Monday, 1 March 2010

To build or not to build; that is the question

One of the worst things about my job is having to explain to people why things cost what they do. The problem is that people only see the finished product and most will not appreciate the complexities behind the scenes. Trying to explain to somebody that what they are asking for is actually quite difficult is about as easy as trying to teach Gordon Brown how to smile without looking creepy.

Content managed websites cost more because they are much more complicated to build and take up more resources once they are up and running. Static websites are a lot cheaper but if you ever need anything changing, muggins here will have to do it and of course there is a charge for that.

And so I come neatly on to our Clickmachine product. This is a content managed website but at static website prices. Basically it is a blank canvas and you can build the pages yourself with various different types of page template from newspaper-style articles, HTML, surveys and lists of downloadable files. All aspects of the design are also controlled by you.

And now for the "however". However, the problem is that to build your own website from a content management system requires a certain aptitude with computers. Most people don’t have this which is why they ask people like me to build websites for them in the first place. Consequently I get quite a few phone calls from people pleading with me to help them or just do all the work for them, which of course there is a charge for and this somewhat defeats the object of the self-content management. The other problem is that most people aren’t designers and therefore will make a website look about as attractive as Ann Widdecombe in a thong.

This may sound like I’m slating a product that I was primarily responsible for building. Well yes and no. My advice is that if you feel you are capable of being a designer and you know how to operate a computer without causing a national blackout, then Clickmachine will work for you. If, however, you haven’t understood a word I’ve said in this article then let us build a site for you.

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