Friday, January 09, 2009

Irish Independent on how to build a website

Today I stumbled across an article that featured in the Irish Independent this week via Creative Ireland's forum entitled 'How to build a website (It's as easy as www)'. Alarm bells instantly started to ring at the title alone but after reading the article I'm a more confused and annoyed as opposed to worried.

Firstly, I can't figure out who the article is aimed at. After establishing that many people still aren't clued in on how to get a website up and running, the section entitled 'Do I need one?' fails in helping to answer said question. Instead we meet the exhibit A for the exercise, phony photographer Hortense McCreedy. 
My second problem is the paragraph on how to get a domain name. He points to a bunch of UK and US based companies citing how these re-sellers are ("...usually work out cheaper for generic domains such as .com, .biz or .info). Who the hell wants .biz or .info? What about the little-known Support? Reputation?

This article is lifted directly from the UK sister Independent and plonked directly into the Irish version, leaving out some rather important and useful information regarding .ie domain registration, Irish hosting & domain re-sellers etc. 

The article ties up with "Better by design: how to have a hit site", providing some basic but valid pointers on the use of white space & cross-browser compatibility. However, to me the piece seems to be implying that there's no reason for anyone to approach a professional web services company to get an online presence up and working. Yes, it's great to encourage people to be aware of the need to get your name out there on the online channels. Yes, it's also good to encourage people to shop around and have a go themselves but it certainly isn't the solution for everyone. "Of course, there'll always be a trade-off between the ease of getting a site built and its professional sheen." Yes, its professional sheen, usability, effectiveness, communication of your message and so on. But hey, at least you've got a website for less than €20! Bad-mouthing the idea of putting forward a sizeable budget to spend on a website & online presence is mis-leading, ill-informed and good for absolutely no-one.

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