For the last few weeks I have been reviewing websites that need a little help. No full huge redesigns or anything needing any major demolition, just a few tweaks mostly for the sake of polishing some rather rough rusty edges–like auto-playing music and jumping gifs.
However, while working on a couple new websites and concept sites this idea of setting a site up to be social media friendly is very appealing. I tinkered around with the idea and brewed up a rather simple perspective of building sites with the perspective of being flexible for the future.
Easy to Maintain Site
A site that is easy to maintain means more time can be allocated towards handling the business, engaging customers and being flexible to their needs. I have a physical reaction when I hear business owners being dragged into some expensive website that is going to cost them a hundred dollars and possibly a week to update their email address on the site. The site is another store front, the initial design is valuable and necessary, yet the ability to update information quickly and having technology that is supported and current is also very VERY valuable. What many business owners don’t know is that content management systems like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla will handle 99.9% of their needs without a huge investment (I have been told many, many times that nothing is free). Content management platforms allow a business website to be scalable. Having a site built on a platform with supportive communities that keep up with technology and can handle multiple accounts for users to make quick updates then support fantastic user friendly designs are all eye catching and to me essentials.
Perfect Vehicle for the Brand
One of my classic speeches about websites revolves around the idea that your website is the business vehicle on the web. Take Apple.com for example: That site is a Porsche Cayenne: the site is beautiful with a brand that is truly stellar. However, unlike other flashy sites, the site is functional and every inch of its design is tailored not just to the brand but the exact user they are looking for. Amazon.com is more of a middle of the line RV, the site gets the job done, meets a wider scope of needs however is still positioned well to give an excellent experience.
To accomplish the vision of the perfect website vehicle focus on these:
Keys to Success
- Show you understand your customer needs
- Show you will meet those needs
- Show that you are qualified to meet the needs
Build to be Flexible
Haven’t quite bought into the idea that less is more? Overtime businesses, customers and people are going to change. The best position to be in is one of flexibility. Building a site with a strong content management system, designing with a focus on the three keys to success, and love for customers will have any business sitting pretty on a site that is ready for an awesome social media campaign.