Your website is important boys and girls.
It's time to sit down and have a conversation about websites. Although hardly qualified to talk about such matters there seems to be a running problem that I have seen when surfing the net over and over again. Which simply put, no one really puts forth the time/effort into their website. We are guilty of this as well at s-config.com so to those who think I'm being hypocritical:
Yeah, you're totally right.
But here's the difference; This site is not here to sell anything to you. This site is independently funded by men who post things onto it just for the fun of doing so. No non-profit, no LLC. Just words and because of that when you put this website into such perspective serves those purposes well. You can keep your money very deep in your pockets during this click boys and girls as we do not want it.
There are other sites that will attempt to get someone to break away from the net and to come to them physically in the really-real world. But make little to no case in doing so. Just a website link, a boring content manager and immediately they throw the hand out saying "Give us money!" without any justification or sales pitch behind their motives. It's as if the "information superhighway" (and yes this term is used sarcastically) is littered with hobos screaming at your car asking for change.
These sites will often dismiss their badly written and designed site by simply stating that they don't need a quality website. They got social networking to do all of the heavy lifting for them. Word of mouth and social networking is great but you have to think of those mediums are like a flock of birds, they're fly around quickly and get you attention because they're up in the clouds. But without a place to really call "home" which should be your website then they'll fly away as quickly as they came. Offering free stuff is a poor grab for attention. You'll get interest until the free stuff is gone and then they'll fly away probably crapping on everything as they do so.
There was a man that I used to deal with which ran events for a living. He summed up this problem with a simple comment which goes a little something like this:
Your party or gathering exists in reality for a few days, that party continues online the other 365 days of the year.
Since your website represents who YOU are then customers will judge accordingly. If they see some cookie-cutter site with sterile to non-existent graphics people will think that you're either lazy or unorganized and simply move onto the next best site out there. This may not be the end of the world for a random blogger like this place. But when competing for people's money it's the difference between having a nominal turnout to having a fantastic turnout.
I could pull examples but this article isn't out to point fingers are just one or two people. If anything it's to state the obvious. That in this day and age bad websites really shouldn't happen anymore. It's not the content since if you are running a gathering you would have plenty to say. Anything from items such as
- Who are you?!?!
- Why should I come? Is there something fun that I can do?
- What have you done in the past?
- Locale and points of interest?
Heh, writers are suddenly important again aren't they?
When you see a site that has nothing but 'under construction' or 'coming soon' tabs everywhere, a two-sentence (if that) introduction of who they are and immediately point to their paypal asking for money. The answer is not to give them money because you're just rewarding bad behavior. It's to actually make them work for that money. A fully detailed staff page showing off their biography is great if the rest of the site is filled with data as well. Otherwise, it's like having credits roll for a movie that does not even exist.
You can judge a lot on an organization simply with how their website looks. If it looks pro. There's a good chance that whatever group behind it at the very least had the common sense to put forth their best image to everyone online. If not, well, you know where you stand now, don't you?
Until next time, that's all server has to say.
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