The ol’ car analogy
I love using analogies when trying to explain complex ideas. It gives an individual a relatable scenario that can be translated to a concept that they may not be familiar with. One of my go-to’s is comparing a website to a car.
Like a car, an individual knows how to use it, and has a basic understanding of the mechanics, but when it comes to maintenance if you are not a mechanic, and don’t have the proper tools — there is a limited amount that you can do on your own.
Also, like cars, websites need regular maintenance — whether it be keeping your CMS up to date, or creating and populating content. There is often a misconception on what a CMS is (Content Management System). People often think that it is a tool that allows you to build a website exactly the way you envision it. The truth is, a CMS main purpose is to manage content… That’s it. Even that requires some know-how in order to preserve the design integrity and to make your website look professional, and provide the best user experience. After all, just because you can put air in your car’s tires, it doesn’t make you a mechanic.
The misconception of customization
Currently, there is an ad that I see daily for the WIX website builder staring model Karlie Kloss. The ad promotes the idea that you can keep your website fresh, and that Karlie likes to change up the background. Watch the video for yourself!
There are a few things wrong with this promise. To start, for the average person, changing up your website to keep it “fresh” seems like a great idea. However, from a design and branding perspective, this is a horrible idea. Imagine if McDonalds changed their signature golden arches to a different colour on a monthly basis. Nothing screams amateur like a brand going through an identity crisis.
The second issue with this promise is the example being used. In the video, Karlie Kloss is changing just the background colour of her website. The beautiful close cropped image of her head shot isn’t affected in any way. What the commercial isn’t telling you is that the photo being used was close-cropped by someone with the skills and tools to do so (not included in the website builder). Also, an image of that size with a transparent background would be quite large in file size — as a result bogging down your website’s speed.
Content Management Systems
The one thing I want to be clear about here is that a CMS isn’t bad. In fact, we use WordPress in most of our projects. The difference is that we have been using WordPress for years and know how to build custom themes from scratch. This allows us to create impactful experiences and to ensure that all aspects have been thought through including; load time, SEO, professional design and most important — strategy.
What can you take away from this article? I’m not saying that website builders should never be used, I am simply saying that unless you are a mechanic, don’t try and rebuild your car’s engine.