it’s fast, easy and FREE
…. makes it easy to set up your own website, even for beginners.
No programming or HTML skills are needed;
if you can fill in a straightforward step-by-step form, you can build your own FREE website.
Probably you’ve come across claims like this. And you’ve (rightly) always kind of doubted that you’d be able to create a professional-looking website on your own, no matter HOW easy-to-use the software was. But you could certainly believe that the fantastic graphic designer who made your brochures and business cards would be able to make you a professional-looking website. So when he/she suggested that you might want to look into getting a website for your business, you thought it was a great idea!
And, if you’ll be happy with a static website, which is never going to require changes (your company address, phone number, product-line, etc are going to stay the same forever, right?), then that may well work out fine for you. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a website where you’ll be able to periodically add pages, or make changes to existing pages, or get rid of obsolete content, and your graphic designer has told you that will be no problem, then you may be looking for trouble.
Which is not to say that there aren’t graphic designers out there who are also technically skilled web developers. I’m sure they’re out there! Somewhere…But, it must be recognized that the skills that make a fantastic graphic designer and those that make a qualified web developer are not necessarily going to be found in the same person. How can you minimize the chances that you will be left, at the end of the day, with a website that is either costly or impossible to keep up to date?
1) ask your designer if they’ve ever developed a website using a content management system before
2) if they have, ask them if you can talk to a few of their previous customers. Find out whether the customers were satisfied with a) the site, b) the instructions on how to update it, and c) the ease of updating it.
Note: I am NOT writing this in an attempt to discredit graphic designers.
Yesterday I spent some time helping a small business owner get into her website, which hypothetically should be easily maintainable, as that was the original requirement for the site. Once I saw the way that it had been implemented, I was, well, horrified. Really! It became clear why the designer had disappeared before providing the promised tutorial on how to update it – because it was IMPOSSIBLE for anyone non-technical to update it. Ever.
If this had been the first time I’d seen such a thing, I would have considered this an unusual case, and thought no more of it. But this was the third time in as many months that I’ve been asked to help a business recover from an over-enthusiastic, under-qualified attempt to create a website with content management support. Don’t let this happen to you! Do some due diligence before hiring someone to develop your website!
!!! FREE Consultation!!!
It is possible for a qualified web development company to convert most small-business websites to use content management systems, even if they haven’t been created that way.
Got an attractive, but un-maintainable website? Talk to us to find out what it would take to fix that.