Is Making Websites Hard, Or Do We Make It Hard? Or Is It Some of Both?

Johan Halse has a post called “Care” where he talks about having to provide web tech support to his parents:

My father called me in exasperation last night after trying and failing to book a plane ticket. I find myself having to go over to their house and do things like switch browsers, open private windows, occasionally even open up the Web Inspector to fiddle with the markup, and I hate every second of it.

Yup. Been there, done that.

Why is making websites so hard?

the number one cause of jank and breakage is another developer having messed with the browser’s default way of doing things

So in other words, making websites isn’t hard. We make making websites hard. But why?

In my experience, using default web mechanics to build websites — especially on behalf of for-profit businesses — takes an incredible amount of disciple.

Self-discipline on behalf of the developer to not reach for a JavaScript re-implementation of a browser default.

But also organizational discipline on behalf of a business to say, “It’s ok if our implementation is ‘basic’ but functional.” (And being advocate for this approach, internally, can be tiring if not futile.)

You think people will judge you if your website doesn’t look and feel like a “modern” website.

But you know what they’ll judge you even more for? If it doesn’t even work — on the flip side, they’ll appreciate you even more for building something that “just works”.

At least that’s my opinion. But then again, I’ve never built a business. So what do I know.