So you Want a Website

For the uninitiated, the idea of getting a website can be an alluring one. I have had many potential clients reach out to me and with some variation of the following:

My project is so awesome. It should have a website! Can you make it for me?

Too often that is the end of the statement. No thought is given to what that website should do, or how it should go about doing it. This is problematic thinking.

If you want dynamic content and an engaged community you have to be the engine that powers the site. It may be helpful to think of a website as a plant in this regard. The fact that your plant exists does not mean that it can survive on its own. You must tend to it and give it water - it cannot live without you. It is important to make a plan for ongoing content creation and work out strategies for engaging with your community. You may not know how to do that now, and that is OK. All that matters is that you know it must be done. There will be plenty of time to work out the details and there are many resources available for help.

As a web developer, my job is to take the vision you have for your site and shape it in code. The goals of your site will dictate the choices we make when we put it together. Take some time to think about what those goals are. Think of your website as a tool - a means to and end. What are you trying to do? A portfolio site will have different requirements than an e-commerce site. This may sound like a cliché, but you should consider putting together a mission statement for your site. A web developer can be an excellent sounding board for this process.

My response to the above question is always "Tell me more about what you are trying to do."

I have been quite surprised by the number of people who can't answer that question.n.

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