How to Find a Better Use of Your Time

The other day I had a lunch meeting with a potential client for web work. His current site was self-created, contained no design and was little more then a list of links. This type of site was more common 20 years ago, sporting multiple ‘fancy’ fonts, poor layout. and little information. Mainly found on bulletin board services these type of sites were mid-points between better, more commonly used sites.

(Not the actual client’s site but close)

The Client’s site needed help so I asked a few questions do I could better understand his company’s needs. The client explained that he created the site himself through trial and error. This is a red-flag for anyone who is looking to serve a client. The client understands basic coding, has a need for a better site but wants to take on a majority of the work himself, i.e. does not want spend any money to create a better more efficient site.

Knowing that he was looking for a way to get a high-end site for free I decided to ask a few leading questions. I was curious how many hours a week he spent on updating his “website”. His answer, “about 10 hours a week”, which led to my follow up question. “Would you like to save 10 hours a week while having a modern website that is easy to update?” His answer told me a lot about his needs…

(Yelling at it may work just as well as trial and error)

 Without answering my question the client went into an explanation on how his site came to be. “I have Dream Weaver and here is how I currently update my site. I look online for the photo I want to place on my site, download it (steal it) and open it in Photoshop. I then re-size the image to around 500 pixels and save it. I am not certain of the quality settings so I take an educated guess at what I think will work. Then I open Dream Weaver and import the file. I click ‘upload’ and then check my web page in Firefox to see if the size, placement and orientation works. If it looks off I start the process over.”

I explained to him that this process works although it is tedious and could potentially break your site every time you upload. Plus, my client was spending 10 hours a week to update photos and links. I told him there is a better way.

 A simple calculation to see if it is worth your time.

10 hours a week is 40 hours a month. If your time is worth minimum wage then we are talking about $320.00 per month. If you say you are worth more then minimum wage then it is time to look into a hosting a maintenance plan. Starting around $75.00 per month most maintenance plans can take the headache of online administration out of your office. Do you spend more then 2 hours a week updating your site? Was your site created by your cousin or sister-in-law and it is time for an update? This time go to a professional and save time and money in the long run.

(My cousin just finished my new website for free)

Creating your website should work with the flow of your office and the administration of your business.

 Three Simple Levels of Web Work:

Do you need to update images and articles daily? Look into hiring a professional to build a simple, low-cost website that can be updated by your staff through your web browser.

Is your site constant and rarely has updates? Look into hiring a professional to build a high-end design site and only look to sign a hosting contract, no maintenance means no maintenance contract.

Does your company create videos and constantly update your social media outlets? Create a website that pushes your clients back to your social media outlets and youTube videos. Why spend extra hours updating a custom website when all of the info in on Facebook?

Where does your business fall? Can you justify spending 2 – 5 hours a week modifying your site and keeping information current? If your answer is no, then one of the sites listed above should be your goal in 2014.