Web Work 101

Cracking The Code: What the Website Guy Just Said?

Top 4 Confusing Things

Your Web Designer Might Say


Everyone in business gets spam emails saying,

“I’ve been looking at your website and you need to redo it.”


“My company will optimize your website and you will get more leads.”


What does that mean?

What he says:        Your website doesn’t look modern. You brought it up several years ago.

What he means:    Your website looks like the Year 2000, and your public will notice.

 So, let’s get started with color.

 The public’s preferences for colors change over the years. Remember the avocado refrigerators and stoves in the 60s?

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That was all the rage back then, and today no one would be caught ALIVE with one of those appliances. Websites are like that. Without the popular colors, bright and inviting, people will just click out of the website before they even read a word of the copy.  And just because iridescent purple is your favorite color, it might not be appropriate for your plumbing business.


Watch out for the web designer that will take your requests and not give you an opinion based on RESULTS.  Many designers follow the rule of “it’s what the customer wanted.”  These designers are hit-and-run artists who don’t stick around to see what the results are from their work.  Get a designer who can give you a history of RESULTS for his/her clients.


What he says:       The copy on your website needs to be redone.

What he means:   We know from the reports that we pulled on your website that you are not getting the response you need from people that come to look, and we can tell it’s the writing (copy).

Language is tricky, and this topic is critical.  If you want help with your writing, here’s a website that can help you:


 You can start with a free sample and see if you like it. Writing the words (copy) for a website is not a one-size-fits-all project.  A good copywriter will use different language tools for blue-collar companies versus a company that houses the elderly.  The first is all factual:  fix the pipe, install the water heater, and how much will it cost.  The second is all about emotion:  I need a place to take care of my mom.  Are you a safe place that will provide her favorite foods?  Will you watch over her so that she doesn’t fall and damage her left hip?

The language is different, and sometimes the differences are very subtle.  If you are writing the copy in English, if English is not the native language of the writer, those subtleties might be missed.  Same if the language is Spanish or any other language out there.

As a business owner who is hoping their website will bring them leads, the copy (writing) has to push the reader to an action:  call the company, email the company, or perhaps stop by the little antique shop to see what they have.  An action. 

If the language is ineffective, the lead might not happen and you, as a business owner, have just wasted your money and your time.


Be sure to ask who specifically will be writing the copy for the new website, and how much experience they have in your industry.  Ask for three sample websites to see if they repeat the copy over and over again, or if they actually get to know your company and write copy specific to you.


What he says:        You need maintenance on your website.

What he means:     Websites are like 16-year-olds.  If you leave them alone, they get into trouble.

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Five years ago, I had a client whose website just disappeared overnight.  Poof!! Just gone.

I found out he had not been paying for maintenance on the company website for three years, and one of the company executives decided it was a waste of money and canceled the service.

His website was still out there, it just couldn’t hook to the web.

Google makes between 1500 and 1800 changes a year.  One of the items “maintenance” addresses is making sure that the “hooks” to the search engines remain up to date so your website can be found.  Without maintenance, when Google makes some of those changes, your website might not have that hook that connects it to the internet.

 It cost my client $600 to get his website back in working order.


Pay the maintenance gladly.


What he says:       Your website needs to be optimized.

What he means:   Your website isn’t producing results, and we need to do a lot of work on it.

When you go and buy a website, it’s usually not part of the contract to have the developer produce a website that is “optimized” for SEO.  Just the name “Search Engine Optimization” should give you the hint that it’s a separate contract, and much more expensive than just the initial programming of the website.

I have clients asking me all the time, “Why is this so expensive?”  It’s because it’s very labor-intensive, and the labor is provided by people who have YEARS of school and YEARS of experience in a very technical world.  This isn’t something that is done once, and the developer just walks away from it.  This system must be monitored, and updated, month after month, year after year.  Things change, and we keep up with the changes.

Website optimization is critical for any company that wants people to visit their website. Whether you are selling something or trying to build a brand. What is a brand?  It is a name or image that can become a household name. Think Nike and its logo.  Facebook and their blue color.  Twitter and the bird.  That’s branding.

The word “optimize” is the first problem.  What does that mean?  Can you go to Walmart and buy an “optimize?”  Optimize means a whole lot of adjusting, programming, changes, re-arranging, and coding.  I used to think I would find some technician who would give me the short version of the definition – I couldn’t find that person because there IS NO SHORT VERSION.  It’s too much for someone to just spit out in a few words. 


“Optimization” includes lots of changes, it’s not just one topic. Here’s a couple.

 Load speed of your website.

This is really critical for the mobile phone version of your website. You have less than 3 (THREE) seconds to get the attention of people Looking at your website.  If your website loads in 5 seconds, many people will have already clicked off the site.

There are lots of technical procedures a developer can do for speed, and you, the business owner, will probably never know all the changes the developer made, UNLESS YOU ASK.

The reason you want the list is because sometime in the future you may have ANOTHER developer working on the site and he might need the information, so he doesn’t charge you AGAIN to do the same work.

Keyword research, installation, and usage

 This is a specialty all on its own.  I recently spent four hours figuring out what keywords would most likely work for a site I was designing for a client.

The thing to remember about the keywords research function is the process experimental.  As a developer, you can look at the HISTORY of what WAS searched for, but people, being humans, change their search patterns all the time.  If we start with one set of keywords, two months later we may have to tweak those keywords to better match the current trends.  And six months down the road we may have to do it again. Now this next item is a little vague…

 What is the User Experience with your website?

 User experience (UX) is harder to get right since it is a matter of perspective. Does your website flow, is it logical, is it appealing, are the sections of the website placed appropriately, are the visuals appropriate to the topic? Have you provided meaningful information on the website that someone is searching for?

All of these, and more, will draw in the person, OR it will bounce them out of the website.  We technicians have programs that can measure how long your prospective clients stay on a page and how fast they click out.  There are no secrets out there on the web, you just have to find a technician that knows how to access the programs.


 And how do you find that skilled internet person?

You get a little education so you can ask educated questions.

The optimization for SEO (search engine optimization) includes many programming changes to your initial website:  headers, tags, metatags, analytics integration, link building, and more.

A word of caution:  bringing up an SEO project is labor-intensive for both the developer and the business owner at the beginning.  You are the only person with goals, ambitions, history, and commitments – not the developer.  You will be asked to carve out time at the beginning of the project in order to give the developer what he/she needs to implement all the steps that need to be done for SEO.  If you are not willing to make that commitment, don’t spend your money.


This ends this Website Development blog.  I will post a blog on Abbreviations and Short Cuts. These are a kind of shorthand you have to learn to survive with your web guy.

I hope you enjoyed this blog.  Please leave me comments so I can adjust to the needs of those visiting my blogs.


4 thoughts on “Cracking The Code: What the Website Guy Just Said?

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