Web Design in 30 Minutes - Can this be Right?
Every time when you conduct an internet search for web design and/or development you get hit by an avalanche of software packages, web experts, design companies and freelancers. All hard at work, trying to impress you with their portfolios, creativity and willingness to go the extra mile to build that perfect website for you.
That is all fine; after all - I belong to one of these groups. What is disturbing for a designer like me is the existence of so called web design packages that claim to be able to build a website in 30 minutes or less. But truly disturbing is the actual existence of a professional company that would consider buying one of these packages and claim they have an effective web presence.
During my career, I have heard many of my potential clients wondering what the big deal was about building a website. "My next-door neighbor's kid can whip one in no time". He can probably do it in 30 minutes or less too, but is this the right way of developing your digital image? Remember - this is what web visitors see before they even get to your place of business. Do you care how you are perceived by these potential clients? If the answer is "no", I doubt you are too interested in growing your business.
What if your business card looked torn and full of stains; or your suit when you show up for a client meeting? I doubt the clothing manufacturer would spend 30 minutes or less to make everything you were wearing. Why would you compromise your "cyber" image and put something forth that would just not represent the true core of your business?
In this day and age, a website is crucial to your image, to your brand. More and more people are surfing the web before they make a decision where to shop. Why would you jeopardize your chances of being selected just because you "overlooked" the web site "thingy"? In my opinion a decent website can be constructed, soup to nuts, in approximately 7 to 10 days, of course depending on the complexity of the project.
At least 30% to 40% of this time should be dedicated to the discovery process.
This includes but not limited to:
- Gathering all the necessary data from the client
- Conduct interviews with the client about the scope of the project
- Decide on keywords, color palettes, structure, internal and external links
- Draw sketches for the site and landing pages
- Collect art work, pictures, newsletters, brochures, etc.
- Decide what text gets included where
The point I am trying to make is that in order for a web site to be successful (effective and eye appealing) 30 minutes is just not enough time to even put a great website idea on paper let alone build one. I agree that "content is king" but a "good looks" is queen to the king and they should compliment each other. Let's face it - unless you really need something badly, like renewing your car registration on the web for instance, you won't stick around on these awful government sites. But you need it and you keep on digging for the necessary information regardless of how poor the design is. In that case content is more than king - it's got supreme powers.
Today, your potential clients are sophisticated and much more likely to buy from the sites that look and feel professional. The same "keyboard cowboys" also know what a generic, unimpressive website looks like, so make sure yours is professionally done. You need to do this right and 30 minutes will just not cut it. You barely can cook a decent meal in 30 minutes; how will this work for your site?
The business of digitally projecting your brand and image on the web is a serious one and can only be done the right way. Unless you want to look like your competition and create the same cookie cutter site like million of other ones.
Final advice - look for a professional company that cares about your business. Look for a freelancer who has the necessary knowledge and understands your needs; develop a long relationship with him/her and you will have a successful website that will bring you traffic and profits. Leave the 30 minute for the ones who are not that concerned with their business and want to play "designer" on the internet.