Why You Want a Website that Grows With You.
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney
Just because your company is where it is now doesn’t mean it will be there next year … or in two years. You’ll grow, you’ll add employees, you’ll add departments, you’ll expand your target audience. Maybe one of those things – maybe all of those things. The website you have now might be perfect for today, but who’s to say you won’t outgrow it? You might decide you want a virtual portfolio, a blog, or an entire online store. That’s perfectly normal, and a fabulous problem to have, but it can get expensive if growing means you have to build an entirely new website each time.
Just like women’s clothes, websites are NOT one size fits all. A package deal might sound good on the surface (“look at all those features!”) but don’t judge a book by its cover. Your initial excitement over all those features will probably turn into confusion, or frustration when you realize you only use a core few of them and the rest are baggage slowing your system down.
We believe in a custom-made web presence, so we are of the opinion that you should pay for only what you need. It’s why we build websites around the idea that building a strong foundation is key – additions are easy after that.
Along with being able to add features like a blog, e-commerce and photo albums, here are some other things you should think about to make sure your website grows right along with you.
The website that travels with you grows with you.
Responsive websites are standard these days because of the rise in mobile marketing efforts. If you’re building a new site, or revamping your existing one, responsiveness should definitely be part of your core feature set. We first started talking about it more than a year ago; you can read more about all the benefits of a responsive site here, but the benefits extend beyond just a website. Now you can also make sure your mobile audience can read those email newsletters you send out by employing a responsive email template. That way no matter what size screen they’re browsing your site on, or reading your emails on, your message won’t be convoluted by broken elements of a medium clearly out of its intended scope.
Here’s the great part about responsive design. You don’t have to completely redesign your site to make it responsive. We can take what you already have, and adjust it to fit each screen size. Another reason having a custom site is ideal – it leaves room for flexibility like this.
Changes to your website are good. If you can control them yourself.
We’ve heard it time and time again in kickoff meetings, when we’re sitting around the table learning what our new clients want in a website: “Our content management system just isn’t easy to get around in. We want something we can actually manage on our own!” Having a site that grows with you means you can actually make changes to it. That can mean uploading your own files, putting them anywhere on the site you want, updating content on any page, adding meta data, even adding and removing entire pages as you need to. Oh, and you shouldn’t have to sit through an all-day training session to learn how to use it. We think self-explanatory is the way to go, which is why we hardly ever hear complaints when we throw our clients into our CMS without any training. We have a skeleton of a help section for it … because no one needs it.
Spring cleaning is a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be.
This is especially true if the back end of your current website looks like a neglected attic full of spiderwebs and gadgets that don’t work and other stuff you’ve completely forgotten about. Not only is messy code incredibly difficult to build onto should you want to add a feature, but it’s a pain to dig through in the first place. Nine times out of 10, a studio is going to ask if they can build a new site from scratch rather than deal with the mess of the past. If you make sure your site is programmed using clean lines behind the scenes, then no matter who works on it in the future, the path to change will be easy to find and follow. Now if thats not healthy growth, we don’t know what is.