We look at the essential step of creating a website, and why it pays to do it properly. We talk to Steph Haskell, CEO of the Catchlight Design in New Zealand and approved WIX Developer, to get her take on well, frankly, what does it take – to create the right website for you.
It’s an interesting thing. Are websites a true barometer of a company? No. Do they accurately reflect the competences of the organisation? Only possibly. And how can you tell? You can’t.
And ironically, the more tech savvy, and the more detailed, the website is at a “product” level – the less commercially aware or even relevant the company itself may be.
So maybe it’s not an interesting thing. Maybe it’s become a tricky thing instead. Or maybe it’s not.
Because the fact is, if you are starting a business in not just these troubled times, but in any times, there is no shortage of ready to go, stick in the oven, templates and themes and packaged designs, where all you have to do is change the colour from pink to your favourite blue, add your logo (oh yes I forgot – you need one of those first) – write some blurb about YOU, – and and you are good to go. The Web App will pick up your location, contact details from your address book, add a nice little Map of where you are. What is there not to love?
Actually, quite a lot.
But as newbie, you – and myself included – don’t know that yet. It is only when we see the results of our first efforts, and you just find adding an Ecommerce platform is SO complicated, or even a Blog page really tricky… that you think, maybe I need a bit of help.
Steph Haskell is a charming young lady, with a young family, who develops websites for a living, She knows how to do the complicated big corporate stuff. She also knows how to rescue people like me and you when we get so far and realise we need someone who actually nows how to do the bits that matter. And she is based, in New Zealand. And I am in the UK. I don’t think you can get any further away.
Steph decided almost by accident, to become a developer, an accredited Partner so to say, for the Wix website organisation in the USA, at a time when Wix was starting a Partner programme. She is self deprecating.
“They took me into their programme probably because they would take on anybody at the time”. She says. That clearly is not true. Steph talks in simple language and understands the commercial drivers when you explain your vision, and smiles when you say that you d not know what a plugin is.
I found Steph when I went on the Wix website, and asked for help. They posted a number of interested applicants to me, and I liaised with a few. I chose Steph because she was down to earth, but knew what she was talking about.
She looked at my own first attempts at creating a bloggy thing – did not make me feel entirely stupid, sent me a proposal which was inexpensive to say the least – and I left it to her. My finished website came back a couple of weeks later – and every evening for a days, we would talk on Skype, somehow navigating the 11 hour time difference, to fine tune the finished version.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Steph asking if all was Ok, she would tidy up anything for free, if something had gone adrift.
My take away from this? In the same way as you would never go try to build a house yourself, never go do things that matter, but that are outside your level of competence. It makes sense to spend money with people who know, and with whom you feel comfortable.
And the website? Well, it was about me, and my Dog. Worth every penny.
Steph can be contacted at; firstname.lastname@example.org.