Web development has changed a lot in the last few years. With all the different technologies emerging, the cost of development has increased tremendously. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for small companies or individuals to build and launch their ideas that may involve custom software development and this includes domainers as well.
It is sometimes interesting to look back and see how much web development and websites have changed over the last decade.
1990s – in the nineties, it was all about having your website up. Most often, these were 5 page websites as every company was rushing into publishing their brand online. Although, there were a lot of startup sand web development done, for the most part, most companies didn’t really know the meaning of web development and what it is exactly. So when trying to build a website, they’d simply look for Web Designer. They’d create an html site and probably the most complex part was the “Contact Us” email form on the site.
Early 2000s – a lot of companies started to get into web development and building functional websites. This would involve custom software/web development. A lot of freelance websites emerged and it was somewhat easy even for an individual. This the process hasn’t changed much and it was still very difficult to go through the full cycle but at least it was only the website for the most part.
Now – a lot has changed in the last few years. It’s no longer about just the website, now you have to worry about mobile/tables/website/integrations. It’s no longer simply about the website and how complex it can be. Most startups these days, want to go after all platforms. This significantly increases the costs and timeline. If we were to name a few: iphone, ipad, android, android tablets, website, html5/ajax, facebook/twitter integrations. Each of these platforms take their own development cycle to complete.
It’s becoming increasingly hard to compete with companies with larger budget because they can spend the money and create their brand on all platforms and of course search engines recognize this as well. I am sure search engines will start putting more weight on brands that are built on all platforms.
It’s no wander that we see a lot of great domains that are undeveloped because development cost alone is a big hurdle. And of course, you’re not done there. There is still a lot to do after you have a completely developed website.
And then there is offshore development, it’ll take a few articles to discuss it, I will tell you that 9 out of 10 projects will probably fail one way or the other. This is purely from my personal experience. I have worked on dozens of projects where client first tried offshore development and after they finally realized that it’s not going anywhere, they came back to me. Over the years, I have heard every possible story about offshore development and why it failed. I could probably write a book on the subject. But again, I don’t blame them, getting a quote for 1/100 of the quote you got from local developers is certainly catchy and worth trying.
Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of development requests from local small companies/clients. All I can say is that 2012 is probably going to be huge on web development. We’ll probably see more sites launch in 2012 than any other year. Unfortunately, I am not taking any small projects anymore and my rates are not meant to be for small companies. But it seems most people/small companies are lost and don’t know where to go for advice. And I do love giving advice, sometimes I find myself being on the phone with someone, educating them about development and their options for over an hour. Of course, I can’t keep doing it, so in 2012, I’ve decided that I might start doing some purely consulting work. This is just a thought for now.
Anyway, hope you’re having a great weekend.