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10 July 2007

What Does Lawn Care Have to Do With Web Design?

Recently Edged LawnWe recently broke down and purchased an edger for the lawn since we have been in the house for over a year without attempting it. And within minutes I realized that it probably hadn't been done by the previous owners either. In spots I was cutting back almost three inches of lawn! It took quite a while so I had plenty of time to think and find similarities between edging the lawn and my day job (maintaining websites).

Here's what I observed:

  • Your website can get overgrown: A great website has all the essentials and doesn't try be all things to all people. However, over time it can slowly adopt pages, elements, pictures, etc. that cause drift from its otherwise laser-focus. Take time to "edge" your site once and a while to bring it back in alignment. Once these edges are trimmed back it's amazing how much better it looks.
  • Static websites won't look good for long: Your site probably looked incredible the day it hit the big time. But within months the luster fades. This could be due to user-familiarity, dated graphics, old copy and/or changes in technology. Because of this we need to be constantly updating the copy, tweaking images/graphics and using the emerging technology to keep the site "fresh."
  • Failure to maintain can do damage: You may not realize it, but allowing your site to become overgrown can actually harm your audience and your brand. Notice (see picture above) the black stains where the overgrown grass used to be. I'm not sure if these stains will go away or if I'm stuck with them. Similarly an overgrown website can harm the user by giving faulty information, giving a bad impression and making it hard for them to find what they are looking for. Your brand can also be tarnished if your site doesn't express the level of excellence your church maintains in other areas.

Next time you do a "5000 Foot" analysis of your website, allow your lawn to guide you...