Creating websites is a mystical process, especially if you are new to it. After developing websites for many years, I have encountered many misconceptions about building websites. Today we are going to list the most common ones.
1. My website will instantly go viral
All i can say is “No, it won’t….”. One of the things nearly everybody forgets building their first web project is marketing. “If you build it, they will come” is not true when you are building a website.
If your website is great and you have a great concept it will help users return to your website or even recommending it to their friends, but don’t expect a viral effect. You can better ignore the viral effect your website will have, when marketing your website. Create a marketing plan including a marketing budget to start with and don’t hope for anything viral to happen, this will only keep you holding back.
2. Web design is overpriced
Web design can be overpriced, but good web design is hardly every overpriced. When clients receive a price indication they are often amazed about how much a web site will cost them.
In general I used to charge about $2000 for 5 page WordPress website. This may sound like a lot of money, but this is very good price for a high quality coded WordPress site.
Biggest misconception is the number hours a web designer will need to create a website. For some reason a lot of people tend to think it will only take a few hours to build the most complex websites. In reality a well coded WordPress site will take about 40 hours to create. Do the math, in this case we talking about $50 an hour. People tend to pay their plumber more for an hour work ($60) even without any second thoughts! As a web designer it is key to inform your client how many hours it will take you to create a website.
Of course there is an option to hire somebody from Pakistan at a $5.00 hourly rate at the first the best online job marketplace. Trust me, you can better burn your money. A good website takes a lot of work done by a skilled web designer and they cost money. Please don’t think you have just found that one rough diamond.. it’s just a rock..
3. If you are copying competitors your are doing it right
Often people tend to very easily copy a website by the competition and put it online. They think their competitors are doing everything right and they then don’t have to think about things themselves.
This behavior is very common and even happens on big project with a great budget.
Of course the competition may have been thinking about the same problems you have, but they doesn’t make their solution the best solution.
If you are able to first think for yourself instead of just copying other people’s work you are much more able to create a unique product which people want.
4. The fancier the website looks, the more successful it will be
When people have a “great idea” for a website, it is often an existing concept, but “prettier”. I can’t count how often I have heard this. If being pretty is the only unique selling point, please bury the idea…
The design of a website is very important, but it tends to be overrated. People think a whole userbase is willing to move to a competitor because their design is prettier. The most powerful part of a product is it’s features and even if you get that right, you still we need to focus on many other aspects to make it successful.
Pay attention to all aspects of your website and not only how it looks.
5. A web designer is a tool
As a web designer you sometimes come across the type of client that thinks he knows how to design best and the web designer is just the tool that will make it technically possible.
It is great if you have a good idea what you want for your website, but you have to keep it to the web designer to create it. It can happen that every line and element is already determined by the client and web designer should only do what he is told. This is not a good idea. As the web designer probably knows how to design best.
Let the web designer design the website, that is what he is paid to do.
6. Let’s grab some images from Google search
Don’t copy images from Google search and use them on your website. You don’t have the rights to use them and the only question is, if you will be caught yes or no.
Copyright on images is very aggressively protected, so be ware. You can end up with a very hefty fine!
7. When the website is online, the job is done
It is always a special moment when a website is ready to go online. Hours of work to make sure everything is perfect, but once the website is online everything seems to stop. No new content, no updates on the website itself. Slowly it starts to break and to become old and fall apart.
The creation of a website is just beginning from there you will have to:
- Create new content on regular basis.
- Update the software you use.
- Update the website itself.
- Make backups on a regular basis.
- Keep on marketing your website.
Summing it up
When building a website there is lot you have to think about and it is very easy to start simplifying things to a level where it isn’t realistic anymore.
If you hired a web designer let him/her inform you and give him/her some room to do his/her work. If you are a web designer, try to explain everything as clear as possible. If you think the client has any misconceptions, explain what is realistic. This is will help a lot when you are further down the road of your project.