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How Natalie Sacked Her Web Developer And Never Looked Back

Ruby on Rails | February 29, 2020

How Natalie Sacked Her Web Developer And Never Looked Back


“I HAVE HAD IT WITH MY WEB DEVELOPER!”, Natalie, Graphic Designer

I met Natalie about 7 months ago at one of our courses in London. Her story was not a surprise to me as I have heard her story time and time again. What I love about Natalie’s story is how she threw herself into building websites because she simply had enough.

“I HAVE HAD IT WITH MY WEB DEVELOPER!”, Natalie, Graphic Designer

So what had happened? Why didn’t it work out?

Out Of Control

She had a really important client, you know the ones, they give you most of your money and you know you should spread your risk out by not relying on one big client, but this was the case. This was her best client and it is really important to keep them happy.

They had a PSD of the website designed by Natalie and she outsourced it her web developer. The client asked for a really small change.

She’d email the web developer and ask him for a fix and after a day went by he didn’t write back. So she emailed again.

The web developer replied and said “i’m really busy at the moment, i can book it in for 2 weeks time”, to say that Natalie was peeved off is an understatement!

She knew the fix would take less than 2 minutes for the web developer, yet he simply refused to do it. What’s even more annoying is that the web developer charged her £50 to do it!

She was pretty much between a rock and a hard place. How does she explain to her client that this obviously small fix would take two weeks to put right. She also knew that her web developer worked on a case by case basis and booked work into his schedule.

“Being this out of control makes me look crap” she said.

Managing Web Developers

“It’s like herding cats with these developers!”

I’m not saying this is true of every web developer, but I do see it as a recurring theme, web developers are typically nocturnal creatures they seem to work through the night, they talk in speak geek which I have no idea of what they are on about, and are abysmal at interacting socially with people!

Managing web developers is an art form that I have yet to master. Natalie and other graphic designers are in the same boat. It’s very difficult portraying how important these small requests are, the web developers don’t seem to understand that it is our livelihoods that is at stake here. To them it’s a mere inconvenience but to us it means whether we eat or not!

Natalie like many other graphic designers have said to me, “I just want a reliable partnership so that I can build websites for my customers”, but these reliable, mutually considerate relationships seem to be a rarity.

Moving From Outsourcing Websites To Doing It Yourself

Natalie came onto our course because she wanted to see if she could actually do it herself. She would constantly hear developers say to her:

“Building sites is really complicated”, evil web developer

It used to scare her a bit, but she started to believe that even if it was, it might be easier than working with a web developer and maybe she could take back control a little bit if she knew something about it. Could she have done that quick fix that took two weeks?

As each person in the training introduced themselves and sharing the “web developer” story Natalie looked relieved as she was not alone!

She said “I thought it was just me! I have been pulling my hair out with my developer and I just can’t get the working relationship right!”.

What Natalie Could Do In Just One Hour

During the course Natalie built her first website in just one hour. Now this was the ugliest website she has ever seen and it wouldn’t be what she would build for a client, but it proved to her that she can actually do it!

Natalie had built a 4 page website, completely from scratch and without using any code. She knew that she would be able to spend some time and with a little bit of design could make really nice looking websites with relative ease.

The Right Help At The Right Time – Supporting Natalie’s Transition

During Natalie’s first website build for a real customer she booked several 1-2-1 tutoring sessions as and when she needed help. She would make a list of the things she was stuck with and during her 1-2-1 these sticking points would be broken down and she would learn how to overcome the issues she was facing.

Working with one of our experts via telephone and screen share Natalie could clearly see what went wrong and could ask follow up questions.

“Ahh, we covered this in the training but I forgot where it was”, step-by-step, website-by-website, Natalie consolidated her learning and needed less help each time, but knew that she had her back covered if she got stuck in the future.

What Impact Did Building Websites In-House Make To Natalie’s Business?

Natalie realised very quickly that her bottom line increased quite quickly. Her old web developer used to charge her £1000 per website plus £30 per month to support it. She no longer had to pay these fees which made a huge difference to her revenue.

Instead of paying out all that cash she now had an extra £1000 in her pocket for each new website and she also started to generate a monthly hosting fee that would in time become a nice stable monthly income.

She no longer needed to wait in the web developers queue for a change, nor get charged for it! She was in complete control.

What Happened To The Web Developer?

Recently I received a call from Natalie, she said that her web developer called her up and asked where did all the website work go?

It took 6 months for the web developer to work out that he was no longer getting new work from Natalie. Out of sheer desperation he called her to see where the next project was to find out there was no more.

He admitted that she was his biggest source of work and had got complacent, and had not marketed his business for a number of years.

It just shows that web developers have had it too good for too long and are completely reliant on graphic designers giving them all of their work and provide a limited service in return.

Is It Time To Sack Your Developer?

We now have our course that Natalie attended online, and we are making it available for free for 30 days with a training site that you can hone your web skills. If you would like to see if you can build websites then sign up below and see if you can sack your web developer too.


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Click The Images Below To See Isobel’s Work: