Western Web Design in China
Designing a website from scratch can be quite a big task depending on the scale of your site and what kind of complex features your going to have running behind it (server side scripting etc). You may have many files to upload at the end of the day, especially if you’re going to be using some local server side scripts to generate content pages. Nothing is more annoying and detrimental to a web based endeavour than having a slow connection or a connection that is unreliable. The Chinese internet is notorious for being restricted, unreliable and slow, especially when it comes to viewing foreign websites or interacting with servers that are outside the Chinese firewall.
It is very difficult for Chinese start-up companies that are heavily involved with the internet too, like web design agencies or Chinese seo companies. The government’s restrictions are impeding any online commercial growth and oppressing many companies that want to work with clients or businesses outside of China. Foreign companies operating in China have it even worse, because many of there operations will involve interaction with entities outside of China. A good example is that a UK branch in China will need to communicate with its headquarters on a regular basis. If the data centre is outside of China, then this slows the business down significantly, frustrates staff and clients alike.
When you are going to be spending some time in China and you do a lot of web design or blogging, make sure you are well prepared! Before you go, buy some remote storage in a company that has servers in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is just outside the great firewall of China and so has a very fast connection to the rest of the world, and a reasonable one to China. You will get much better performance this way as opposed to connecting to a server in the UK from China. You also face the risk that your blog, website and any remote ftp storage service you use could be blocked by China. This means access will be impossible from anywhere in China, no matter what computer you try to use. So this means you have something else to add to your shopping list, and that is a VPN or proxy. Don’t bother with free ones if you want reliability. They are cheap and you can take out a monthly subscription to match however long you are visiting for.
The adverse effect of travelling to China and not realising the restrictions on the internet they have there can seriously affect your freelance work, blog or website. Going away for a month and having no access to these could cripple your income or business. Remember to be well prepared and have everything set up properly before you go to avoid any nasty surprises!