Sometimes a client just needs their site up and running with their essential info. The truth is, while design and art direction are important, content is king. A website’s, and even the internet’s, main purpose is to share information. With that agreement, things such as keeping your CSS perfectly trimmed and slimmed with a post-processor are not top-level priorities. As perfectionist web developers, it can be tough to let back-end perfection slide in lieu of providing any project deliverables.
This concept is our perfect trap. In the end, for most of us, this is a job and not a hobby, so we must always defer to the paying client’s priorities.
I’ve fallen into this perfectionist trap myself, so far to the point where even after the project is settled and paid for, I continue to clean back-end code on my own time. I might say it’s because I enjoy the trade – it doesn’t feel like work to me – but the truth is our time can be better spent, such as on learning a new skill, or *gasp* even spending time outside of our computer.
Let’s recognize that, unless it’s a passion project, the client’s priorities always come first. Our own desire for a perfectionist-tuned website with beautiful, annotated code is lower on the list. Let’s strive to be our best possible web developer by providing our client with the best possible website, as it applies to their goals.