How building a website is just like building a house: Part 2by Paul Martusewicz
in Building A Lead Focussed Website
There’s no better analogy to describe a website build to the uninitiated, particularly in explaining The Web Showroom’s unique way of building a website and the roles involved.
Part 1 of this blog post covered the roles and early build stages, so here’s more on how building a house are just like building a website with us:
Hold up! Could you just add an extra floor and repaint the house blue?
During the construction of a house, the homeowner’s needs or mind may change. Any changes requested for the house mid-build might mean the builder needs to redo already completed work or alter the floor plan and structure. Changes requested may very well be possible, but would likely incur further costs to cover the additional manpower, time or materials required that were not budgeted for at the outset. The same applies to changes of brief or functionality during a website build. The best way to prevent this is to be as thorough in briefing us on your requirements before the project commences and ensuring everything scoped out and budgeted for is included by your designer from the start of the build.
Moving in the fashionable furniture and kitsch knick-knacks
What you fill your house with – the furniture, knick-knacks, photo frames and artwork on the walls – speaks most to who you are, more so than anything else about a house. Homes furnished by anyone other than the person who'll be living there can sometimes feel cold and detached from the personality of the homeowner, missing the mark about who they are. Websites can be hard to build, so people recruit the experts, just as they do when building the house itself. But when it comes to filling your website with the words, photos or products that make it yours and are your business, there’s no one better to do that than you yourself. Following the approval of the Prototype, our Site Content stage allows for our clients to submit all the text and images they want to fill their site with – their voice, spin and personal touch. Just as you can add, remove and swap around the furniture and knick-knacks in your house as much as you like, once you've approved your site our content management system Mission Control allows you to forever change the text and images in the content areas of your site.
The final walkthrough
When a house enters the final stages of its construction, the new homeowners are given a walkthrough from the project manager. Once you’ve approved the Design, it is then meticulously applied to your approved Prototype. At that same time, the ‘furniture’ of your website – your submitted written site content – is also added to the completed site. Our project managers then deliver the site to you for your first site review. This is the first time you’re able to navigate through your completed website, with all of our design and your content in place. If a lick of paint has clearly been left off, it’s your chance to let us know and we’ll paint it right on. If there’s a hinged door instead of having a sliding door as had been discussed, no problem – we can swap it out.
Handing over the keys
Once all the work has been completed on your brand new website, we hand over the full set of keys to the content management system Mission Control. While you’re moving in you can start rearranging and adding to your written content, images, profiles and products – and you can continue to do so for the life of your website with us. Any other final personal touches can be made – a contact email address here, a setting change there. This is your chance to familiarise yourself with your new website and how Mission Control works. Don’t rush inviting everyone over to see the new house until you feel completely settled – take as long as you need.
Once a house is complete and the homeowners all moved-in, they throw open the doors and invite in friends and family for the grand tour. Equally, once you’re ready to launch your website, your project manager can help send the website live, swinging open the front door to the world. Whether or not anyone shows up to the party is all down to you: your business, the demand and whether you’ve got an online marketing campaign running. You can have the most functional and beautiful website in the world, but if no one knows it exists no one will be rocking up to the website housewarming. But that’s a whole other online marketing story...
Renovations: DIY versus the professionals
Most homeowners don’t want to get dirty or stressed whacking up their own extensions or knocking down internal walls themselves. To get the job done quickly, painlessly and – most importantly – right, you’re best to call on the professionals again. Many clients who have their sites built by us come back from time to time seeking additional functionality, design work or strategic advice for their websites. Within Mission Control it’s incredibly easy and user friendly to change content and adjust day-to-day settings. Deeper still within Mission Control is the power to alter some of the more fundamental ‘look and feel’ and structural settings of your website. But, truth be told, the ability to make such changes yourself lies beyond the patience and know-how of most. For the sake of ease and efficiency, we’d always recommend coming back to us for any additional work to redesign or add-to your website if your business grows or needs change.