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Development Time – I just feel like it’s all taking longer
15th August, 2017
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I’ve been working at websites for 19 years and I just feel it has to be said, development time is taking longer and longer. Websites are truly becoming ever more complex and time consuming not just for me mind… but for clients as well. How can we get a grip on this.

I used to say I wanted to make one website per month… I’d design in it Photoshop, show the client a concept homepage and wiggly a few things around, then build. I remember my first database and though hey this will speed things up back in 2000. It did.

Then I’m going to guess around 2006 about when I joined Facebook, the rise of Web 2.0 came and things had to get far more interactive… and social media, that happened all through 2012 and beyond, it created a multi billion dollar industry around itself. These days it hard to pin any one aspect of the web as being bigger than the rest, they all demand attention and in a way I am glad some of the emphasis has returned to websites themselves. I remember the days when I used to recommend to clients to slim down their websites to make life easier.

These days, nothing can be left out… but it all takes time. Today I spent nearly two hours updating a Google Plus Page address as I sought the necessary permissions and hunted down the right profile to update. Even then all changes are pending until Google approves them.

It happened in Google Adwords today as well, I updated some adverts, innocuous changes I thought, but Google has to review them, it means I can’t see if my changes will be accepted until later and that means more time logging into websites all over again.

Banking and the rise of Two Factor authentication – I now have to wait for Amazon to send me a text message with a 6 digit code before I can log in and woe betide if I move away from that page before I’ve entered the number. It’s just a waiting game. We’ve gone from security conscious to security mad. In truth do I feel any safer, absolutely not. I know it makes no difference how many passwords I have, someone can always get in anyway and it won’t be because they have my password.

Development time as well just takes longer, when starting a project from scratch I used to open a blank page and start writing some HTML code. These days I have to install a base website, possibly get a repository going, hook my development into BitBucket or make sure I’m all set up with a dev environment, FTP, Sublime Projects and so on… it’s a load more complicated.

Why am I telling you all this… it’s not a whinge I promise, it’s a situation and I need our clients to be aware of it. Does it reflect in higher prices, unfortunately more often than not the answer is yes. Websites have become more complex and difficult to update, manage and create. Really it is just down to the development time required. It’s just gotten longer, that is all.

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