We recently published a piece on Medium on our approach to designing websites. We’ve written this as we have recently had a number of new clients come to us after being let down by either other agencies, or because they were lured into attempting to create their own snazzy website by online tools that have over promised.
Our approach is not to sell websites, but to create solutions using web development. Have a read of the story to find out more about how we view our role as web developers. You may disagree or think this means we are encouraging people to spend with us, but that is not, and never will be the case.
We will always go out of our way to advise clients on the best way to spend their money, whatever their budget. We began as a one person business and have grown into a small team, with plans to expand further. We know how hard it can be, so want to help others to be successful too.
Designing a website, the right way
‘I need a website’. This is often the first thing a new client will say to me when they approach my company. It may seem like an obvious statement to make, we are a web development agency after all. However, this statement often means a crucial stage has been skipped — analysis of the problem behind the need for a website.
As with any problem, it needs to be examined. What is the nature of the issue — is it lack of brand awareness? Or perhaps low sales in a business? By posing questions like this, we are now getting closer to being able to help. By working out what the underlying problem is, we can advise on how to use web development to solve it. Not the other way around.
A website is actually more complex then it may first appear, and it can be used as a tool for so many different things. This is why we favour a tailored approach. We think that all websites should be built around a client’s specific needs. Again, this may seem obvious, but we are seeing more and more businesses using online tools and themes to try and develop their own website, which means they are often using the parameters established either for another website, or for a more general audience.
However, there are times when themes can be beneficial. For clients on a limited budget or for those who want something simple and can incorporate a theme into what they are trying to do, they definitely serve a purpose. But be warned, they can be a false economy. We have had a number of clients who have attempted to create their own website built on a theme, to then later realise their problem has not been solved. In some cases, we have clients who have had websites created for them by other agencies, actually using a theme but paying the price of a custom build. They come to us, now sceptical due to the failure of the website, but asking for help. The failure could have been because they needed to make small changes, but didn’t understand how to do this. Or there was a bug with a plug-in (or two..). Or the theme wasn’t updated when the CMS it was built on was. The list can, and indeed, has gone on for many of our clients.
As noted above in my little disclaimer, I do work for a web development agency. However, I am not necessarily writing this trying to get new clients (although that might be nice) or persuade everyone against having a go themselves. We get plenty of clients from other agencies who have, to be frank, been overcharged and left disappointed. I am writing this in an effort to save the cash of many small businesses who are working incredibly hard and deserve to be given the appropriate tools to make their business thrive.
So if you think you do need a website, remember to first ask yourself what the problem is and should you then decide you would like to hire a professional, ask how they will solve it for you.