man upset about web design at computer

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”  ~ Alexander Pope

Last year, I undertook what I thought would be a fun and easy project.  I took on the task of putting together a subject-specific website for a family member trying to win a little contest at his workplace.

Entrants only had to write a convincing, creative story about their workplace and the winner would be granted three days of extra vacation.  However, this family member wanted something better.  More elaborate.  Something that was creatively so “out there” in such a way that he would win the contest hands down, he said.

He wanted his story told online.  Through its own little website.

As soon as he presented the idea to me, I was entranced.  I absolutely loved it!

Could I help him design a small site online for his story?  Sure, I could.  (Or so I thought.)

I took what meager knowledge I had and attempted to create for him a site that was sure to win the contest.  What I realized two weeks into the project is that anybody who makes a living in website design clearly falls into one of the following categories:

  1. A serious artist who adores the challenge of extremely tedious and patient creation
  2. A masochist who lives for nothing but unending pain
  3. A crazy person who only wants to get crazier

Um, yeah.  That’s how EASY and SIMPLE churning out this simple website turned out to be for me.

I admit that I honestly thought I could accomplish what he wanted:  A good story told in about four to five – at most six – web pages.  It seemed simple enough.  Put a little of this “here”…a little of “that” there.  Click “Finish” and roll it out.  TA DA:  All Done-ski!

You know what?  Web design ain’t anywhere near that simple.

There’s a whole lot of configuring, tweaking and troubleshooting involved.  All three of these evolutions hold the potential to literally drive you to the point of wanting to find the nearest bridge and…jump.

The average person thinks that a website designer just slaps things together and – voila! – you have a beautifully designed website.  So.  Not.  True.

Sure, you can throw together a nice pile of junk.  Or you can start with something incredibly simple and very quickly turn it into something so complicated that even a member of Mensa couldn’t make head nor tail of it.

Such was the case with my efforts in creating that seemingly ‘simple’ website.

In the building of a website, there’s an incredible amount of “foundation building” as in navigation,  graphics and umpteen variables that are involved.  You upload and you download.  You configure ‘this’ and you reconfigure ‘that.’  You work with something called html which basically becomes as confusing as a huge snarl of Christmas lights so quickly that you find yourself hating life.

And then you try to ascertain why little old program “A” won’t fit nicely and work effortlessly with program “B” to give you the seamless and flawless output of “C” the way it’s supposed to.

You work with the instructions you’re given and when they don’t work out right, you try everything under the sun to get the result you want.  And if it should all go completely haywire, you scrap your original plan and you just plain start over.

When that doesn’t work, OMG…you start over again.

Anybody who thinks that website designers are paid too much when you hire them for x number of dollars to build an “a-b-c” operational website for you, I say:  You are so wrong!

When it comes down to the amount of work these amazing people do for you by putting your website together piece by piece and the  countless headaches they encounter and deal with in order to accomplish that feat without feeling driven to slit their wrists, believe me.  Web designers are not overpaid.  Not by a long shot.  They earn every last penny you pay them.

When you look at the amount of time they invest just to get your website the way you want it, believe me, there is no slapping together anything to make that website right.  It takes talent, know-how and a lot of artistry.  (Not to mention the patience of a saint.)

These people work their backsides off, and the really crazy part is, they love every minute of it!

The bad news is this member of my family did not win the contest at his workplace.  The good news is that he has since forgiven me for promising him something I simply couldn’t deliver.

Talk to the consultants here at Nextfly about your website needs.  They’re not only extra sharp business-wise, but they have the smarts and artistry to give you the flawless internet presence you deserve.

Debi Ketner is a professional internet marketer.  Read her here each week and share your thoughts!