Can “Good Enough” be Good Enough?

Written: 15-Oct-2007 | Last modified: 29-April-2008 | Filed under: Website Design

Seth Godin posted some interesting advice a few days ago, in an article entitled How to create a good enough website.

Speaking as a recovering perfectionist, I understand the temptation to tweak. And re-tweak. And re-re-tweak. And so forth and so on. But in the words of the old saying (and the title of at least one book): nothing happens until something moves!

I’ve actually gone a bit further than he advocates these days. I’ve not only moved away from totally custom design but also away from totally customized programming. I love WordPress as a content management platform. Very easy to install, to customize, to use. I think it’s an excellent choice for many small business sites.

Now, would I use WordPress for a major corporate site? Probably not. It also may not be appropriate for sites that plan to sell a lot of product — for them, I’d recommend a robust shopping cart. But do they need a custom-programmed shopping cart? Unless their products and required ordering options are relatively unique, maybe not. There are loads of template-driven carts/catalogs, some open source, some paid (a couple of the paid ones I like are ShopSite and PDGSoft) that could well do the trick, and be set up relatively quickly.

When it comes to design, there are literally hundreds of attractive, high quality WordPress themes available for free download.

All I do is find one that’s similar to what I have in mind, change the colors, swap out some graphics, maybe reorganize the sidebar a bit to suit my purposes, and I’m good to go. I can have a new site online — from concept to launch — in a couple of days. (Of course, filling it with content is another matter — I’m talking design / development here.)

And that takes into account the fact I’ve got a day job!

The cool thing — and one I think some people haven’t figured out yet — is just because a theme was created for WordPress, this doesn’t mean it can’t be used for something else. A little knowledge of PHP and includes, and one can easily stitch together the visual design of a static page, or templates for use with another shopping cart or CMS, all based on a handy-dandy WordPress theme.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a rapid-design methodology that works very well. Maybe something similar will work for you, too.

If you’re looking to make some sales, generate some leads, garner some publicity — whatever it is you want your site to accomplish — it isn’t going to do a bit of that until you actually launch. You can spend just short of forever driving your designer crazy with all kinds of nit-picky changes, or you can get moving and launch something.

Sometimes, just getting it out there and getting started, you’ll find all those bits and pieces that were driving you crazy during design aren’t all that important in the overall scheme of things. Turns out there’s not such a big deal after all. And if they do still drive you nuts, you can fix them as you go. Perhaps you’ll even find something better as you progress. So get going NOW. Perfect it later (maybe).

Sometimes, I think maybe good enough can indeed be good enough.

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