Guest Post: Advice for the Web Consultant

Chris —  August 26, 2011 — 2 Comments

As I wrap up my involvement in a project for a local ministry as their free web consultant, I have some tips that I wanted to pass along to those who use web developers or web consultants. This has been a unique experience for me, as a web consultant does not actually get into the designing or programming process, but simply provides what expertise they can to the project as a whole and lets the clients and web developers use that information as they wish. This provides an outside look into a project that people might need a new prospective or fresh eyes on. Unfortunately, sometimes they cannot let go or still continue bad habits, even after being advised not to continue. Here are four tips from a web consultant.

Leave Your Emotions At The Door
In the last three different projects I have worked on, each team had started arguing with each other or the web developer working on the project. They wanted something that was not possible for the cost that they were willing to pay and started to either whine, get angry, or be defiant and stall the project. That does not mean leave your passion at the door. This is your company and you need to do the best for it, but when emotions stall progress, you need to reevaluate your position.

Remember Who Is The Expert
You know your product or service better than anyone else in the room. This is your baby and you know the whole picture for the project. But do not confuse knowing your product with knowing what is best for the website. If a consultant says you will get better results doing something, hear them out. If it is something small like adding tags to blog posts that does not cripple or alter the project, you might want to let that one go. It comes down to picking your battles wisely and holding on to what God has given you loosely.

Keep The Timeline And Budget In Perspective
Almost nothing is impossible to create on the web. Want to have an ecommerce shopping cart? Got it. Want to use a packaged content management system that gives you lots of options, bells, and whistles? Done. Need a to completely rework one of the components of our project for your specific needs? Can do. Want it all at the original cost and due date? NO DEAL! If you want more, you have to be willing to give somewhere.

Remember The Goal Of The Website
Is it really necessary to have an iPhone app for this website? Will enough value be added if you incorporate a Flash intro? We always need to know what the goal of the website is and not deviate from the final mission. Additions for the website might need to take a backseat until version 2.0. For those that are not a typical web designer, they can get lost in the “possibilities” of what could be and need to focus in on why they wanted a website in the first place and stay true to it.

 

Jeremy Smith is a 26 year old youth worker at the Air Force Academy chapel, working for Club Beyond, and attending Denver Seminary for his Master”s of Counseling in Mental Health. I have been involved in Youth for Christ for eight years and absolutely love sharing the life of Jesus with teens.

I have been married to my wonderful wife, Ashley, for two years and try to be the best husband I can be. I enjoy tennis, web designs, and reading books. A secret introvert, you will find many of my ramblings come from weeks and months of thinking about these topics and how they can help ministry today.

Chris

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I build things on the web, love my family, and am highly distracted by Apple gadgets.