Originally from Colorado in the US, I moved to Panajachel, Guatemala by Lake Atitlan part time to export Mayan handicrafts to the US in the early 1980s. Fashion is fickle and ten years later, when Guatemalan handicrafts were no longer the rage I found myself living full time in Guatemala and essentially unemployed.
I studied Computer Science in 1970's at the University of Colorado and bought my first computer in 1987. I did the odd computer job and when dial-up internet was introduced to Guatemala in 1997 I hooked up. When I found out that the domain name atitlan.com was available I bought it and I have been working in the internet ever since.
I come to web design from having been in business. A website is nothing more than a tool, a means to an end. Too often web designers carry on about PHP, ASP, MySQL, Flash or what-have-you without explaining, or even considering, how they make you money. Too often websites try to do too much.
Keep it simple and to the point. There is nothing wrong with a website being nothing more than online vanity plate. Seldom is that all a clients wants or, for that matter, needs; but if it is, fine. Doing more just muddies the waters.
In this day and age, image is everything. Your website is your image online. Make it a good one.