Though I’m still swamped with some pretty good projects, I’ve slowly taken some time this spring to begin the process of refreshing and reviving a few of my specialty Web sites. These are sites that I use to advertise particular services that I offer. They were still drawing traffic, but over the past few years, the sites had grown stale and—to be blunt—boring! Most of them were just plain HTML sites (and, I do mean plain HTML) that I used to learn Web site coding and meta-tagging several years back, back when sites were primarily information based and didn’t have to be so pretty to attract potential customers and hold their attention long enough for them to read a couple of lines of text!
As you know, those days are long gone!
My first primary Web site went live in 1987. As archaic as it was, it did have some design elements to it, and it even enabled me to venture into full-time freelancing. Over the years, I tweaked here and there and added pages as I added services and clients. Believe it or not, I used that site until 2005. For the second generation site, I decided to hire a Web designer—after all, I figured, I was only schooled in instructional design; how could I possibly learn Web design? Well, like many of you, I fell into quite the learning experience with that adventure. Needless to say, that iteration of the site lasted only a year before I gave up and found another designer. And, while that experience was much more pleasant, it was also educational: I was reminded that if you want something done "right," you’d better do it yo’self!
So, I practically did. I worked with that designer to create a template for the site and to move the text into the template. Then, I learned HTML and tweaked to near-perfection. (That is the third generation of http://www.the-freelance-editor.com, which is live today.) As I experimented and learned about HTML and XML and codes and tags and CSS and SEO and keyword enrichment and the secret advantages of publishing online, I also began work on my network sites—primarily for fun. Little did I know that those sites would turn into active doorway pages.