From Youtube to Pinterest, there’s an article, video, or infographic showing us how to DIY practically anything we could ever want. While I’d like to think I’m a real fan of learning how to till my own garden or refurbish a particularly quirky piece of furniture, I’m also a willing participant in a potentially failed outcome and all the hard lessons sure to be learned from that self-inflicted adventure.
However, unlike learning how to feng shui my home office, the stakes associated with a failed website are not ones to be taken lightly. Here are six common myths and misconceptions surrounding web development to help you get started on the right foot on the road to quality engagement.
#1: Building a website is easy
Seeing as how a website is generally the first impression a visitor usually has of your company, we really wish it was, but unfortunately, it just isn’t so. Broken links, outdated media, and unprofessional content are all too familiar occurrences found on websites and can quickly derail hours of hard work. Do you have the tools to fix, design, and implement new tactics to keep your business moving forward? If you’re a seasoned developer, then sure! However, for most of us, we’re a far cry from knowing the detailed ins and outs of web design language, coding, and concepts. Unless there’s already a pre-made “contact me” form designed, I wouldn’t know where to even start to encourage active visitors to contact me for more questions. Would you?
#2: My website should reflect me because I am the face of my company.
False. Your website should cater completely to your brand, your visitors, and their needs. Buyer personas are a huge tool in identifying your consumer and allow you to be able to attract the most valuable visitors, leads, and customers to your business. If you fall under the guise that your company should directly reflect you, then you’re in for a rude awakening.
#3: I can get all my site images from stock photos
Sure, you can! But, man o’ man do we sound like a broken record at times when we say content is king, and ignoring this valuable patriarch within your media presence can potentially make or break your business. Thinking of stock photos as generic conversations help us to understand how vital a more personalized message is. Professional media and content provide a lot of value within your brand. They can be both entertaining (capturing your audience’s attention) and informative (encouraging your audience to continue delving into your brand to learn more about your values and product offerings), which ultimately pushes your company’s needle forward.
#4: Once my site is live, my work is done
Once a site is live, a giant exhale of relief and happiness is sure to resound into every crevice of your office. However, the work isn’t done. As new data is collected and technology continues to progress, your company will eventually fall to the wayside if not advancing with your consumer.
For the sake of analogy, let’s liken a website to that of a summer season full of pool parties and long fun days in the sun. What if, after a summer full of parties and BBQs, you never drained your pool, leaving a stagnant cesspool of mosquito larvae, algae, and whatever else might be left behind by the bevy of toddlers and adults alike. Would you want to come back and have the same exciting backyard blowout next year? The analogy might be somewhat dramatic, but the point remains the same. As the seasons change, so does technology, and it’s imperative to update and refresh your site to maintain optimal usage.
#5: Websites shouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg
Sure, you can have a functioning website for $100, but the quality will pale in comparison to a website that cost $1000+. You need to look at your website like an investment. An investment in an employee, well-versed in your company’s brand that is ready and willing to help any visitor, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Does that change the context a little? If you go into your web developing process hunting down bargains and looking for the cheapest option, you’re going to get bottom of the barrel quality – that’s just a fact.
#6: I can write my own content
This one is a little sticky because it's relatively close to the vest, but let's hash out the details for just one second. Writing quality content is not just about using spell check to ensure your tense usage and grammar are correct. I am a firm believer that everyone has a specific voice with a story to tell. However, it's essential to be honest with yourself and understand, truly understand, whether or not your voice speaks to your company's persona. If not, are you able to course-correct? How quickly? If you can't, it's crucial to look into someone who bases a large portion of their career on identifying tones, utilizing correct verbiage, and knowing the right mediums in which to tell the story of a particular brand.
For some individuals, learning by their own mistakes is the only way to progress forward. However, if you can heed the advice of seasoned professionals, you’re guaranteed to avoid hours of undue work and heaps of heartache.
Schedule a free consultation with Primitive Social to learn how to avoid pitfalls and quickly turn common mistakes into capital for your company.