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"Give nephews a chance. They are tomorrow's webmasters." :-)
We could easily slip off topic with this ;) because there are other issues.
I think the bare bones of the thread is that the 'pro' web designer is not going to get the job because the business owner's nephew is doing it for 'experience'.
That's all fine and in the whole scheme of things it is good experience.
The scales are wavering on commercial values V family values.
Commercially, it isn't a good move to let a complete novice cobble up your flagship website.
Family wise, it's a good thing to do.
Where it can go sour is that the site makes the business look bad - cammercially it can be suicide.
Family wise, how do you get out of it?
My solution is to put young Billy on a project ... a nice new website with a harmless domain, then deploy the skills of a pro to repair the flagship website and act as mentor to Billy.
.........and everybody lived happy ever after, expecially Billy because he set up his own software empire which accidently became a plaform for 99% of all computers sold, but that becomes another 'Once Upon A TIme'. :)
I think that webpages and Internet presences in general are gradually being rethought as the Internet gains legitimacy, and there will be fewer and fewer instances of The Village Idiot* Webmaster (well, he couldn't get a real job, so I gave him a nice job doing my company's website). Which is good for all us pros. Likewise, there will be more and more personal sites out there for The Village Idiot Webmaster to get his start on, so hopefully he can get some experience and become a little smarter before he tries to do the company website.
Being a (somewhat) Idiot Webmaster myself, I have mixed feelings about that, but then again, I'm hoping to grow out of it.
* A little disclaimer: "the village idiot" is a reference to Tom Lehrer's song "My Home Town": "He was the village idiot,/ and though it seems a pity it/ was so.../ He used to burn down houses just to see the glow/ And nothing could be done because he was the mayor's son." I mean no disrespect to mentally-handicapped people; I used to have a lot of contact with a small group of them and they were on the whole the sweetest, bravest people I've ever known.
My point being that some people CAN self-educate and do a darned good job of it. One of my clients hired the owner's son to do their European site, and it was his first effort. He did OK as well.
My biggest problem with nepotism has been people who plan to keep the work in the family, but present themselves as a prospect just so they can "pick my brains". That's why I no longer do free proposals. At least they can pay me a consultant's fee if they want my knowledge, and I offer thaty option right up front.
But I am all for giving the nephew a chance.
I believe people are sceptical about web designers...it's obvious why of course, but the point is they do not hire web designers they hire someone who has an edge.
I'm developing an edge/image as a results focused designer.
I tell clients anyone can design a website. All they need is an internet connection. Making a site work raises the curve dramatically.
But while it is good to have these arguments at the ready, my thoughts are that the issue is just another example of disruptive technology, which I think is a good thing. By that I mean that GUI html editors have made it easier to develop websites, which allows people to self-service. This allows the true professionals to focus on more advanced areas of technologies or design, such as content management, SEO, browser compatibility, cutting edge graphics, etc. The result is a general increase in the quality and volume of the industry. It also helps segment the industry, which allows specialists to create their niche. So I don't think it is bad.
I realise my views in this respect are in direct opposition to some of the posts above. For example, I don't agree with the attitude expressed by the following post. If all participants in the market have this sort of attitude, the total global market cannot grow.
... If the site is a boxed template... send a collection to the bossman. It takes the kudos away from that little prima donna ...
Other examples of disruptive technologies are:
So my view is that if the nephew does a bad job, that is an obvious area of opportunity. But if he does a good job, that is OK too, and part of how technology advances, and hence part of what creates our livelihood.