When it comes to website development, good things come in three’s
I bet you don’t know who in Internet-land owns thirdwebsite.com. Go ahead and check. I will wait here patiently…
Yep, it’s mine. I bought it a few years ago after deciding that I really liked the marketing message of Spring Insight building your third website.
The logic of the pitch goes like this: When you start your company you throw a website together. Maybe you use Wix or GoDaddy’s “Website Tonight” tool (“No skills? No time? – No problem.”). Maybe you splurge and ‘outsource’ it to your cousin’s daughter who is home from college with nothing better to do (she needs the experience, right?). You put up something quick and dirty.
For your second website, you want something a bit more polished. So you hire an actual designer who will customize a theme for you. Perhaps you update the colors and replace the default stock art with your own stock art. It looks a ton better.
Your third website, though, that’s the one you really pour your heart into. Now you know that there is a goldmine of opportunity out there and you are buzzing with ideas for how to tap into its potential for your business. That is the site you hire Spring Insight to create. We listen to your organization’s story. We get almost as excited as you. And we custom create a website that fits you like a glove. Finally, you have a website you love!
That is the pitch. Not bad, huh?
When I launched my new website, it struck me that we are finally the business we market to. So, as the company on its third website, what have we learned along the way?
Platform matters (a lot)– Our first website was on a proprietary platform that was created by the firm that launched our site. While I could make content updates on my own, I had to go back to them for any meaningful updates. Plus, the site didn’t play well with the vast array of plugins that open source platforms such as WordPress use. Having a website built on WordPress makes updating much easier. I can change the layout and tweak the content any time keeping what works and changing what doesn’t.
Know when to make small changes and when to do a total overhaul – Our clients are always more comfortable making incremental changes to their websites. This makes a lot of sense (just think of your friends’ outrage when Facebook changes the layout of the newsfeed). There are advantages to doing things gradually, for example, you can better test the changes you make. But, at some point, tweaks just aren’t going to do it. It is really time to rethink. If you’d like to know more on how to know when it is time to completely rethink your site, we wrote another blog on just that topic.
Find a web team you can trust – The Internet is a lot like fashion; it’s constantly changing and keeping up with the trends could be a fulltime job (Oh wait…that kind of sounds like my fulltime job). Just like your wardrobe, your website needs an update every so often if you want it to function well. A good web team will not simply go through your site’s existing code, editing and deleting broken bits, which takes hours that you are paying for. She will also consider the big picture and make suggestions about features that will make your website work better. Sometimes when adding a new fancy feature, it’s cost effective to simply start from scratch. So finding a web strategy team you trust is key.
And once you find someone you love, of course, you want to stick with them. In fact, hiring a web team that offers ongoing website maintenance for a monthly fee is well worth the peace of mind. This way, if any issues arise, you know your team is on it.
Do you love your website? Or are you buzzing with ideas you want to become reality? Ready to see what Spring Insight can do for your business? Check out our services.