8 Reasons Why Maintaining Your Website is Like Losing Weight
It's been months (maybe years) since you've done something about it. You know you could do better but you don't have enough time. It's easy to just ignore it, forget about it, not think about it. You wear the signs of neglect, yet aren't motivated enough to do something about it. Everyone can see it, but nobody says it out loud:
You need to lose weight
You need to fix your website
I got the idea for this post today while thinking about how the typical website cycle for companies is quite similar to trying to lose weight. A few weeks ago I saw a picture of myself and said "man, I look like Matthew Perry during his fat years on Friends." From that point on, I have been working out religiously, trying to look a little less like the chubby Chandler Bing.
Here is a list of thoughts that I have gone through while trying to lose weight, and their web design equivalent:
1. Whatever it takes, I need to lose weight right now
This is often the attitude of those who need to design/redesign a website from the ground up. No excuses made or expenses spared - we are committed to getting this site launched. Sure, we aren't really sure about how it will look when it's done, it might take longer than we hope, but we have a goal, and we will get there.
Much like losing weight, having a goal and target is vital to success. Setting up benchmarks to measure success along the way is a great way to stay on track, and even if you have a few mishaps along the way, you can always keep your eyes on the prize.
2. I'm not motivated to lose weight. I probably should, but I'd rather watch my "stories" on SOAP Network
It's easier to be satisfied with what you have than to strive for improvement. Unfortunately, time doesn't stand still while you are seeking motivation. On the web, much like in genetics, time is not on your side. Your website will show the signs of neglect if you do nothing.
3. If I can just maintain what I have, I'll be good to go
When we reach our ideal weight/website design, it's a good idea totake continuous strides to improve the way your site accomplishes our goals. In fact, if you do a great job with maintenance, you may never need to do a complete redesign of your website again.
* Realistically, this is a very small segment of the population - kudos to them!
4. I know I've gained weight, but if I'm defensive about it, nobody will say anything
Much like with gaining weight, you are only hurting yourself by being defensive about your clunker website. Maybe it's time to start blaming others and start doing something about it?
5. Dammit Grandma, why did you have to pinch my cheeks and poke my belly?
Stop blaming your Grandma - it's not her fault that you gained weight... she just happens to be the only person honest enough to tell you. In the website world, this feedback will often come from your customers or clients. If your customer tells you that they chose your company in spite of your website, you might want to make some improvements. Your family loves you because they have to, your customers don't have to.
6. Of Course Their Body Looks Great Year Round - They Are Athletes
You may say this when someone tries to compare your website to Amazon.com. Obviously you're not on the same playing field, but that doesn't mean that you can't compete. Who says that you need to do this professionally in order to have a good looking site? You can succeed in business and make an excellent website - they don't need to be mutually exclusive.
7. If I could only afford a personal trainer, I'd be ripped
This is just like saying "If I had the money to build a website, it would be great."
Let me dispense some wisdom to you in the tone of Yoda; "Money does not a good website make." The Internet is the great equalizer, you don't need to pay a lot of money to learn how to make your website better. There are thousands of 100% free workout programs online, and there are even more programs online that teach you how to make websites. Seek this information and you can go a long way.
Also, sometimes you just need to pay the money to get some information that isn't easily accessible. That's why I bought the P90X program a year ago, and that might be why you need to hire a graphic designer to create your web layout... or a programmer to make your site work properly.
8. I would totally work out if I had time
The easiest and best excuse in the book. We are members of the procrastination nation. The truth is that there is almost always an hour in the day when you can get things done. I have started waking up at 5:30 AM to work out, because that is the only way I get it done. You can always wake up early and find time to work on your site without distractions. Or stay up late... just stop procrastinating!
Bonus: Thing just haven't been the same since the injury
Sometimes forces of nature occur that force you to change your strategy. Whether it is on a micro or a macro level, strategies change. Google was originally called "back rub" before becoming a household name. Imagine the number of sexual harassment claims that would occur today had they kept that name. What if everyone huddled around a computer and said "let's backrub Jane and see what comes up?" Lawsuit city!
Likewise, Intel was known as a computer memory producer through the 1970's. In the 1980's, they changed their entire business model to focus on Microprocessors and the rest is history.
Sometimes you need to change course. If you embrace this change, there's a good chance that you'll discover entirely new avenues of conducting business (or losing weight).
How do I get started?
Motivation needs to come from within. I became motivated to increase my workout regimen immediately after I saw some unflattering photos. Our website motivated me after I realized that I had been putting it off for several months. The way you become motivated will likely be entirely different. The key is to find that driving point and get started!
What are you waiting for, your Grandma to poke your belly?