I recently finished my first proper bit of remote web building work as an independent web designer/builder! And here are the lessons I gleaned, with the help of the effervescent Mr A.:
1. Negotiate a price for the work before you start. Don’t quote an hourly rate for one-off jobs. Quote what the job is worth, ie what the client will pay.
2. Read the job spec thoroughly. Read it again so that you understand what it actually says.
3. Do your own time estimate for the job; don’t rely on somebody else’s. Be realistic. Obviously.
4. Check what format the files will be delivered in, and have the appropriate software installed to deal with them before the job starts.
5. Be careful about using CSS resetting default values, as I had some bother with IE6’s incorrect handling of the cascade on a background value.
6. Test in different browsers during the build process, so that you can more easily single out and fix browser (ie IE ;) bugs. This is similar to iterative testing in some programming methodologies.
7. Float the outer most container that can be floated, not just the content, otherwise there’ll be trouble ahead in IE.
And the icing on the cake, a genuine Mr A. quote:
“My skill is dealing with black box f**cked up stuff that other people can’t deal with.”