Thursday, 1 November 2012

Do I need a website?

For many years I've worked with websites, used websites, written websites, designed websites, analysed websites and written code for websites, but I've never seen the need to have a website of my own.

However, I now need a website. What has changed?

When a client comes to me and says they need a website, most of the time they do need one, because they want to:
  • sell something
  • say something
  • show something

Websites for sales

eCommerce is an obvious use for a website - you've got a product or service to sell, or you want to set up an online shop. 

You'll need to think about how you're going to process payments and deal with any orders you receive, but these days many viable businesses are run entirely online.

Websites which say something

Political or government organisations or charities (probably) aren't selling something, but they have a legitimate need for a website to give information to the public or describe what they're about or tell people how to get involved. 

They need to consider how interactive they're going to be - are they only "telling" people, or are they also going to allow questions, petitions, comments? If they do, how much time do they have to answer those questions or comments, and will they take action on a petition?

Websites which show things

Artists and musicians fall into the category of people who may use a website primarily as a way of digitally reproducing their portfolio or back-catalogue. Or perhaps a guru in a certain technology will provide tutorials to help others.

I think there's nothing worse than a website which hasn't been updated since 2010 (or earlier!) so you have to be careful that this isn't just a fad that will wear off. Is your 'brochure' site really necessary - or are you actually trying to say something or sell something?

So why am I now developing a website?

For all of the above reasons!

I'm leaving the realms of monthly salaries, team meetings and performance appraisals, and am striking out as a Freelance web consultant, web developer and website designer.

So I'll hopefully be showing off what I can do, selling my services and maybe even finding something interesting to say along the way!

The website itself is under wraps until I move ISPs, but as they say - watch this space!