I have been coding web sites from the dawn of time (1996 or so), and currently teach college courses relating to coding for the web. Until recently, whenever a web job came into the agency, the process would be to get the client’s requirements, mock-up the home page and several other key pages in Photoshop, then slice up the Photoshop files to get the images required and hand code the home page and template pages. Then we’d use the template pages to hand-code the complete site.
In the last year or so, I have noticed a shift away from that process. Larger clients (Fortune 500) use enterprise content management systems that have custom templates that agencies must work with. Smaller clients are asking for their sites to be delivered in content management systems such as Drupal, WordPress, or any of the other popular systems. The smaller companies are also much more budget constrained, making the development of custom templates for them difficult, especially considering the number of high-quality, low-price templates available.
So, from my experience, the days of building sites of 20 to 70 web pages, all hand-coded is, if not dead, dying. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there will always be someone who wants or needs a custom hand-coded web site.
So while I think the hand-coding of entire web sites is dying, the foundational skills used are still needed.
I started writing HTML around 95′ on our families new Packard Bell PC, we didn’t have internet, but did have email. One of my friends had internet and I loved it, so I started building my own webpages so I could “Play” internet at home, I was 10 at the time. I started out using Notepad then my dad had gotten HTML software named coffee cup and the rest was history. I have been building custom content management systems, before they were “cool”. When people ask me to do their WordPress sites or anything else I tell them I could hand code a whole content management system and fully custom website, in the amount of time it would take to make a $400 template look the way they want it. I think the word press and wix type things are great, but I’m old school. I also have a couple cars early 1970’s, I love to work on them, rebuild engines, its great. My other “Modern” cars all I can do is change the oil, to me its the same way with WordPress. websites don’t have to be that complicated, I can have full social media tied in, fully responsive with no need of jquery or any other “fluff”.
I see myself more of an old time mechanic then a modern part changer. An old time mechanic could hear you pull up and know what was wrong and how to fix it. Now you pull up, then they have to hook up the computer, then the computer says what to do. (there are still some mechanics out there, but you know what I mean)
When I design websites now days people like the “Retro” look they have. I started out early on and still have the early design styles in my work, not that I mean too, just happens.