Confessions of a
Free Spirited Web Artist

The joy and hurdles of my dream job.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

movie files

Have you ever wondered how you going to set up videos with different format?
Here's a shortcut. I just love it!

Check it our!

Monday, October 23, 2006


I have several request to upgrade and modify a website. As soon as I get a website,
all I see are images scanned and uploaded. "Oh", I think to myself. "Why do people think that if they scan their catalogs, brochures, and menus and upload it to the webhost, they have an instant website.?" I wish it was that easy. The search engines do not read images but codes. If a website has to function properly in all browsers, it needs to be coded properly. Besides the image files posted are so large, it take forever to load. The visitors might just get too impatient and might be tempted to move on.A large image file needs to be sliced into smaller gif images so it loads faster and more efficient. Hope this helps...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Manage My Website

A couple of clients have asked me if I would manage their websites?! "Sure!" I responded enthusiastically. So I start asking for the necessary details about their website like, "Where did you register your domain name?, I do need your login name and password. What about your webhost? Who is hosting your website?"

"I dont understand", they would reply."What are you talking about?" or "I am confused, what is a webhost and domain? Are they not the same thing?" "I don't know my password nor login name anymore. Where can I find it?" Than they give me a couple of words they think is their login name and password, and I have to test them if it works. "Do you charge a client for solving this crossword puzzle?" I asked myself.

This is just one of my frustrations in my job. I do want to help my clients and walk the extra mile in tracing whoever their domain registrar is... or their webhost.

One client, Irene had her webhost running onsite. "Well, they must have charged you for your monthly fee. Maybe we can start by looking for information in your credit card statement." I suggested. "Well no!" she replied. "They are not charging my credit card, and my webmaster is in Paris, France."

Some clients give me all kinds of information, like their emails and password, even their social security number so I can make sense of it and try to find thier domain registrar. I am sure their domain registrar send them a reminder for domain renewal.Sure enough, I was able to trace a domain registrar by canvassing her spam mail bin.

What to do?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Don't take it personal, it's only business!

I just had a client who requested a quote for a website to showcase her husband's work of art as well as set up an e-commerce shopping cart. Than she proceeded to send me numerous websites of work she liked and wanted to incorporate in her website. They had special features of photo galeries, flash, and special effects.

After I send her a qoute, she asked me numerous questions about my web proposal and questioned it line per line. "Oh uh," I thought to myself,"I think this will be a difficult customer." Several weeks later, after numerous research she surprisingly contacted me again and decide to hire me.

I sent her a web contract, which she returned to me again and questioned it line per line. I have never encountered a client like this, and stalled my time. I really did not feel like getting back to her and wished inside of me that she just goes away and leaves me alone.

A couple of weeks later, I did get back to her and ask her what she really wanted. Than she changed her mind and did not want all the special feautres she requested. "Oh, than I have to change my qoute." I responded. She wanted something more simple. I did her a favor and did 4 actual mock-up pages, which I normally don't do, and of course, she did not like any of them. They were artist and her husband was rather famous, who had art pieces exhibited at the Smithsonian museum, and knew the likes of Ansel Adams.

So I stalled again, and really wish that she just looks for someone else but did not have the heart to tell her in her face. A couple of weeks later, she writes me an e-mail firing me before she even hired me. She decided to take another webmaster who she believes can give her what she wanted. Of course, she could not resist criticizing my work and accusing me of being at a learner's curb. She also complained that I did not take time to meet them and look at her husband's art.

I really do most of my work online and communicate with my clients online or on the phone. I seldom go and meet my clients, only when it's really necessary, and cannot be done over the phone or online. And I have lots of satisfied customers who never complained about it. Most of them are busy themselves and prefer this method of communication. Some clients just need special attention, or needed to be catered specially.

I actually was glad that she got off my back and my case, but I dont' understand why I felt hurt. So I called my good friend and web mentor, Tet, and asked her why I felt this way, even though I wanted her out of my life???

My wise friend suggested, "Maybe, you shouldn't have waited for her, and fired her first! " After relating to her the whole story Tet said "But that is a job for 3 people, Ming. What she ask of you is inmpossible!" "I know", I replied,"that is why I was stalling. " "Well" Tet responded, "just write this experience in your blog!"

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Joys of my Job

I do not want keep on ranting about my job. I really do enjoy my job so much otherwise I would be doing something else. One thing I like about this job, is the wonderful web community who are so helpful,thoughtful, and resourceful. They donate a lot of their personal time and share resources to keep a wonderful quality world wide web be it in sharing templates, tips and tricks of blogging, or simply setting up an e-commerce site. They can be just around in your neighborhood, or as far as south pole. To all the people who I have met and never met, I thank you so much for all the things you have done and shared to the web community. May God bless your souls, you know who you are!

Another thing I enjoy with this job is literally working in your jammies, or naked for all I care. :)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Customer is King

"I got a call from a prospective client, and he said he wanted to meet me for a website, but he added that he did not like any of the sites I built from my portfolio," I shared with Tet, my web mentor and guru. "Well, why did he call me?" I asked perplexed. "Maybe, he just likes you." Tet teased. "No, don't say that." I responded. "Normally, I would say...bug off, if you don't like my design, too bad! Look for someone else! Of course, I got challenged and decided to find out what he wants and meet him."

"It's not about what you like" Tet advised me. "It is what the customer wants". "I know" I confirmed her statement.

"Y'know, once I had a client, " Tet continued. "And I built her this very high tech, fantastic, fabulous website. I really wanted to show off all my skills in this particular website. And my client had it redone to something very simple and very basic. I really felt insulted because the website structure was elementary that it insulted everything I learned in school. But she was happy with the site. That is what matters."

"I know, I upgraded a web client's website too because i was not too crazy about my old work, thinking I had done her a favor. However, she cried and said she wanted the old website back!" I shared."What to do???"

As for the client who did not like my design, I did meet him anyway, and composed a mock-up page for him. He still didn't like my design. Oh well, this time I just let him off the universe. You just can't please everyone. If you know they are going to be difficult from the beginning, it is better to let go while it's still at an early phase, just like in any relationships. :)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Copying source codes off the net

Last week, I got a call from a Peter, a prospective client. He wanted to see me for a website. "Can you build me a website, and let me watch you while you build it?, he asked me. "Normally, I build website for a client, and when I hand them over I give them a tutorial on how to maintain it. Or I can give you a web design tutorial and just pay me hourly. We can start by building your own website." I informed him. "Yeah, that would really be nice, I am more interested in the tutorial.I am really computer savvy!", he responded. "Do I need a special software to built websites?" he asked me. "Well, it helps to have these expensive special web building softwares, but it's not necessary. I do need it for my business. If you are only going to build your own website, you do need a simple html editor which you can download for free right off the web. I suggest you do some reading about html codes and I will e-mail the websites you can visit, so you can download the softwares before I come. In this way, we can maximize your tutorial time", I answered. A date was set.

When I came for our appointment, of course my client did not do the reading nor download the softwares I asked him to. "Yeah, I was looking at them and decided to wait for you.", excusing himself. "Okay, let's start by downloading all the softwares you need."I responded, anxious to get to work. "Do you have the sample website you want to build or model your website after?" I asked Peter. "Yeah, I was looking at this website, and i thought we could just copy the codes, and insert our own codes." he answered casually. I looked at him strangely and asked, "Why?"

A week earlier, I was chatting with a school colleague, George and he said the same thing. "How are your projects, George? Are you currently building a website?", he answered,"No, our company have a website already, but i am building one for my daughter. I looked at her favorite website, and tried to copy the source code." I look at him strangely and asked "WHY????"

"Don't you know that you have to clean up the codes first before you put in your own codes? You will have double the work. It is better to build from scratch rather than copy a website right off the net. Secondly, you know that their are copyright issues? You just cant copy someone's work right off the net. Or figuratively, you can, it's just unethical." I exclaimed righteously.

People generally think that when they have a ready made website, that they can ask me for a bargain price to have a website makeover. It is a webmaster's nightmare. I'd rather build a website page from scrath rather than spend my day cleaning up someone else's codes, or in layman's language, someone else's trash.

"Thanks Ming", George came back at me, a week later. "You are right, I save more time building my own website rather than copying someone else's source code."