BAD VERSUS GOOD WEBSITE DESIGN
The professional world is not a perfect place. Professionals do make mistakes. We would make less of those, however, if we stopped fixing what works well.
Some time ago, I’ve taken upon myself to develop e-content for a badly constructed website. Its creator, having started from overriding a functional CMS, created his own dysfunctional monster theme. The sloppy & inconsistent design turned styling the website into a session of trial & error. Consider the tiny task of wrapping an image with text, in the top left corner. It’s simple, isn’t it? Yes, it is! So, how does the image end up in the middle of the page, unwrapped? The list goes on: address bars inconsistent with names of individual pages, access to vital CMS specifications including CSS – blocked; adding pages – impossible unless you contact the developer (maybe), but then reaching him is impossible too. In a nutshell, the work’s undone! I can understand why my client had completely abandoned their own site for almost three years.
As for me, armed in patience & determination, I managed to bring the web to a semi-presentable state. Yet, the standard was far from what it could be, plus the work had taken a ridiculous amount of time which I hate to waste. What’s really frustrating though is that the website’s host was WP – a great CMS with a broad choice of certified, professional & easy to deploy themes. On this note, if you’re thinking of starting a blog or a website CLICK HERE to see if WordPress..com is a good fit for you.
Why create a theme, from scratch, if all you have is a basic understanding (or misunderstanding) of coding?! Why not create a child theme instead, or just leave it to someone who can actually do the job? Well, my bottom line’s this… if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Leave it as it is – especially, if you haven’t got the right tools, skills, time or willingness to do it right.
TIPS for SMEs employing a website developer:
– Be careful when giving control away – maintain full access to your own website.
– Have an agreement (preferably written) – it should include the relevant copyright/licensing transfer.
The above can help you avoid unnecessary virtual or/and legal battles, in case your brilliant lifesaver turns out to be a phony.
Summarizing – if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I am a creative, always full of ideas and initiatives, hence this article is for me as much as it is for anyone else. I hope we can all resist the tendency to fix things that aren’t broken and that we can focus on the big picture.
If you are a website designer searching for additional tools (plugins, etc.) CHECK OUT JETPACK. It offers themes, high-speed content delivery, and a variety of tools to customize your site – you don’t have to create them from scratch. 🙂