At most restaurants, the waitstaff will bring your meal and then, some time later, come by your table and ask 'how is everything tasting?' or 'did everything come out alright?' or 'is there anything else you need?'
They do this because a meal is an experience. It's important to have the option of continuous improvement. If waitstaff dropped a plate in front of you and then disappeared, your experience might suffer. What if they brought the wrong entree? What if the side dish was mixed up? What if something is over or under cooked? What if your drink is low and you'd like a refill? What if your dish needs pepper or ketchup or the kitchen forgot your pickles?
But that is, after all, just a meal. It takes about a half hour to an hour and usually costs comfortably under $100.
Now, take the time line, cost, and importance of the experience of a meal and stretch it way waaaaaay out. It's time to consider your website.
Your website is also an experience. But, traditionally, it's treated like a product. That approach to building a new website or redesigning a website misses the mark. Too many web design agencies or individuals drop the plate and run. That can cost you time, money, and effectiveness.
Your website is your most important marketing asset.
It's the first place potential customers will go to get an impression of your business. It's your digital storefront. It can act as a (successful!) salesperson.
Traditional web design works like this: you pay a steep up-front cost, a fully-formed website is designed over 4-5 months, you launch. Then, about 2 years go by and you - fed up with your under-performing website - decide to do a redesign. The process repeats on and on.
To the designer, it looks like this: Customer orders website. Drop plate. Disappear. Customer orders something new. Drop plate. Disappear. etc.
It's a broken approach. It views the website as a finished product, instead of an evolving experience. Design is inherently subjective and performance can't be predicted. It has to be observed and then modified as necessary.
Like your meal at a restaurant, your website can (and almost certainly will) need continuous improvement. You'll need updates. You'll need redesigns. You'll need fresh content. You'll need someone to monitor traffic, analytics, and lead conversion. You'll want someone to check in frequently and ask 'how is everything working?'
That's the new approach to a new website that your business should be taking. Hire an agency that understands that web design is an experience. The new approach works like this: build a strategy, launch quickly at lower up-front cost, monitor performance and design efficacy, improve, evaluate, improve, evaluate, improve, evaluate, improve, eva... you get it.
With a quicker, less expensive launch and continuous data-backed improvements, your website becomes a living, breathing, experience. Instead of full-blown shot-in-the-dark redesigns every two years, your site is constantly evolving and being refined over time.
That kind of attention is fitting for your most important marketing piece. Stop settling for whatever is on your plate. Take a new approach that gives your website the care and attention it needs and deserves.