April 22, 2015
Are these amazing website builders threatening your agency? Potentially. It all depends on where you place yourself in the market.
People and businesses are getting more web savvy and at the same time fantastic tools are being developed that allow the building of beatiful fast and responsive websites that cost next to nothing. Anyone can come along and build what they need.
Initiatives like Digital Garage from Google are springing up to help businesses use the web effectively. Web knowledge is increasing exponentially. The next generation of business owners will have had the internet throughout their entire lives.
That’s not a threat to anyone. That’s a boon for the web development agencies. It makes businesses think about the web more and gives them training to realise that they need to have a web presence. And not just a web presence but to use the web and software for their internal processes.
To begin with the business establishes itself on the web using these low cost tools. They may be on this system for a year, or 10 years, until they start to outgrow it. Their meetings start containing phrases begining with “can we just…”, “wouldn’t it be great if…” followed by “yeah, but no…”.
The business will have seen the value of the web. They’ll have issues within the business that advanced functionality on their website can solve. They may know what solution they want implementing and they’ll have a go at it themselves – perhaps succesfully, perhaps not. Or they may not know how to solve this problem.
They’ll have outgrown the platform and their knowledge will no longer be sufficient to be effective. This is where the agency steps in.
The agency can offer a broader spectrum of knowledge. It can look at a business from the outside and provide solutions because they’re not so engrained in what has come before that they can’t think outside the box. The agency will have experience of multiple projects, reading and research – broad knowledge on when existing solutions can be employed and when it’s time to build something bespoke.
The role of the agency is to establish the picture that need painting. This may not be clear to start with so analysis will be done. Analytics research, interviews with the employees and the end users. The agency takes it all that step further to find the right solution to the problem. They may even need to establish what the problem actually is because the business presents to the agency with a solution – having never actually specified what needs to be addressed.
The agency may build the end product on Squarespace. Or WordPress. Or Magento. Or it may be custom built. Or insert whatever you want here. That doesn’t matter. What matters is the problem originally presented is solved. That is what a good agency can do.
I’m Tom de Bruin and I make websites and I ride bikes. I’m a software engineer. You could follow me @deadlyhifi.