This is How to Serve Your Clients
The internet is a dynamic web. Allow me to take you down memory lane, to the wild days of the internet. Let me take you back to my first experiences with static pages supplied by Internet Service Providers.
Do you remember when you first signed up with your ISP? A key selling point for them was that they provided you with a “Home Page.” I can bet that most likely you posted pictures of your fanily; with your kids, your dogs, your ski trips and your considered personal thoughts on the world. As you started buildng your pages, you became frustrated with the limitations of the medium. The pre-set pages were standard, with few options for personalizing.
Your next step was to learn how to build your own custom pages using a text editor to code raw .html. You built tables. You added gifs and jpegs. Perhaps you even added audio files, so that people could listen to your favorite midi files. You were getting pretty good at this .html thing, and your neighbor who owned a small busines hit on the idea that exposure on the internet would be a great way to attract new customers.
You helped your neighbor register a domain name. You helped your neighbor choose a hosting service. You designed a site, and your neighbor paid you a few hundred dollars for your services and you decided that this is a great way to supplement your income.
Then you realized that coding in html is rather tedious, and frustrating. You purchaed (or cracked) a copy of MicroSoft FrontPage and your sites started to look pretty nice. Then you switched to a more expensive and more expansive suite of software, such as DreamWeaver and FireWorks as your business grew. You offered Flash laden sites, making ever “cooler” sites available to your customers.
The search engines weren’t finding your customers sites, and so you did some studying and learned how to integrate Search Engine Optimization into your meta-tags and content. The business started getting more complicated as it became more competitive. In order to be profitable, you realized that you had to spend more and more time designing solutions for your customers’ business needs.
What had started as a profitable hobby had become a chore.
All of your research has led you to the conclusion that you need to add “bells-and-whistles” to make your site designs “Sticky.” You scratched your head to develop ways of integrating games into your clients sites, so that their visitors would return and take action (purchase goods, etc.)
Site Design is Getting Stale
Most of the sites that I visit now for small business clients are displaying a stale design and function. The layout of links on the side, drop-down menus and pages is formulaic. To be blunt, it is painful to go to most sites now that don’t take advantage of Web 2,0. It is a signal to the visitors that your client is not paying attention to the new trends in website design and management.
Adapting blogging software, and especially WordPress into the sites you sell and design is a signal that you are ready to lead your clients on another new wave of internet business.
In the next post, I will go into more detail.