Weekly Web Developer Q&A (5/20/2016)

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It’s once again time for our weekly Q&A. If you sent me a question via email, Twitter, YouTube, Patreon, etc… check below. You may find your answer.

Before, I get into the questions a BIG thank you to everyone supporting the show on Patreon. You are awesome and allow me to keep serving our community. I really appreciate it and I can tell you by the messages I receive on a daily basis that you’re helping change people’s lives. So, thank you!

If you’re not a supporting listener and would like to become one, learn more about what Patreon is and the perks you can get here:

http://johnmorrisonline.com/patreon

Aight, onto the questions…

From Patrice on Patreon: I have to build a cooking recipe website. What would this kind of site structure [look like]? One page per recipe? How to classify recipes? Any advice?

So, I think you want to take a step back from the site structure and first think about the data structure. That’s because displaying the information (in any site really) is the more trivial part. Creating, updating, deleting, classifying, etc… those are the parts you really want to think through.

Because if you have those down, grabbing and displaying the data is simple.

Now, there’s always the question of “rolling your own” versus using something existing. In my… ahem… younger days, I was a “roll your own” guy. It’s fun at first but you give yourself a lot of extra work.

And truthfully, I think it’s better for the client for you to use something established.

If it were me, I’d use WordPress and create a custom post type called “recipe” and then use the built-in categories to classify them. That’d take me all of about 10 minutes to set up and then the create, read, update part would be done.

From there, you’d just need to find or build a theme your client liked.

And, chances are you could find and buy one for maybe 50 bucks that they’d be over the moon about, tweak it a bit and they’d have a better site than we could probably build on your own.

The ego won’t like that.

But, if you’re putting the client (not your ego) first… well.

That said, there could be legitimate reasons for rolling your own. Just to learn how to do it is a reasonable one. If you really want to go that route, then go watch this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfecHlJvHIM

It cover how to set up your data and object model and answers your questions with details and a step-by-step process.

Hope that helps!

From Edward on YouTube: I am moderately new what exactly do you mean by [niche]?

A niche is a smaller “part” of a market.

Let’s say you’re in the “health” market. There are all sorts of “sub-markets” or interests within that broad umbrella.

Someone could be most interested in bodybuilding…

Or weight loss…

Or longevity…

Maybe they’re an athlete…

Or they have a specific issue like diabetes…

Each one of those groups of people would be after vastly different things even though they’re technically in the same “market”.

Same with tech.

Web design is a very broad brush.

Someone could want just a simple static site…

Or a complex social network…

Or a CMS…

Or just a contact form…

Or their site made responsive…

There are all sorts of “sub-markets” under the umbrella of “web design”. And, it’s better for you to pick one and become an expert at it.

You’ll almost always get paid more.

It’s easier to deliver the final product (because you’ve done it 100 times).

And, it’s easier to get jobs as a “specialist” in whatever you pick.

Now, everybody has a little different definition and method for figuring out what niches exist within a market and which one is right for them.

Here’s mine.

You always want to start with an end result.

That’s because clients don’t care about what languages you use and all that. They care about THEIR end product. Their membership site. Their contact form. Their social network… etc.

These things are all end products.

Not vague ideas or languages like “PHP” or “jQuery” which don’t really mean much to them. “Contact form” means something. And, it’s tangible. They can see it and use it when it’s built.

So, that’s where to start.

What end product will/can/do you want to deliver?

Next and finally is WHO is it for.

For example, in the “health” market… let’s say you want to teach people how to eat in a way that they’re always ketogenic and burning fat. (This is kind of a thing right now in the health market.)

But, let’s say you have a special affinity for body-builders.

Your niche would be something like: “ketogenic diets for body-builders” or “fat-burning” for bodybuilders.

And the process might be a bit different for them versus everyone else since they a) have different goals and b) likely work out for hours a day.

So, you’d teach them differently.

And because maybe you’re a body-builder yourself, you can relate better to them. And, you have some unique methods that work specifically for them. Etc, etc.

So, this is what you want to do in your tech work.

Your niche could be…

Membership sites for new online business owners…

Contact forms for high-traffic websites…

Social networks for niche interests…

It’s WHAT you’re going to deliver and WHO you’re going to deliver it for. Don’t fall into the trap of saying, “but my stuff is for everyone”.

It’s like John Lennon said:

“Trying to please everybody is impossible – if you did that, you’d end up in the middle with nobody liking you. You’ve just got to make the decision about what you think is your best, and do it.”

Aight, that’s quite a bit for one day so we’ll wrap it up there.

If YOU have a question, you can send it via email to john@johnmorrisonline.com, tweet me @jpmorris on Twitter or leave me a comment on YouTube.

(Keep in mind, I might not respond to these directly in those places because I collect them up for this Q&A. Also Patreon supporters get priority access so if you want to make sure you get your question answered, consider becoming a supporting listener.)

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

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John Morris

JOHN MORRIS

I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. hello

    Please can I get a complete tutorial from scratch on “how to create a social network with php”

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