Tag: discovery

Ways a Website is Like a House: Hire a Professional, Fix It Yourself, or Live With It

When a repair or update to your home is needed you have three options: 1) hire a professional, 2) fix it yourself, or 3) live with it. Okay, I suppose you could also call in a favor and have friends, relatives, or neighbors give you a hand too, but you get what you pay for.

Your choice can depend on several factors. How much will it cost? Do you have the tools? Do you know anyone who could help that has the skills? Do you have the skills yourself? How critical is it? What happens if you do nothing?

There are times when fixing it yourself is an option, such as when it’s not critical and you have some expertise, or at least interest in learning. Other times you might just live with it. It’s not that important and you’re worried that you might even make things worse. But other times you know that it has to be dealt with, and sometimes right now, whether you can afford it or not.

No one but you can make that call. But talking with a professional and letting them know the full situation – what you want to achieve or avoid and the budget you have to work with – can be a good place to start to get the information you need to make the best decision.

straightTALK: You always have choices – and choices always have consequences. With good information you can choose wisely.

Ways a Website is Like a House: Commercial and Residential are Two Different Things

It’s one thing to build a home to live in, it’s a completely different thing to build for a business establishment. And while businesses are run from homes and homes can be converted for commercial use, if you’re building new you have one or the other in mind. The requirements, expectations, materials, and designs for each can be quite different. I mean, just think of the difference in the bathrooms!

If your website is going to be carrying commercial traffic, i.e., you want to make money from your website, you should have completely different expectations than if it’s simply to house your travel blog. Things like security, backups, and privacy / data policies become much more critical. So does hosting reliability – downtime becomes much less acceptable because it costs you money.

Knowing before you begin whether your site will be – or if it ever could be in the future – used for business can help get the foundation laid right to make it work just as hard as you do.

straightTALK: Commercial websites, like commercial buildings, are held to different standards.

Ways a Website is Like a House: You Can Outgrow the Place

Have you ever moved into a new place and thought “what am I going to do with all this room?” only to find a few short years later that it’s just too small for you? While you might find the perfect place for your current needs, it can be surprising how quickly things change. You reach a point where redecorating, remodeling, or even adding on just aren’t going to cut it any more.

You’ve outgrown the place.

It’s time to pack up everything and everyone and move to a different location. It’s disruptive. It’s expensive. And you can’t put it off any longer. As painful as it might be, it has to be done.

Your website can be the same. No matter how much planning ahead you did and how much flexibility is built in, it’s just not working for you any more. You basically need to start from scratch and build anew. It’s disruptive. It can be expensive. And it has to be done.

straightTALK: Know when it’s time to move on.

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.