DIY is OK For Building a Deck, Not for Website Design
Anyone who studies coding will have completed the “Hello World!” assignment. For example, when learning how to build Internet sites, the new student writes HTML that creates a web page with the words “Hello World” at the top.
It’s a pretty exciting time.
Over the years some website owners have had a similarly exciting experience using “do-it-yourself” website building tools to create their own sites. They spend a few hours making a page or two and are thrilled when they see it on the Internet.
However, the thrill usually wears off when they don’t get the results they need from their creations. There are a few reasons that the DIY template or app approach to website creation doesn’t work.
It’s hard for anyone who creates a DIY site to see that it doesn’t look very good. After all, it’s their “baby.” However, outsiders quickly notice a site that has that certain amateur look and feel.
Here’s a principle that we’ll come back to as we discuss these issues: Internet users today are very sophisticated. In the early years of the Internet, bandwidth was limited and therefore what could be done with websites was very limited. Typical e-commerce sites were the online equivalent of a dollar store. Today, even small e-commerce sites need to be up to Neiman Marcus design standards to compete.
Form and Function
There are two fundamental elements to any website, its form (how it looks) and its function (what it does). A professional designer takes both of these into account, finding the ideal form in which to create the desired function. Getting this right takes talent, knowledge and experience.
Prospective website owners often have some great business ideas and plans on how to achieve those ideas with the help of a good website. However, they aren’t web designers. It’s always a very smart idea to rely on specialists when you need a critical job done.
When the success of your business or project depends in large part on a successful website, don’t leave the design of your site in the hands of an amateur. A fundamental principle of business is “do it right the first time” and this certainly is true for your web presence.
Another truth is that you only have one chance to make a first impression. Visitors who come to a poorly designed or bad looking website will discount your business. Today’s savvy web users tend to think, “If they didn’t spend the time to make a good website, how good can their product or service be?”
Media and user interaction
Years ago a static webpage was common because people didn’t have the bandwidth or computing power to render anything more. Today media-rich sites are the norm as well as user interactivity.
Knowing how to properly use these elements is an art. When they are handled properly, they can help create a very powerful and popular website. When they are handled poorly, the result is a dysfunctional site that merely confuses users.
At FSIMF we have an extensive portfolio of websites created for a wide variety of businesses. We would love the opportunity to discuss your website and how it can be designed to best further the needs and fuel the growth of your business.