5 Steps to Design a Not-Ugly Web Site
Ian Lurie Sep 20 2007
You have a company. You want to grow it online. But, for whatever reason, you still want to design your own site. You could hire an internet marketing professional, work with an agency, or hit Elance and get a design for $500. But this looks easy enough, and you’ve got that free copy of Fireworks you downloaded from Adobe, so why not go for it?
I have lots of reasons, but let’s assume I’m not going to change your mind. In that case, here’s how you design a site that might still help you grow your business:
- Get your logo.
- Create a blank page.
- Put your logo on the blank page.
- Put your phone number under the logo.
- Write three sentences that describe what you do.
Stop. Launch the site and hope you don’t do too much damage.
Hopefully you get my point. Web sites are best designed and built by people who know what they’re doing. If you think this is a good place to cut costs, I have a suggestion: Keep the money and buy yourself something nice. Because your homegrown, semi-functional web site won’t do you any good.
Yah, I’m giving you a lot of attitude. That’s because, at this point, you should know better. Do you prepare your company’s tax returns? Install new light fixtures? Build the furniture?
No? Why not? Clearly you’re a do-it-yourselfer.
You don’t do all these jobs because there are hidden complexities, and you know it. Screw up the tax return and you may end up losing money. Mess with the wiring and you’ll likely fry yourself. Create your own furniture from scratch and all your employees will leave.
Designing and building your web site is just as complex. You’ll need someone with an awareness of design, usability, site features, architecture, etc.. And you need someone who creates from the customer’s perspective, not yours.
If, after reading all this, you still don’t agree with me, it’s OK. I’m going to go do back surgery on myself. Once I’m done we can talk some more.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More