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Will this website work? How will I know my site is working?

For any business or organization wondering if a new website will work and make you more money: probably not. It can’t hurt, and smashing successes do happen. You’re just unlikely to be one of them.

When you hear a story about how some business built a new website, and suddenly they were selling more and generated leads and converted customers into followers it’s because they were one or all of the following:

  1. A large company with a huge budget to buy their way into everyone’s consciousness
  2. A smash hit product or service in a new category (i.e., app development in 2009)
  3. Incredibly lucky

In all likelihood, if you’re reading this, you’re probably not #1. And you might have #2, but you can’t control #3.

People never come out and ask me before we start working on a new site, but I think the assumption is there that, “This new website will fix all our problems.” No, it won’t. If anything it just makes more problems for the developers. If they care at all about their clients from a business growth standpoint, a new site can’t fix a bad product. It won’t solve a complex service problem. It can facilitate some things, but it won’t fix it.

It doesn’t matter if the website can encourage people to give their email address for more information if your customer service is poor. Or if when they call via your site, you’re not friendly and super helpful.

The point here is to never rely on your designers, developers, or writing staff to fix deeper mistakes. We’re not icing on a cake that can just glom onto the spot where your cat fell.

When done correctly, websites work in concert with a business or organization and your efforts. That’s all I can and ever will promise people before getting to work. That’s how you’ll know your website works.

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Photo of Justin Harter


Justin has been around the Internet long enough to remember when people started saying “content is king”.

He has worked for some of Indiana’s largest companies, state government, taught college-level courses, and about 1.1M people see his work every year.

You’ll probably see him around Indianapolis on a bicycle.

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