10 Things I Need to Survive in the Online Development World

Nov 18 2009

ten1.  WordPress: It’s pretty obvious.  When it comes to creating a nice site there is no easier way than wordpress.

2. A Good Host: I use Mediatemple.net.  They have always treated me well.  For 20-$30 a month I can host 20 sites with medium traffic or a few with big traffic.  They survive reddit and digg front pages without a blip.  HostGator is a good one but ask around the domaining world and it’s pretty easy to find a good cheap host.

3. A Designer:  You think you can do it yourself but once you’ve had a professional designer, you’ll realize how bad you are.  Sure it can add up,  but eventually you’ll find a designer that will give you a good deal and not charge you for every second he spends with you.  He’ll give you a price before each task so you can decide if it’s worth it or not.  There’s times to do it yourself (like this blog) and there’s time to leave it to a professional

4. A Coder:  Not everything you do can be done on WordPress.  There are times you need a professional coder to write either a script or even design a website from scratch.  There are some sites that just need to be custom.  I have a site coming soon that is completely custom coded. It is custom from start to finish.  If you want to work with the APIs of Facebook or Twitter you have to have someone that knows what they’re doing.

5. A Membership at Elance: You can get anything you need done at Elance. You can find someone to do any of the above and much more.  Kevin Rose started Digg by finding a coder on Elance.  You are going to deal a lot with overseas companies and people but in general, you can get a great deal for the money.  Don’t even bother with trying to find someone to write a iPhone app though.  It went from 10K to 50K over the last year.  Other than that, I highly suggest trying it for a project.

6. A Fast as You Can Get Internet Connection:  You can’t make money online if you are waiting for things to load.  You’ve got to be able to fly through files, uploads, and downloads.  I have an iMac with a GIANT screen and a screaming internet connection.  I also use Time Machine that backs up my work every minute so I’ve never lost one piece of data or file.  We all have too many things to do to be wait or spend time worrying about losing all our work.

7. A Good Camera.  You can always steal pictures off the internet but if you are going to make your sites, then you should use YOUR pictures. As I’ve stated in previous posts, I am always taking pictures.  Hundreds, if not thousands a week.  You never know when you’ll need that shot.  All pictures come in handy.  I even have a little light box setup to get a good picture of something up close.  It doesn’t take much to make it look professional.  Every once in a while you’ll get something special that is better than a good web shot but just a good shot. A nice camera will cost about $500 but you can write it off and your websites will look nicer and that kid you stopped taking pictures of when he was 2, may actually get some memories of his childhood documented.

8. Connections: You can’t do it yourself. Everyone needs help at some point. You have to surround yourself with others that share your love.  Whether it’s developing sites or the actual themes of the sites, it is so helpful to discuss and trade ideas with people that know and understand your situation.  Trade shows are great but you can connect through simple emails.  As relationships grow you can ask questions without having someone feel like you are milking them for info.  They realize that you are also willing to share what you’ve learned. It can save you thousands of dollars in mistakes and many times they can help you get things done cheaper and better.

9.  Time:  It’s what we all don’t have. As I’ve gotten older its the most valuable thing I have. Time is money but I have no problem trading away money for some extra time.  Domaining and developing take time. Especially if you have another job or other projects.   You are going to have to give up something if you want to make it happen.  Usually its sleep.  Often its social time.  It should never be family and that brings me too………

10. An understanding spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend.   You become a zombie in front of the computer, never leaving it all day. There are times you have to step away and just become part of the family again. It’s one of the most important things you need to do.  There is a reason you see our spouses in all the shots of the conferences and trips.  It’s a time to combine work and pleasure.  If you think you can do this without your better half you’re kidding yourself.  You know you don’t clean up after yourself and you would eat subway every lunch if she didn’t take care of you.  You only can do what you do because of them.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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