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    Developing a site: functionality is done, whats next? design? marketing?


    I developed a website the provides a service to members. The hard part for the past year has been coding the site to provide the functionality i had in mind.

    Now that the functionality of the site is there, I am having a hard time figuring out whats next. I am going back and forth trying to decide what employee I need to hire first. Graphic design, marketing, textual content are all the positions I will to hire employees for sooner or later. To me they are all positions are very important, however, I can only afford to hire one employee at the moment.

    Right now, the site provides all the funcitonality I needed it to but is lacking on textual content, graphic design that really grabs the users attention (graphic desgin) and helps promote the service (marketing). I personally do all the scripting development but know nothing about the nitty griddies of graphic design, marketing, and writing for a large audience.

    This is the first monetized website I ever created and I have been having a very hard time proceeding to the next step of development, I appreciate any advice as to what would be the best next step to expand the website.


    Thanks in advance.
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    You've done this the wrong way around from the start. You should start with the idea and process that you need to follow through the site, then get the design done, then do the programming work.

    But, seeing as how you are where you are now, get a designer that can do copywriting. The design is the first and probably most important thing to do. There's no point marketing a site and getting people to go there if they just leave because it looks terrible, doesn't grab their attention and is hard to use. From there you can worry about getting more content written, and then when it's done to a level that you are happy with you would start a big marketing push.
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    Originally Posted by Catacaustic
    You've done this the wrong way around from the start. You should start with the idea and process that you need to follow through the site, then get the design done, then do the programming work.

    But, seeing as how you are where you are now, get a designer that can do copywriting. The design is the first and probably most important thing to do. There's no point marketing a site and getting people to go there if they just leave because it looks terrible, doesn't grab their attention and is hard to use. From there you can worry about getting more content written, and then when it's done to a level that you are happy with you would start a big marketing push.
    Thanks for the reply. I completely disagree with you. In my opinion the functionality is the most important thing and right now all the functionality is there.

    Right now, the 'tool' is 100% usable, but it doesn't look the prettiest, it just looks average. How smart is it to hire and pay a designer to desgin the idea you have for a site before ANY of the functionality is there?

    My point is, if google was just a text field and a search button, and nothing else, but still worked, people would still use it. Th site I am working on provides a service that is useful to a wide audience and the competetion level is negligibly low.

    Also, you must of misread my post because the site is not hard to use at all and does not look terrible. But I get your point that graphic design is probably the next step, and I appreciate your input.
    Last edited by matthayzon; August 21st, 2012 at 08:20 AM.
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    In my opinion the functionality is the most important thing and right now all the functionality is there.
    Functionality is the most important thing, but design often impacts functionality and it's cheaper to do the design first and build it once than it is to build it, design it, then rebuild it to follow the design.

    How smart is it to hire and pay a designer to desgin the idea you have for a site before ANY of the functionality is there?
    This is actually what most people do, although most people are not in exactly your position (programming it themselves). When a client comes to me, the first thing I ask for is designs. If they don't have designs, I work with them to get designs before I do any programming. Most people could not write a quality programming specification if their life depended on it, so the designs effectively serve as the specifications for the project.

    My point is, if google was just a text field and a search button, and nothing else, but still worked, people would still use it.
    Yes, they probably would; but I doubt Google would be as profitable or as popular in that scenario.

    I recommend contracting your initial work out. It's more expensive in terms of the unit cost for the work, but for an initial launch it's not likely that you would have a sufficient volume of work to make hiring an employee worthwhile.
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