Why Do Web Developers Neglect Their Own Sites?

In the last six months or so, I’ve noticed a rather disturbing trend amongst Web developers and designers: We seem to neglect our own Web sites. There are so many sites for Web developers and designers that go months (even years) without any changes or updates. I won’t link to any in particular, as I don’t want to call anyone out. But it seems to happen fairly universally; moreso among those of us that do design and development as a side business, while working full-time jobs. I know I’ve noticed no less than 10 other Web sites that suffer from the same problem over the last few months.

In my case, with Ten-321 Enterprises, updates happen so infrequently, mainly because I spend all of my free time working on projects for clients. I’m assuming that that is a driving force behind this phenomenon. We all spend so much time designing and developing projects for our clients that we tend to neglect our own sites.

What kind of message does that send to other potential clients, though? How are we to reach  clients if our Web sites are generally so poor? How can we impress those potential clients if we, as developers and designers are almost embarrassed to share our own sites?

Shouldn’t we put the time and effort into making our own Web sites the best they can be? Even if we do put in the time and effort, our experiences cause us to learn and grow so much in such a short time, that a few months can make a world of difference in how we should be developing our sites. In the case of Ten-321 Enterprises, with all of the other projects I had going on, the design and a lot of the concepts used on the site were already outdated before I even finished and unveiled it back in October of last year. Granted, the information is still accurate, but will potential clients care if they notice that the site hasn’t been updated in so long?

In my case, it seems to be an endless cycle. As soon as I publish a new version of my Web site, I’m already looking at things I should be doing differently, and generally start over from scratch developing a whole new site. Unfortunately, full scale redevelopment can take over a year to accomplish, especially when you’re working on a multiple other projects.

As a designer or developer, do you find yourself in the same position? Are you ever really happy with your own site? Do you find your own site being neglected in favor of working on clients’ projects? I’m curious to hear how, if at all, you are working to combat this phenomenon.

2 Responses

  • Holden Page

    I do some basic web design (I can be pretty nifty with CSS and HTML when I want to be) and run multiple sites. Many of them have fallen to the way side, not because I do client work but I have other projects that demand my attention.

    Thanks to this post working on a current redesign on one of my sites to get it looking a bit more up to date.

  • Yep, that’s it. Too busy with clients work. It sure would be nice if they paid me now with the promise that I would get to it when I get time. I have even tried to pencil myself into my schedule for site updates, blogging, or new additions, and even that gets neglected. It sure is something I need to address.

    I also agree with the endless cycle paragraph. I recently redid my site (again) with Expression Engine and hated it. I immediately wanted to trash it and rewrite the whole thing, but couldn’t bring myself to do it because of the work involved. I’ll settle for now.

    Nice post.