If you are approaching or starting a project with a web designer or developer you need to be clear about exactly what you are paying for.
Imagine this scenario for a moment:
You have decided to make a TV commerical for your business, and are deciding who is the best company to produce that Ad. On Monday your TV goes on the blink, so you call out the TV repairman to fix it. While he’s fixing it you say to him “..actually, I’m considering getting a TV Ad made for my business, will you make it for me?”. On Tuesday you and your partner are shopping in a luxurious home store, and admiring the window decorations being made by the crew in the front window. You go up to the their window dressing boss and say “your designs and colours are amazing, will you make my new TV Ad for me?”.
That’s a joke right? Obviously you would never do that! Well that is what many Australian businesses have been doing for years with their websites. They are getting either tech or IT people to build their websites, or asking ‘web designers’ to do it. Neither of them are generally suited to the task! You would never ask a TV repair man to make your TV ad, yet people happily ask IT guys to build their websites. You would never ask window-dressers to make your TV ad, yet people ask graphic designers to build their websites every day. What is going on?
So let’s cut to the crunch – your website is a sales and marketing machine designed to bring in new sales, email subscribers or leads. Your website needs to be produced by Sales and Marketing experts who understand the web – not by Graphic designers who make things look pretty, or IT geeks who code things to ‘work’. What’s that you say? How can you make a website without a designer? Here’s the thing; I am not saying that you shouldn’t have a designer work on your site, or a programmer use their skills to code something really groovy. I am saying that they should not be in charge of producing your website – a website producer should do that, who will in turn instruct/hire designers, coders and miscellaneous clever people to bring the production to life. Central to the production of the website should be: who is the market for this site, and is the goal of the site to increase sales, gather subscribers, or to save on admin (or all of the above)?
A website can look as amazing and colourful as you like, or have the most amazing ‘bells and whistles’, but unless it is bringing in new sales or customers every week it is a dead-weight and waste of your time and money!