From start to finish, building and delivering a new website is all about communication and trust. I’m talking about communication both internally and externally, from conception to completion and on into the maintenance phase. Communication will get you the website you need, and the customers you need. Trust will provide the medium in which communication can flourish.
Can you take communication for granted?
No, but let’s take a closer look at this one. Communication takes many forms, and most of them aren’t the written word, although particularly Online most communication starts with the written word. Many of you will be familiar with the idea that images and video make great content to share on social media, on your website etc. As people, we’re wired to communicate visually and auditorily (more ways too, but that’s what we get Online).
Through visual and auditory communication channels, we make friends and build relationships which often lead to business. It’s important to keep in mind that you can’t take communication for granted, and if you do you’re apt to end up not reaching your goals.
Why is communication particularly important in websites?
When it comes to building and using a website, communication is the magic ingredient. Communication is the intangible asset, which leads to the success or failure of your website. From an internal perspective, it’s critical that you hire a website developer with whom you can communicate and in whom you can place trust. From an external perspective, it’s imperative that your website communicate clearly with your customers and potential customers as well as build trust with them.
Smashing Magazine covers clear and effective communication from an external perspective in, Clear and Effective Communication in Web Design. What I’ll be focusing on here, is the importance of communication from an internal perspective when building a new website or re-building an old one.
The basics of internal communication for website building
Let’s start with language, and no it’s not a given. Speaking the same language is imperative, and I’m talking on a native speaker level. Native speakers understand inflection, tone, sarcasm, turns of phrase, humor, context and many other more subtle aspects to communication. From a practical perspective, you may end up paying more initially for a website builder (by builder I mean your developer/designer/project manager/guy who gets it done type person). However, in the long term (we’re talking months here, not even years) you’ll end up paying far less.
Can you get a guy to build you a website for a few hundred dollars? Yes, probably so, but the end result will invariably end up costing you more than you may even realize. Let’s take site speed as it relates to development for a quick example. For a few hundred dollars, you’ll end up getting code which is probably not optimized for speed and search engines take site speed into major consideration when ranking your website. Further than that, people take site speed into major consideration when using your website.
Can’t I just pay a few hundred dollars for a premium website theme build?
These days, you’ll find many very good looking website themes available for use on a new website project. Here too, communication is going to come in key. When selecting a theme, you not only want to work with a person who knows what they’re doing (by far not all themes are created equal), but you also want to be working with a person with whom you can communicate. You’ll need them to understand your goals, your business, your customer, your vision, your brand and all the many intangibles which make up your company.
Bottom line is, you’re not going to get even a theme selected for a few hundred dollars much less fully built out with content to function as your company’s main gateway to the Online world. You need someone who is technically competent, but equally (if not more importantly) you need someone with whom you can communicate and someone you can trust.
What can I expect to pay for a new website?
This is not a simple question. Let me put it in terms most people are more familiar with, home prices. The question now is, what can I expect to pay for a new home? Now I think you’ll see that the answer can only come when the full scope of the project is understood. In other words, do you want a 10,000 square foot mansion at $300/per square foot (that’s a $3,000,000 home) or will a 2,000 square foot home at $90/per square foot (that’s a $180,000 home) do?
Here again, communication and trust come in as the central components. You need to be able to communicate with and trust the website builder who you’re working with. That website builder needs to understand the website design and development process from start to finish, inside and out so no matter what your question you’ll get the answer you need.
For those who like hard numbers, websites from gplusgeek.com for small to medium sized businesses are generally in the $1,500 – $5,000 range.
What’s the bottom line with website building, communication and trust?
When it comes to website building, there are many factors at play. You need a skilled person with whom you can communicate and in whom you can place trust. With these key elements in place, the sky’s the limit!