Tag: design

Ways a Website is Like a House: Redecorate Every Few Years

Even the best built homes in will need a bit of refreshing every so often. Paint gets chipped, carpets get dirty, and furniture, well, it just gets old. The house itself may not need remodeling, but a nice bit of redecorating could have it looking brand new.

In the world of websites, redecorating means a new design, a new theme. Just changing up the colors and graphics, perhaps rearranging the layout slightly, can make your site ready for service for the next few years.

Redecorating projects can be quick and cheap, like a new coat of paint for the back bedroom, or they can be more extensive, like replacing all the flooring in the house. It all depends on how much you’d like to change, and how much you’ve got budgeted for it.

If you have a limited budget for redecorating, you’ll want to spend it so that it has the greatest impact. Sometimes that means new paint for the living room and sometimes that means new shelves in the closet. It all depends on where your greatest “pain point” lies. What’s going to make the biggest difference to the people using the place? Is the greatest “pain” felt by you or your visitors? Only you can decide.

Just remember that styles change, including for websites, and time marches on.

straightTALK: If you’re not redecorating every few years, you’re likely falling behind.

Ways a Website is Like a House: Build for the Future

When you build a house, you know it’s going to stand for a good long time. It’s going to have to work for you, or whoever lives there, for decades – perhaps even centuries. While you might build it to suit your current needs, keeping options open for future changes is always a good idea. Whether an unused room, the quality and placement of utilities, or some extra space in the backyard, thinking about possible future expansion during the construction process can save significant money and disruption down the line.

With websites, planning for the future means making sure your web design can handle growth and changes. Can your hosting handle a spike in traffic? Can you easily add new pages or menu items to the design? What if you want to rebrand the site?

You may not be able to predict the future or plan for every contingency, but building on a solid infrastructure that is flexible enough to roll with the flow makes for fewer headaches moving forward.

straightTALK: Don’t just consider your current needs. What might the future hold? Be sure you can adapt when the time comes.

Ways a WordPress Site is Like a House: Change Orders Are Expensive

If you’ve ever changed your mind half way through a construction project, you know that change orders are expensive. Adding a room, moving a wall, or relocating a sink can have a ripple effect on things that that might seem totally unrelated. One change over here makes something over there not work.

The same can happen on a website. Adding a new page or changing the size of an image can blow apart the design and have the web developer scrambling to adjust. This inevitably adds time and money to the project, and possibly decreases it’s effectiveness.

Whether a house or a website, the more time and effort spent in getting the blueprints right — in discovery and drafting — the less likelihood of change orders taking the project over budget and causing delays.

straightTALK: Change is inevitable, but has consequences.

Ways a WordPress Site is Like a House: Good Blueprints = Good Communication

You wouldn’t dream of building a house without a set of good blueprints. A website should be no different. 

Blueprints not only provide technical details for the builders, but they are the first step in helping to visualize the finished product. They are critical to determining the materials needed and therefore a large part of the budget. Blueprints can also help to identify problems before a single 2×4 is cut or a single pixel is placed. The more time spent getting the blueprints right, the faster and cheaper the actual build will be.

It might take a bit of effort to read and understand blueprints if you’re not familiar with them, but doing so will save confusion and disappointment in the long run. Blueprints (which for websites are mockups, wireframes, and style tiles) are a critical means of defining and communicating the end goal. 

Remember that the communication is meant to be two-way. If there’s something that’s confusing or doesn’t seem right, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or make suggestions.

straightTALK: The clearer the plan, the better the result.