“I like this,” a potential client commented about our project proposal during a recent meeting, “but it looks like it’s going to take me a lot of time to make the website have value.”
Well, yes. We live in a culture where we want everything right now. “Instant” website solutions abound – just sit down, upload your logo, drag a few boxes around, and voila! you’ve got a website!
The problem is, those do-it-yourself-in-an-evening websites rarely work out. In fact, the client we were talking to had tried just that. The resulting site had not met that business’s goals – it didn’t look quite right, wasn’t organized well and was hard to make updates to. It existed as a placeholder, but it wasn’t doing anything to truly appeal to potential customers in a competitive business environment.
In contrast, a good website takes a fair amount of planning. We start every website project with a planning meeting. When we’re finished with that meeting (sometimes two if it’s a large site), we have a site map, a list of all the pages for the site and a checklist of all the content that’s required for each page and when it needs to be completed.
But the time commitment doesn’t stop there. A good website is updated regularly – the more interesting content about your business and industry on the site, the more likely a potential customer is to find the site in a search. Plus, your customers are more likely to come back to your site if you’re regularly posting news and specials. So you need to find time to create new information each week or each month, or you need to communicate with and oversee an employee or contractor who is doing that for you (see our post on 10 tips for hiring a blogger).
We’d love to wave a magic wand and have your website up, running and bringing in customers for you. But the truth is, to have a website that delivers maximum value, a small business owner must devote some time to planning and ongoing content creation and promotion. We’re here to be a partner for you in doing that, and to help you achieve your goals; with the knowledge and experience of a professional web designer you’re less likely to spin your wheels or devote time to work that doesn’t pay off.