Your Website: Get Hollywood Results with a Garage Studio Budget

In building websites for 20 years, I see more budgets getting wasted on bad design than I see unreasonably high expectations.

In Dennis Pinsky’s Forbes article “9 Website Design Standards For 2016” he opens with reasons why you get what you pay for and suggests that developers “show [clients] the door” if they don’t have the budget.

In building websites for 20 years, I see more budgets getting wasted on bad design than I see unreasonably high expectations. If you are doing great things, then your message can and should be equally great. You don’t need to spend a fortune.

The biggest mistake we see is clients focusing on a Photoshop website concept developed by surfing competitors rather than building their message around their own stories and then fitting those stories within existing, tried and true digital architectures.

It’s definitely not wrong to study your competition, but in doing so, don’t assume what you see wasn’t more expensive than it should have been and is necessarily creating the measurable results they expected.

We are also in the middle of a tipping point where platforms like Squarespace and Drupal have well established architectures and tools which, if not overly customized, will plug and play at a fraction of the cost of what it used to be.

What happens more often however (including with our own website) is we create a visual idea of how we want to engage and then press a developer to bend a platform to that vision. That’s where budgets go awry and then affect the cost of your website both in build and lifetime maintenance of your site.

If Content is King, treat it as such.

It's an overused term but hardly adhered to. Here’s what happens time and time again. Client spends a ton of budget and resources on building their ideal website. They send an eblast, do some good promotion, admire the traffic surge and feedback and then…..crickets.

While we do have clients that engage in regular eblasts after the site is built, none have designed a 12 month content strategy to commence once the site is built and integrates cleanly with their resources and content management process.

Sure, are we making sites easier to edit? Absolutely. But what’s really needed is a content plan which clearly states how over the next year you’ll capture your great accomplishments, upcoming plans and industry leadership and then efficiently publish, distribute and then field new prospects (including existing clients learning more about you).

Nine Required Website Design Standards for $12/month.

Squarespace is one example (there are many others) where you get everything the Forbes article suggests is required, and you can get all of that for $12/month. But what about content? Exactly. And that’s the whole point. Spend your budget on content and not on an expensive website solely for the sake of having the website function different just to be different.


Optimize Your Content Production

When you shift your focus from an overly complex and custom website design to how to capture and publish content consistently and more efficiently, that’s where you can start to get that Hollywood feel into your messaging.

How, you ask? That’s our specialty and the topic of another post. You can learn more about our Content Factory at our site. Or feel free to contact us to speak directly on how to do more with a lot less.


9 Website Design Standards For 2016
Last month Barry Adams wrote a terrific article about making websites – crummy ones, that is. Do I agree? Absolutely. I’ve summarized a few of Barry’s points below, and added my own take on how clients and developers contribute to the trend of low quality websites.