Sometimes I feel like my clients and I are straddling two eras of web development. By “my clients” I mean those hardworking designer/ developers who raise their clients’ websites up from the good rich soil of teh intarwebs.
And by “we are straddling” I mean HE’s straddling and I’m sitting on his shoulders, dangerously displacing his center of gravity.
On the one hand, I have one or two clients currently working with one or two Big Firms on one or two Big Sites. 20+ pages of philosophy, history, leadership, products, capabilities, clients, case studies, and on and on.
On the other hand, you have the small, sometimes virtual shops working with several small clients on several small sites–often WordPress or otherwise blog-based. These sites might include a Home/About page, a product page or two, and Contact.
Obviously both have their pluses and minuses.
One has a huge budget, killer graphics and functionality and lyrical, heroic copy honed to perfection (and it only took 8 drafts!) However, it has way too many cooks, and takes so long to complete that at least one person on the client side will have retired by the time the site goes live.
The other is nimble, lean, and to the point. Nice (not killer, but nice) graphics, concise copy, simple functionality, and so on. The entire creative and decision making team might consist of 6 people instead of 20.
One will likely take several months from initial meeting to going live. In fact, I have one approaching the 9-month mark. The other is in, out, done and invoiced in a matter of weeks.
One entails a BIG payday…somewhere down the line. (Don’t be surprised if it comes in the form of a Social Security check.) The other, much MUCH smaller, but definitely sooner and more of them.
So what are we looking at here? Is this the difference between Web and Web 2.0? Between messaging/branding/consulting and simply creating a website? Between building an impressive client portfolio and paying the bills? The answer is yes.
I don’t think either is necessarily better. Ideally, you’d like to have some of both… the few, big payday prestige projects, and the several nice bill-paying projects. These days, I will take what I can get. And I will be thanking the Lord for it.
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And now, today’s cautionary tale of Social Media Suicide: