Once, when asked about website design, I would have passionately,
enthusiastically, annoyingly expressed how great design can transform your company
into something even greater. This sentiment has since shifted from a concern purely for
the look and feel approach to a simple question: “What content do you have for your
Understand that the days of the graphic design focus for website design are over. I came from a web design generation that was grounded in look and feel, where creating a brochure website was based on creating something really interesting and unique for your client. Once you could design a website without any content from the client and without thinking about the future of that website.
Now, the very mention of the word “Website” triggers an in depth discussion focused on:
- Web Strategy
- Content Strategy
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Creation
- Company Infrastructure
- Google Analytics
- And lastly, Design
Why is Design last? Because it is now the least important. A white page floating in the membrane of the internet with relevant, regularly posted content, with powerful search engine optimization and Google Analytics strategy can trump even the most beautiful HTML website anyone could ever imagine. Content is now infinitely more important than design.
As the age of HTML has died and the CMS generation took over. Web designers ran into a cross roads with their client management: Those clients who could manage the bullet points listed above and those who still and only wanted or needed a brochure website.
Within Design Pros Media we honed in on WordPress through solid trial and error. Using client successes and failures and constant nonstop self-study in order to find the very best platform. At Design Pros Media we worked for two years to create a Content Management Solution that would enable our clients to manage their own website’s destiny. With a 50+ active sites and more coming this was a project worth throwing resources at. What resulted was a slow burn of understanding; we learned everything about WordPress from the server level up.
The industry slayed the web designer and gave birth the Web Manager. The most challenging aspect of this was not the technical side. It was creating the client pre-qualification process and on-boarding process. Developing the detailed workflow of when clients could expect their website delivered, how to best present content to DPM, and the separate management elements that would market and monetize the website intimidate the client when this it is presented to him or her. The web designer’s biggest problem was creating a properly working template within Dreamweaver, bridging the gap between Photoshop and HTML grid (and later CSS) was the only struggle. Now you are a manager and have to be a master organizer who moves horizontally instead of vertically.
The possibilities of what WordPress unlocks is nothing less than exhilarating when it comes to creating a solid web presence. Design will always be a factor. But at the end of the day design won’t do everything you need to do for your website clients. The responsibility has shifted to delivering and executing a road map for total online success to your client and if search engine performance is not the foremost aspect considered when building a website.
You should not be developing websites for customers.