It is amazing how many quality small businesses there are out there with web presence that actually detracts from their work. Poor quality images, web design from the 1990’s, animated gifs, and horrifying background music. Bad web design can actually hurt your message to would be customers, and may even cost you a contact. Think about it, the last time you reached a hard to navigate website, did you stay on it, or did you continue searching for another business?
Bad web design
Terrible website design is all around us these days. People think that just putting up a website will bring them new business, but that assumption is so wrong. As one of our recent clients, Bret Blevins Cartoonist, said to us, “I didn’t realize my site could be this nice. I guess I just got used to bad web design.”
In the case of Bret’s work, creating a clean website to display his incredible works created over decades took a little time. When we first sat down with Bret we found him without a real website at all. Given the fact that Bret’s career working with Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and even Disney, we expected some amazing stuff when we first searched for his web presence. Quickly we discovered that Bret had no web presence at all. Being a sought after cartoonist and creative genius it was a little shocking.
Honestly though, not having a website in his case was much better than having a poorly designed site. Looking through the sites of other famed Marvel cartoonists we found that the majority of the sites were out of date, unusable, and just plain bad web design!
Creatives failing at web creativity
Our most recent client, Mountain Spirit Gallery, shows the works of nearly 20 Southwestern artists. The gallery plays host to two members of the Cowboy Artists of America, several internationally known bronze artists, and more than a fair share of nationally known Southwestern painters. And the gallery’s website couldn’t even be found searching on it’s own name.
Instead, a co-op that adopted a similar name, Mountain Spirit Co-Op, had beaten this gallery out of it’s long standing name when it came to website presence. In the case of our client, name recognition on the Internet wasn’t even there. That was actually fortunate in the case of the original site though. Almost every artist listed on the original website was no longer showing with the gallery. The site was years out of date on the latest artists showing there, and the navigation on the site made it difficult to find what you were looking for.
In the case of the original site, it was better to not have it get found, it wasn’t just bad web design, it was full of completely inaccurate information about the gallery.
Working with the gallery owner and the artists he represents we quickly found that most of the artists represented also had ineffective websites for themselves. Well, not just ineffective or poorly design, but out of date to the point where the site had been hacked and not repaired. Think I’m joking?
The above screen capture is from a search on one of the gallery’s bronze artists. In blue, below the title, you will see a warning from Google that the website may harm your computer. The site is so out of date and un-maintained that is has fallen victim to hackers. At this point we’re not talking bad web design, we’re talking about a site that just needs to be scrapped.
The whole process of working with the other artists’ websites demonstrated to us that even the most gifted visual artists out there need some professional help when it comes to their websites.
Trading bad web design for good web design
RLC Design is here to help get your message out on the Internet. We’re here to help get your site found by potential clients who don’t even know they’re looking for you. And we’re here to help create an online presence that you can be proud of. Also an online presence that our clients can maintain on their own, ensuring that they don’t let the site go so long without an update that they’ve turned into a hacker launching point!
If you’re looking to be found on the net and provide your clients with a great experience from the user’s standpoint, it’s time to get in touch with us today!