In an ideal world, work and learning go hand in hand. In the real one, we get better at routine skills but rarely acquire new ones. The COVID-19 lockdown will precipitate major changes for which a few of us are prepared, but the lockdown is an opportunity to prepare. Those in web design in Richmond and the wider region must grasp that opportunity now.

One thing is sure; the lockdown has dramatically increased dependence on the Net. Many offline businesses will be gone for good when the epidemic is over, but those who knew how to use social media and direct marketing are surviving. Many are thriving. That includes many businesses that quickly discovered they could outreach digitally and deliver locally.

After the epidemic, survivors and new start-ups will want better-integrated e-commerce solutions. Do developers have the skills to provide them?

Online training

Many workers will never go back to work because they will work from home. Employees prefer it and employers save on overheads. If you’re familiar with Cloud collaboration and workflow tools, you can provide these services. If you don’t, start using them to receive/provide training sessions in Skype, Skillshare, Zoom, Webex and the other apps that your future clients will need.

Cloud integration

When a client wants to sell through a website but also by phone and to walk-in customers, how will they maintain an accurate stock inventory? Will a transaction have to be entered multiple times into MySQL, an invoice system, stockroom database, work order system and CRM? The Cloud provides enterprise management tools that can solve these problems. How well do you know them?

Business administration

There is a reason many CMS come to set up to sell digital downloads: the developers understand their own business but nobody else’s. When you design websites for businesses without the experience of how businesses actually work, the clients soon notice. You could help rectify this by taking a business course.

Digital marketing

Every website client expects help with promotion. What they need is a marketing strategy – what they get is a website, “SEO for Idiots” and a link to Adwords.

To succeed, websites need building around other digital outreach tools, such as Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. Each is a specialised area in which developers should be honing their skills.

UX design

Many IT companies have fantastic network engineers and coders, but haven’t a clue about user interfaces and customer journeys. UX design is a specialised area and the lockdown is an opportunity to gain skills in it.


A picture speaks a thousand words and videos millions, but can you provide those services? A course in Adobe suite, photography or video editing will improve your skillset and work opportunities.

The lockdown has provided some time. Use it well and new opportunities will soon follow.