I don’t link to websites to show what I can do, as everything I did for the clients was created so they could make changes to everything. That is, I created CMS based websites, where I designed the CMS backend! If you really want a simple website example
Really the simple reason covers it, I was never in control of the user’s website content, formatting, color choices, design, menus, none of it. I could make suggestions, but in the end, they got what they wanted, and they were even able to make changes with little effort. Some of the people could change items in a way similar to how you can with wordpress. Less complicated, and custom-built for their website, but still, it’s just how it was. Last time I viewed a few of the websites, they looked nothing like they did when I first made it content wise, and even color and font-size wise, but me knowing how it was built, I could tell from the source code they were still using my custom built CMS.
That’s the issue though, I could tell because I made it. No one else would have a clue. It just didn’t appear anywhere on the page, in the source, or anything. Everything was for that company, so search terms would only return them, and not me. This also lead to when I did work for companies, I did it with the agreement that I would not claim I did it, and they could pass the work as their own.
For the most part, everything you see on their websites is their own too! I just provided the backend format, their admin pages to upload content, and the CSS based information to display their page as they wanted. All of these files are editable by them, other than the admin pages, at least through the admin page. It’s like with this website. I created the content, but the display format was just my preference from the existing formats. I could easily modify all the content, and change it completely. Granted with my users, I didn’t give them direct admin user interface-based modifying of the admin pages, but that was just to prevent them from messing things up—however, the pages were dynamic, as they loaded things based on what they had installed. So if they created a new photo album, they had a new admin page to edit the images in that photo album.
Those reasons are why I don’t link to their websites, or even give them out. It helps when you also do contact work for other web development companies—they pay you, they maintain all rights, but I just can’t claim any of their clients. Still, when the website work I do isn’t directly visible, other than the first draft that only the client sees, it’s not a good idea to link to them. For obvious reasons, providing even the source code for their sites can be an issue–as their site could easily be found because of my samples. If I strip out all photos, all main words, and just provide a generic website…. well, it’s the reason I send a simple zip file of a website to people of a demo site I once did. It’s simple, but really, I’m not going to create a complex website for no purpose other than someone might see it for how I do web design.
When you consider most of the work I did was backend, done with a custom CMS that I designed (hopefully on an external hard drive somewhere—otherwise it was lost in a hard drive crash), it makes sense too! The things I did aren’t visible—only the things the customer wanted up, and told to be up. The only things that are “mine” from their websites is the php code on the pages that pull information from the database, and their admin pages (that actually do the same).
Think of it like this… the only thing my code did (not this, but just an overly simple version), is this:
// Code to load the template file, and then
$tpl->content = $db_retrieved_html_based_code_on_page_link;
Obviously the $tpl was the template content file, that also linked the css, headers, footers, etc… but still, the code on the specific page was just a query to a database, grabbing the content, and displaying it… or just loading a file… all it did was get the content that the website owner said to display. I have no control over what they did after. I could’ve created a css-based menu system with blue and white website, with dividers for the footer—and they could’ve edited the site to be a punk rock radio station with red and black, they just had to upload a few files, and change some css—and made so many errors it wouldn’t even render in a browser.
Curious to what I mean? This sample website (Template Web Demo) uses a version of the CMS I created (it’s a developer variant of it). It’s a simple clean version, designed more as a business-like format. Yet just by changing a few lines, every page would look completely different, or I could even break the navigation. Please note that the demo used to be on another domain, and had a database, so some links might not work (it also used to have a custom .htaccess file designed for that domain).