In my SEO & Web Marketing series of articles I outlined many things to take into consideration when designing your web pages and websites. One thing about website design that I haven’t covered yet is the underlying server software that is used (if any), such as PHP or Lasso or ASP, to assemble your web page before it is sent from the server to the browser. I’ll be covering that in an upcoming article.
In this article I will be discussing why it is important to think down the road and make a plan. One thing you have to remember is be flexible as time goes on as your website may take another path than you had intended.
I have this client who wanted a web page put up, yesterday. We all know someone like that. We discussed what they wanted to do with the site and where they wanted it to go. The monkey wrench was that it had to be done yesterday. So, to please this client I opted out of doing any programming and put up the page (which is all they wanted at the time) using straight HTML and CSS.
They recently came to me and said they want this page with this information and that page with that information and so on with more pages coming down the road. If you have never done a website – maintenance on two or thee html pages is nothing. When you get to ten or more with new pages being added it gets to be a problem if you have only them in html because you have to update menus on ten or more pages.
When I was in boot camp, my C.O. had this saying – “Prior Positive Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.” Benjamin Franklin is reputed to have said “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four sharpening the axe.” That should be fairly self explanatory, but if it isn’t allow me to elucidate: Take the time now to review my Web Marketing series and get a road map.
Now back to my story.
I knew that I would need to do some programming on this site – if nothing else, to make it easier for upkeep. Yet I listened to my client and put it up quick. If I had stuck to my guns a little more – or did the programming off the clock – it would have been a snap to update. As it stands now, I will have to recreate the page as a template and create the new pages and update the index page. Added time for me (has pluses and minus’) and added – unnecessary – expense for my client.
So learn vicariously on this one and it could save you a lot of headaches in the future.