. I’ve built half a dozen sites with it now and it’s a joy to develop with as it is to use. I hold out high hopes for Textpattern 5 and I’ll continue to use it and ExpressionEngine as each site warrants.

That’s about it. It looks like I’ll be having have a slightly busier year ahead in 2012. With any luck you will too. Stay sane, stay safe.

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