My job has some fun moments. Like when I talk about some of the neat tools I use. It surprises people what I can find out about other people’s websites – without hacking!

Truth be told, some of the tools are pretty common but if you’re not in the industry they can seem pretty special. Here are a few things I do that people find shocking.

  • Viewing the code of a website – every major browser supports this. Usually holding down the CTRL + U keys will show you the source code of a page. Yeah, it’s just HTML, but some people have no idea what goes into a web page and it looks cool to them.
  • Viewing a site’s CSS – yeah, also built into the major browsers. In Chrome, Edge, and FireFox, right click the page and click “Inspect Element”. You’ll get to see all the CSS code that controls the styles of different elements on the page.
  • Identifying Fonts – I use a Chrome plugin called “WhatFont”. It lets me check the fonts on pages with a single click.
  • Reverse-Engineering Websites – there are several sites that will crawl through a WordPress website and tell you which theme is being used. Others tell you which themes AND plugins are installed. That’s kind of a neat thing to show people.

I could go on because to people in the industry these tools are child’s play and are just scratching the surface of the technology, but I want to make something clear. Some people think that because the technology’s so good that it must be easy to do my job. Sad to say it’s not as easy as people think. If you know what fonts to use, what theme to use, what plugins to use to build a site that resembles ABC company’s site, you usually have to do a LOT of customization and experimentation to get the site layout the way you want it. Just because you have the pieces of the puzzle doesn’t mean you know how they fit together – and the shapes of the pieces change as you go 😉

Compared to when I started in the industry 22 years ago the technology is absolutely mind-blowing. That doesn’t mean that the amount of knowledge and work involved is any less. In fact, you have to know MORE now to be able to understand how everything works and how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. That’s enough to blow your mind as well 🙂

If you’re finding keeping your website up to date is taxing your brain, please feel to give us a call!