Since I’ve struck out on my own as a freelancer, I’ve found that one of my basic assumptions has been revealed as false.
I’d always thought that I’d be taking on a job, completing it and never seeing the client again.
But I find that most of my clients prefer to build a long term relationship. Many of them have put me on retainers to manage the content and change the style and structure as and when it’s needed.
One of my longest term clients has been Murdoch Books, a job that came my way in no small part because my wife Hazel worked there as a Commissioning Editor. But even since she left last October they’ve kept me on.
The funny thing is that when we first talked through the project brief in 2004, we all agreed that I was building a temporary structure, a static site that would later form the templates for a dynamic site to be managed through the company’s internal networks.
With their network set-up, it was always clear that a dynamic website would be far preferable to manually updating the site.
The even funnier thing is is that the transition still hasn’t happened. I’m expecting to get the tap on the shoulder every month, but I’ve been doing that for at least three years now.
The good folks at Murdoch Books did decide recently, however, that a makeover was called for. The original design was deliberately quite stark, so as to draw all the attention to the books on display, and it was also controlled by a some good (early) CSS.
If I did the site now, of course, it would be quite different, in background structure if not necessarily in looks. The site now comprises over 3,500 files of various sorts, but the HTML pages don’t even have a doctype!
Anyway, thanks to the CSS stylesheet, I was able to reskin the site quite easily despite the large number of files involved. I’ve noted that here because the site must be coming to the end of its static life, and I’m sure it will change a lot after that.
So this is my bit of history for an “old” site that still works, still looks good and will always be one of my favourites.