90% of everything is crap.
— Sturgeon’s Law
Including 90% of websites I’ve had to do with over the years.
Putting up a website is easy. You can do it with a free Wix account. Or Squarespace. Or any number of others. You can do it with WordPress. There are lots of ways to get a website up and running with a minimum of money and hassle.
But building a great website is hard.
Building a great website takes effort. It takes time. It takes a commitment. Even then, it’s no guarantee.
Blogging superstar, Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, wrote back in 2012, “I’ve launched more than 20 blogs in my career as a blogger. How many am I running now? Two.”
Most people I’ve encountered who want to create a website are going for cheap and easy. As if the internet were some kind of magical place where with no effort and little investment will shower you with easy money. Or as if “having a website” was a cure-all for organizational malaise. If I had a dollar for every time someone has wanted me to build a “quick and dirty” site — well, I wouldn’t quite be rich, but I’d be able to go to Starbucks a couple times.
I suppose cheap and easy, quick and dirty, have their place. Over the summer, I built what is essentially a disposable website. It was for a major brand to promote a special offer to a specific group of it’s vendors. At the end of September, they’ll pull the plug on it. It was designed in 2 days, built in 6 and has a shelf life of just over a month.
So, I guess, it was a nice piece of crap.
But every now and then you come across a great website. And what’s great about it is that you want to go back to it. Whether it’s because you enjoy reading someone’s blog, or because they always have great things to offer. They’re great because you look forward to getting updates. They’re great because you’d miss them if they weren’t there.
Great websites don’t have to be technically elaborate to be compelling or to be insanely useful or to bring you joy. And, while lousy technology can cause a website to suck, it’s not the technical stuff that makes a website great. It’s the effort and the grace and the time and the care that goes into building it, maintaining it, and continually keeping it fresh.
I’d like to think that it’s geeks like me who do the magic that makes great websites what they are. But it’s not.
Yes, I can work magic with the technology. But even the best magic, without purpose or personality, will fail to amaze or even amuse.
That said, I’m always looking for a project with purpose and personality — something worthy of the magic. If that’s your project, let’s talk.