How Much Work Do I Outsource?

In my article on Learning Skills vs. Outsourcing, I discussed how it’s a good idea to be as competent as possible in the different skills needed to create websites. So as a follow up article, I thought that it would be pretty interesting to show you how I rate my own abilities, and highlight where I draw the line between doing things for myself and getting others to do them for me.

From the start I have always tried to be as flexible as possible, trying to learn as much as I can without having to rely on others. However, I quickly learned that it’s good to be humble and admit to myself if I needed the help of others. I wouldn’t say I’m a great all rounder, far from it in-fact, but at the same time there is not much that phases me. I’m happy with my ability at the moment, but I’m always looking to brush up on my skills here and there.

Anyway, that’s enough on the background information. I’m going to list what I feel are some of the top skills that can be used in website creation, and give myself a rating out of 10 for each. Hopefully this will be as interesting for me as it is for you!

Designing 6.5/10
When it comes to working with Photoshop, there is not a lot that I can’t do. I can manipulate images however I like, and create a few basic but interesting images. I created the images to accompany each of these articles (look in top-right hand corner), which although they are not fantastic, I quite like them and I certainly saved myself a bit of money by making them myself.

I rated myself 6.5 because I’m not too great at creating images from scratch. I can alter and change things ‘til the cows come home, but I can’t create images from my head. So I wouldn’t be able to make any solid website designs or logos. This is why I always outsource my design work for website designs/headers/logos.

Content writing 8.5/10
I would have liked to have put 9/10, but I’m guessing that would have been quite big headed of me. I like to think that I can communicate pretty well, which is something I try hard to perfect when writing articles and content. I’m fairly confident that my spelling and grammar is good (thanks spellcheck), although I can always manage to find the odd mistake when proof reading.

I very rarely outsource my content, because I am pretty happy to write on any subject in the world of poker. I’ve been playing poker for years so I know good strategy, but I’m pretty clueless when it comes to Omaha and Stud. The only thing that usually stops me from writing for myself if laziness, so I try to avoid outsourcing my work as best as I can. I usually feel as though I’m wasting money by paying someone to do work that I should ideally have done myself.

Search engine optimization 7/10
I’d like to think that I know all the key aspects of SEO, and I can optimize my pages with all the right tags and such to give them the best chance to rank well in the search engines. There are a load of aspects of SEO that have been drilled into me since browsing around the web, so I probably do a lot of SEO without really realising it.

There is definitely a lot of SEO work that I do not know about, so I always try and learn more about it whenever I can. I think 7/10 is a pretty fair estimate, although there are probably a whole load of SEO experts out there that would heavily disagree with me by looking at this site alone. One thing is for sure though; I have no intentions of outsourcing SEO work. It’s just so expensive, and most of the information is already out there on the web. All I have to do is go and learn it, and then implement it for myself.

HTML Coding 7/10
When I was younger I actually taught myself quite a bit of HTML (Yeah, I was one of those kids). Since I’ve started to work a lot more with websites in programs like Dreamweaver, I’ve managed to improve my ability to work with HTML.

However, quite like my ability with designing, I can work with HTML but not really create with it. If you asked me to create a website by just writing in HTML in notepad, I would definitely struggle. I can understand HTML, but I’m by no means fluent, so hence the 7/10. I’m not really too bothered though, as I’m happy enough to use Dreamweaver wherever necessary.

Basic coding I will do myself, but anything advanced and I’m looking elsewhere.

CSS Coding 4/10
For some reason this is something I have never fully got to grips with. I have learnt bits and bobs as I’ve gone along, but I haven’t fully taken the time to get it nailed once and for all. It’s definitely due to laziness on my part, because CSS is pretty easy to understand. I’m in no hurry to learn it properly at the moment, but I’m sure in the future I will have a better understanding.

I would probably look for help if I needed any large amount of CSS coded for me.

PHP Coding 1/10
I think I spent an hour learning the very basics of this, so don’t ask me to try and code anything or even decipher parts of PHP. I would love to be able to code PHP, but at the moment it is something that I have to get someone else to do for me every time.

Other Coding (Javascript, Perl, Ajax) 0/10
No idea, don’t ask me. Unless I’m getting something for free off with an easy to use guide, I’m lost. I’m so clueless I probably wouldn’t even know if I needed it or not, but I’m doing fine so far so not too many complaints or plans to learn anything new.

So there we go. This is where I feel my ability is currently at in each of the skills listed above. Hopefully these will have been taken up a few notches by the time you are reading this, but this is where I stand at the moment. For those interested, I started out trying to create websites about 14 months ago, so about a year and a bit ago.

It has mainly come from trial and error by the way, it’s not often I will read through guides or books. Although reading through guides would have more than likely sped up the learning process.

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