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Design A Website? What Was I Thinking?

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

I have been working on building this website for over two years. I am doing it on my own because . . . well, because I want to see if I can do it. I have family and friends who are computer, art/graphics, language, and website types who offered to help when they heard what I was doing. Even though I am not a coder or a graphics type I told them that I wanted to give it a try on my own. I will ask them for help if I get really stuck but for now I really want to see if I can do it myself. It is like a puzzle that I am challenging myself to solve.

So, since this is not my forte I started by doing research. Like most of you, I have looked at a ton of websites but now I was looking at them with a different purpose. I was trying to find examples or models that looked like what I wanted to do . . . anything that would help me design this one. What I found out was that there really wasn’t a website like what I am trying to build because there really isn’t an organization like the one I have started . . . or at least not one that I could find. And that is something that constantly amazes me.

I am really having trouble believing that I may have an idea that no one else has had. Recently when I mentioned that to someone they told me that somebody probably had the idea and didn’t do anything about it. Maybe. It still feels weird to me. But I digress. Back to the website.

What I found was that most websites, even the #nonprofit ones, are designed to sell or get donations for something tangible like a product or a service. I couldn’t find any that were not selling some “thing” as evidenced by the calls to action on their homepages. I am not doing that here. . . at least not at this point. Down the road I might be, but for now I am just trying to increase #awareness about an issue that is important to me, #advocate for that issue, and #support the people that are affected by that issue.

After I had researched websites I had to research #website builders. That was fairly easy because once I realized that most of the websites and organizations were geared toward selling something it stood to reason that the templates on website builders would be too. Supply and demand, right? The problem was that I had to find one that had templates that I, as a beginner with no coding experience, could manipulate to do what I wanted them to do. I think I have done that. :) I also wanted to find an inexpensive or free one to start out with because well, because it just made sense not to spend a lot of money on something that might not fly.

Next came the content, text, and the graphics. I had to decide what to include and how. Sounds simple, huh? Not. Even. Close. At least not for me. I have a pretty good grasp of the English language however, since I am not a coder or a graphics type it has been pretty intense. And difficult. Additionally, the organization is new so we don’t have a lot those cool, attention-grabbing, pics you see on other sites . . . at least not yet.

The last step before publishing it was to run the concepts by a few people for feedback. I had to decide who to run it by based on the areas of feedback that I wanted/needed. I needed folks who, combined, could give me basic feedback on design, graphics, language and content. After that I had to decide how, if based on that feedback, I wanted or needed to change anything to improve the website.

Along the way I also had to learn about things like #domain names, marketing, #SEO tools, and analytics. Who knew?

And finally, one benefit of building this website that I did not anticipate was that it made me think more clearly about what I want to accomplish and how. That clarity is necessary because in order to accurately represent #It’sAboutMobility to anyone via a website I have to have a very clear understanding of the goals and objectives of the organization.

This path is a little rocky to say the least, but I am forging ahead because I know this is a worthwhile endeavor and I am committed to making it work. The organization exists. The website exists. Both are a work in progress.

This is the beginning. There is still a lot to do.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

(Henry David Thoreau)

Note: I started writing this post in May 2019. I am finally posting it in October 2020. The website . . . is still a work in progress.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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