Perfection is a Myth: 3 Things that Are Holding You Back from Your Ideal Website
If you’ve ever tried to DIY your website then this article is for you. This article is also for you if you’ve ever spent 6+ months going back and forth with your design team trying to get your website just right.
Let’s just get one thing clear: Perfection is a myth. There is no such thing as a perfect website. How do I know? Because part of my job is to continually update (and upgrade) beautifully designed websites that I’ve built for my clients. While I believe in creating top-quality websites, I also know that technology changes far too rapidly for your website to ever be completely finished. There will always be things to improve (speed, SEO, copy), new services to add, and sales to promote. Websites are never stagnant. The best ones are always changing.
If you happen to find yourself in the neverending cycle of seeking website perfection, then, by all means, read on! Getting your ideal site out on the web doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you can overcome these common three obstacles.
Imagine your dream website. It’s a place where your customers can shop, order online, book a consultation, log in to their personal accounts, and so much more! Want that baby custom-built? Get ready to throw thousands upon thousands of dollars at a team of people, months of prep work, and finding that at the end of it all…it still isn’t perfect.
Expectations play a huge role in preventing businesses from launching perfectly lovely sites and growing their online presence faster than with no site at all.
If your website expectations aren’t matching reality (or your dream website doesn’t match your budget), it may be time to re-evaluate what you really need in a website. With a little bit of compromise, you can get a top-notch site that offers e-commerce, log-ins, personalization, and more, simply by utilizing some of the tools that already exist. And staying within your budget.
Shopify, for example, provides a million little e-commerce options to get your online store up and running. Add in some custom design and development to make the site uniquely yours and on-brand, and you’re on your way to selling your product to a much wider audience than your brick and mortar can accommodate.
Navigating website expectations also means deciding what is important now versus later. Maybe in 5 years, you can afford that completely custom website. For now, however, focus on getting your product or services in front of a digital audience so that you can level up both your business and your business website.
2. Too Many Options
For all my DIYers out there, this one’s for you. When you are aiming for a budget-friendly, DIY website, you can easily get overwhelmed with the choices. Which template do I choose? Once I choose one, how do I know I’m getting the most out of it? How many plugins do I need?
And the most devastating question of all: what if there is a better option out there?
This obstacle also hinders my fellow perfectionists who work with a professional designer. Too often the design presented just isn’t quite right. So they will request multiple versions — many times over — only to discover that one of the original designs best captures their needs.
Sometimes having too many options prevents us from choosing the right option. When you begin your website design journey, it helps to clarify exactly what you need most in a site. It also helps to define your business, your goals, branding objectives, and even words you like to use to communicate your business to others.
When you work with a professional designer, she’ll know exactly what questions to ask in order to understand the priorities of your business, even those priorities that go unspoken. Trust in your designer allows you to remain open-minded to the options she provides. And instead of requesting more and more iterations, you can rest assured that the website presented to you is the website you need.
For DIYers, the best practice is to settle on a template that includes the basic criteria for your website: easy navigation, clear layout, plenty of high-quality images, Call to Action buttons, and a defined pages or sections for each topic you want to include on your website. And once you choose your template, stick with it. Chances are it does everything you need it to do. When you start changing templates, you lose some of your hard work and potentially complicate the code on your website, causing speed and SEO issues down the road.
3. Opinions, Opinions, Opinions
I used to read this book growing up called Too Many Babas. Baba Edis wants to make some soup to warm her bones, but after all of her friends get involved with their own opinions of what the soup needs, the end result is a disaster.
The moral of the story, and the moral of your website conundrum, is that there is a way to involve the “team” in your process. But when everyone’s opinion gets free reign, the end result will be a website you don’t like.
Instead of inviting everyone in your company to share their open-ended opinions about what your website needs (or what a design mockup is missing), consider each person’s strengths and weaknesses.
Invite your communications team to give input on the content. Allow your marketing team to help guide the flow of information that your site visitors experience. If you wish to invite outside input, share the site with an unrelated third party…preferably one that is not a current customer but falls into your target audience.
Ultimately, limit the opinions you lean on to a very few, and only from trusted sources. When you have too many opinions flying around, your final website likely won’t please any of them. Finally, if you are working with a professional designer, trust her opinion above that of your neighbor’s daughter’s friend. There is a reason she is in the business of building websites, and it’s not just by chance.
Building the Ideal Website
While perfection is a myth, it is possible to build your ideal website. Sometimes it just takes a slight adjustment to your definition of “ideal.” The ideal website is one that helps you grow your business and reach a wider audience than you previously thought possible. It is a website that functions as your best salesman and allows customers to easily find and purchase the product or services they are looking for.
Most importantly, your ideal website is one you feel proud to direct your customers to. It won’t be perfect. It will require changes as you grow and add new offerings. But it will be a website that gets the job done for you and your business.