Websites are always work-in-progress
I loved this Blogpost from Karen Skidmore about Website development. SOOOO true what she says…..websites are never complete.
My own website history is just as chequered!
I launched in March 2009 at Feast East – the Food and Drink show organised by Tastes of Anglia. Now the great thing about having to launch on a set day was that I just had to be ready. The bad thing is that there are just a heck of a lot of things to do when you have to launch on a very set day. It was pretty hairy getting to that point…..getting the labels all designed, written, checked and printed, first production run, laboratory tests, business cards, photography of the bottles, press releases, leaflets etc. There were just so many things to orchestrate to be ready for that day in early March.
And a couple of days out I realised that I didn’t have a website! The domain had been bought and registered, but it was still a holding page with a picture of a yellow-sticky-note saying that the site was ‘under construction’. And that’s when Mr Breckland – my IT Knight-in-shining-armour stepped in to the rescue. He built me a site super-quick, and come the day of the show I had a live website! ‘Somehow having a website made me feel like I’d launched a business for ‘real’ – it was quite a defining moment.
The plan was always to replace it with a more ‘developed one’ – it was just a very basic 6 page website to start with. But the feedback I got for Mr B’s website was really positive. The simplicity was one of the things people liked, and over time I realised that keeping it simple was what I really loved about it too. It was so great and worked so well that it wasn’t high on the list to re-do. [Without making Mr B’s head swell too much people even asked me if I could tell them who had built the site as they loved it so much]
So come Summer 2011 when I finally briefed a Web Designer to re-design my site I knew exactly how I wanted it to look, feel and function.
And you see the finished result here…….and although its still work in progress I love it! It says everything about me and about Breckland Orchard that I want it to. And I am forever grateful that Mr Breckland built me that first web site for free, and that I didn’t invest precious funds into a professional built at the start. Had I done so it would have been a waste, for at that point I wasn’t even sure of what I wanted the website to say or do. Two years down the road I had a much better idea.
So there you have it – the history of the Breckland Orchard website 2009 – 2012! But even I would say it’s not complete and continues to be honed and refined.
And my advice for if you are just starting out, is to do something very simple right at the start. Do the big website build when you’ve been up and running for a few months or years. Believe me you’ll have a much better idea of what you want at that point.