How do we start a website project?

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Show Notes

There has been a shift in design to soft skills and agile approaches. More human than AI and more scientific to attempt to "falsify" (than to rigidly hold to old beliefs).

Three Questions

The MDN web docs has a short article called How do I start to design my website? that talks about "project ideation" in plain english. It asks us 3 questions:

This quote is from the MDN:

“When starting with a web project, many people focus on the technical side. Of course you must be familiar with the technique of your craft, but what really matters is what you want to accomplish. Yes, it seems obvious, but too many projects fail not from a lack of technical know-how, but from lack of goals and vision.”

A client's brief


[00:00:05] Nathan Wrigley: Welcome to the No Script web show about modern web design, where we look at what we can build today with minimal dependencies and skills. Up until now, we’ve been catching up with the new spec that has been coming to the web platform over recent years, particularly with CSS.

We’re probably less than halfway through that, but we’re also building the show website as part of the podcast, and we thought it’d be interesting to take a step back from the technical side. For a while and look at how we should start or any new web project. As always, I’m joined by my good friend David Waumsley.

How you doing, David?

[00:00:41] David Waumsley: Yeah, I’m very good. Actually, I should just say no, shall I tell you about my bunions?

[00:00:46] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, go on. let’s spend half an hour talking about that. Actually, I don’t. I don’t even know what a bunion is, but anyway. no, but it’s a very typical British complaint. so the intention of this show, right from the outset was to talk about modern things that are coming down, especially from the W three C-C-S-S-H-T-M-L and so on, and to upskill you, but particularly me, because your levels of skill of are far in excessive mind.

So you are driving the whole thing. But an interesting idea that you had right from the outset was that we would make a website. almost like a co-host for the show. So there’s me and there’s you. And the website is host number three. And if you are listening to this and haven’t been following long, every time that we’ve done a show, you can find the episode related to that.

So the website is no script show. This is episode seven, so simply append slash seven to the end. So no script show slash seven, and the website has been iterating slowly. and this, really, this episode is about that website and asking the question about, what’s going on? Why do we need a website?

[00:01:54] David Waumsley: So we’ve still taking a step back ’cause we’ve got our website out. Yeah. And now we’ve gotta decide who it’s for and do the design stuff. ’cause that’s really where we start. We started with clients and and we had to ask ’em why they wanted their website and we now we’ve got a perfect opportunity even though it’s a bit self-indulgent, I dunno what this episode’s gonna be like, but it does give us a live project where we can look at things from both the designer and the client perspective as we are both Yeah.

[00:02:22] Nathan Wrigley: So shall I pop it on the screen? Yeah, actually that’s, that would be useful. Our show notes. First of all, I should say, dear listener, If you are listening to this, maybe quite of the things, quite a lot of the things that we’re gonna mention in this podcast episode are related to what you’re seeing on the screen.

You can find us. On, YouTube, if you go to the URLI mentioned previously, no doubt there will be a link to the video. so you’ll be able to see what we’re talking about, but bear with us. Hopefully we’ll manage to do it in an audio form as well. So there it is, there is our fully featured, finished complete, and.

Nothing to fix websites. It’s pretty bare bones, isn’t it? Other?

[00:03:00] David Waumsley: Yeah. It’s just functional. Yeah. because we didn’t do what anything I think you would expect to do for that would be classed as a design process. And here was the thing, because we decided for this podcast, we would take our source of truth for everything we talked about being the W three C, but when it comes to design, I’m not sure what that was.

So I thought. How do we start a web project? Who will we go to first? And I thought, the next best thing might be the NDN records that have a short article, which is called How Do I Start To Design My Website? And it doesn’t mention the term project ideation, which is a really fancy term, but the rest of it’s really plain English and it’s basically asks us three questions which we need to answer for ourselves, Nathan, about we are.

We need to ask it of ourselves and answer it. So do you wanna read out the three questions?

[00:03:55] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. So here we are. So this is, like David said, you can find a link to the MDN article. It’s really easy to read. It’s probably like a, 10 minute read max, but it lays out a process, it’s a wiki, as I understand.

So it’s not the, it’s not the knowledge from a singular individual. It’s been changed and modified over time. So the three questions, I guess in the, in this order are. What do I want to accomplish? What, sorry? How will a website help me reach my goals? And thirdly, what needs to be done and in what order to reach my goals?

So is the intention in this episode, David, to try and answer those three questions from our perspective? Running a podcast, running a YouTube channel, and the resultant website? Is that why we’re here today? Yeah, we’re trying to do

[00:04:45] David Waumsley: that. we’re trying to put ourselves through this, but it’s worth talking a little bit.

But as we did earlier, and this is where we might ramble on about, these are the questions according to this document that we really should have been asking all the time when we had clients come into us and we’re starting the website. But I think, honestly, you and I tended to do what this MDN record says is that we.

Start with the technicals and then, and skip over the very fact that we need to know why we’re doing this and for who, so yeah, we have done that.


[00:05:21] David Waumsley: I just thought those three questions are really difficult. As somebody who, let’s say you are commissioned to build the, they want you to come and build their website.

You ask these three questions that you must answer these questions for me before I’ll build a single thing. And you’d probably lose the job,

[00:05:38] Nathan Wrigley: wouldn’t you? I think they’re okay. So in principle, they sound like easy questions to answer. Yeah. And if you really applied some thought, they probably are fairly straightforward to answer.

So there’s a couple of things around this. Firstly, exactly as you said. My goal was to get people on the phone, then turn that into a meeting of some kind. And at that meeting, I probably should have got into this process of asking these questions. But usually I skipped all of that and ended up in a conversation about here’s how we technically do it.

And in my case, obviously, if you know anything about the stuff that David and I have done in the past, we are very heavily into WordPress and page builders. So that would be the thing. I’d show them the page builder and oh, we could do this, we could do this. But it wasn’t really about, why do we need to do it?

And what do you want to accomplish your goals? And anytime I got even close to asking questions like that, it became immediately obvious that I was putting people on the spot and that they needed time. Yes. To think about this and not be just confronted with it live well. What do you wanna accomplish?

I don’t know. I want a website. that’s the answer, right? That’s the exact answer that’s gonna come out if you just put somebody on the spot. Whereas if you gave them a week to think about it, I don’t know, an email exchange or a prior meeting where you tell them that you’re gonna dump these questions onto them, maybe the answers would come out differently.

And in our shared Google Docs, I said, if you go into a shop and the intention is to buy clothes, you don’t expect to be interrogated about why you want the clothes. I’d like to buy a shirt. Why do you need a shirt? What’s the point of the shirt? How are you going to deploy the shirt?

Where’s it gonna be you? You get the point, you just want to go in, pay for the money, get the finished product, in this case a shirt, read website and then get out again. And I imagine that’s the journey for most clients getting a website. A lot of them haven’t thought about this, haven’t imagined that they’re going to have to think about this, so I never, ever did that particularly effectively.


[00:07:48] David Waumsley: Yeah, that, that was really good actually. And I think I avoided talking about these things for most of the time I had clients.

It’s only quite recently that I’ve realized I do need to get to this and I need to think about it. So I think there’s two issues with this is firstly that none of us are used to being asked why we do the business we do, and and. Do that soul searching. We’re not expecting that and we’re, we don’t often find the words.

We stumble into things, so we’re not used to that. And then we’re also, in a way, we’re being asked. To provide information about who we are, what do we stand for, why do people like us, that’s something we’re not used to or don’t necessarily know about ourselves, which we need to dig into if we’re going to represent that client.

So they’re not used to it on one hand. And then there’s also the issue, as you said, with buying trousers. That’s pretty easy. And it’s different from the communication of a web, which is an ongoing project to communicate something. So when you put your trousers on, pretty much if they fit and they seem pretty durable and they look fashionable to you, you’re good to go.

But the website’s never going to be consistently fashionable. It’s, never going to need to, what suits you. But we need to, as designers, need to be able to design those trouss for you when it comes to a website. And, I think it’s a, very different kind of thing and I’ve recently learned a bit to make sure that these indirectly are the questions I’m asking from the first conversation.

[00:09:22] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. So, my shirt analogy, I’m going to liken us to a high street shop Yes. Where you walk in and you just want to get the thing and walk out. Whereas really what we need to be is a bit more of a tailor. We need to be Yes. there is no shirt. Available. You just show up to the shop and the tailor then asks you a bunch of questions.

probably not. yeah, probably a bunch of questions, but then we’ll also measure you up and do all of that due diligence, and then you’ll come back a bit later and the shirt will be ready to go. So it’s a bit more of a tailored experience. Do you know I’m very happy with, that metaphor. Yeah. I’m gonna,

[00:09:58] David Waumsley: yeah, and I like that.

And you’re asking the same questions. what kind of occasion is this? For The background. What people expecting of you outta that. So it’s just Yeah, like a tailor. It is very much like that. but

[00:10:11] Nathan Wrigley: still, I think that if you just dump that into the conversation and those questions are perfect, but if you dump that into the conversation, I feel that you are gonna force the person to flounder around because they probably.

Don’t have to hand what the list of things they want to accomplish is, and it’s interesting in the MDN article, they get, they give an example of a fictional, client if you like, and they, end up drawing a list out. And, some of the items are expected. What do you want to accomplish?

And one of them is, I want to get a new apartment. So there’s this economic incentive to make the website work for them so that at some point they’ve got this excess of money and they can move into a bigger apartment. of course that’s great, but then you need to refine that and think, do you know what?

We can’t really do that in the website design. There isn’t a bit of it, which, will get you an apartment, so we can just jet us on that. But then some of the other answers that come out may be able to be used and put in a different order and so on. So I, think just. Sticking ’em all down, in that, conversation that you have, but not expecting them to do it straight away because who knows, maybe they’ve just been dumped on by their boss.

okay, it’s your job to get the website. maybe they’re new to the company. Maybe they have no idea what the company ethos or mission statement is. So I think that whole thing just needs to be spread out over time somehow. Yeah,

[00:11:36] David Waumsley: we’ve got an advantage because we know how the web works and yeah, when we come, we’ll turn back to answering our own questions, with this, but we’ve got an expectation of how the web works, which is basically, we’re doing this because we know the more we put out, the more it will help the website grow where a lot of people have a.

Very much a brochure site, which isn’t gonna be added to all the time. And in that sense, I’ve often started asking these questions in an indirect way to get around this, which is, can I explain to you how I understand the web will work and how it might suit I. Your business, what it might be able to do for you, which often gets me starting about the messaging and the SEO and let me do a little bit of research to see if you’ve got a lot of competition for your area.

So we are talking about a certain typical client that we would get. other people, big organizations might be able to answer these questions in their company ethos, but when it’s often a single client that we’ve got who’s operating their business locally, they don’t know what the web is, they just know people have a website, they know what they look.

and they say, yeah. What a website. like that sends people business like they’ve got. And then we have to start from a different point of view, don’t we? Where we have to say, let me explain how I think the web works and the competition you’ve got and how you might be able to find your own little niche in there to get

[00:12:56] Nathan Wrigley: people to come to you.

I think that chasm can be really profoundly wide. Yeah. Because you and I are addicted to the internet, we’ve spent the last 20 years or so really obsessing about it and I’m sure a lot of detail is passed us by. In fact, I know for both of us, there’s a lot of detail that’s passed us by.

But the point is we’re, at least oay with it. What a website can achieve, what’s possible, what’s not possible, and. Typically the clients that I would, encounter were entirely obsessed about their own business. So whether that’s being a farmer or being a shop owner or being a lawyer, that’s what they’re obsessing about.

And so they don’t know. So the process of explaining what can be done in the modern web and how it might help you to reach your goals, I think again, is another conversation that needs to be had, and you need to have. As part of your arsenal in that conversation, all of the different things that can be accomplished can be brought to bear from a website.

What’s reasonable given a budget, what’s reasonable given the amount of, the geographical location that they’re in, or the demographic of the people that they’re hoping to talk to? Yeah, so I, I think you’re right. There’s, a big, chasm there, Yeah. There’s no, you shouldn’t expect that they all are nerds of the internet.

[00:14:13] David Waumsley: Yeah, and there isn’t, there isn’t one perfect system is there for this. I, with a lot of the clients that have been around recently, it’s often a new site for new business in the local area where they do multiple things. And it might be in their interest to focus on one of those things that they love the most and sometimes the, last case I was mentioning to you is somebody who did multiple things.

But when I looked at their SEO, because they needed to get people as a new startup just to see what the competition was like, it seemed that the searches for one particular thing that they did would be the best thing to concentrate on because everybody else. Concentrated on the multiple of things that profession did.

and what I wouldn’t have known without that research, knowing that they wanted traffic was going to be the first thing is that when I put to them this, they said, oh, that’s perfect ’cause that’s really what I wanna focus on. So the website became. Very much a different thing just for that whole process.

So it did get them down to, indirectly, to what they wanted to accomplish. They didn’t say it, they kept it generic to me in the first place that almost the statistics had to pull out what, they really wanted to do.

[00:15:24] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. It’ll be interesting to see, and I’m more or less certain that in every case, the answer that you’ll get or the answers plural, that you’ll get out of a client will be very different.

yeah, ultimately we want a website. At some point that’s got to crop up, but the incentives about what they want to accomplish will be different. e even with businesses that are in the same sphere doing a thing which is adjacent to another business, just the personal preferences of the person and the stuff going on in their life will.

Will mean that they’ve got different agendas. Do you feel that we’ve tackled a bit of that Second question. How will a website help me reach my goals? Is that the bit that we were talking about where we explain back to the client what the, what a website can achieve? Is that, did we cover it often enough?

Yeah, I guess that’s, yeah.

[00:16:07] David Waumsley: What I’m starting with, isn’t it? When I’ve been doing it recently, it’s been the second question indirectly. So I’ve never asked these questions of anybody or myself, which we’ll do in a minute. But yeah, I guess the, my approach has often been explaining first what I think a website might be able to do for them, uhhuh within their budget.

So you are right. I’m giving them the answer if you like, or rather I explain my perspective on what I think I could do for them and what I think we should look at. And then. They come up with their own answer to that.

[00:16:36] Nathan Wrigley: It certainly feels like the first question is you the, website developer builder asking the client, and it feels like the second one is more you telling the client I.

The first one is trying to get information from you, and the second one is more, okay, I know this much about the internet, I’ve got this knowledge about what’s possible and I can, give you help about how you can reach a goal. So it feels like it’s more of a, the first one is more getting, the second one is more giving, but then the third one, what needs to be done?

I guess at this point, you’re in a collaboration, aren’t you? And you need to figure that out between you and put things in the right order and set goals. Yeah. And so on.

[00:17:14] David Waumsley: Yep. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, that’s actually a very good way of looking at that. So it does lead the third question in this does lead us to what we’re going to do on the site, what content we’re gonna have, number of pages, what assets need to be there, whether there needs to be some media or not, or some forms or whatever that will all come into their one needs to be done.

So it is more practical, should we try and do this for

[00:17:35] Nathan Wrigley: ourselves. Okay. This is gonna be painful. so the idea is that we’re gonna ask the questions about. About this podcast and related website, and we have talked about it. Whether or not these are the kind of answers you’d like from a client, who knows, but we’re gonna be honest.

We’re gonna say it as it is. all right, where do we begin? yeah,

[00:18:00] David Waumsley: so what exactly do we want to accomplish with doing? we’re looking at the site really, but it is the whole podcast itself. But yeah, we’re doing that. Okay. Do you want me to

[00:18:10] Nathan Wrigley: start? I’ll ask you the question and then you can answer it with your little bullet pointed list.

You’ve put a lot more thought into this than I have. Mine is far more like off the cuff. You wrote down a whole load of things that backed it all up, but, okay. So David Worsley, you want a new website. what exactly do you want to accomplish?

[00:18:33] David Waumsley: Dare you ask. Just bill me. It’s gone wrong already. Yeah.

Brilliant. no, yeah, so yeah, so I did have a bit, it is a really good questions ’cause it does make you think, and in some ways we did start this when we said we’ll do this together and, my first thought, and it’s the first thing is that I’m doing it because I have to go in public and learn the stuff which I’m trying to learn.

So this podcast has all been about learning all the new CSS stuff and I’ve needed to do that and. Doing something with you, it forces me to an agenda where I can’t cheat myself out learning if I’m gonna talk about it. I need to know a little bit about it, and so I’ll work harder at learning. So that’s the primary goal,

[00:19:14] Nathan Wrigley: right?

So the principle there, it’s a bit like if you’re learning a coding language, there’s no point in just reading a book. you have to read the book and then do it. Yes. You have to take what you’ve learned, and then put it in, apply it. So it’s a bit like that. Okay. That’s a good answer.

Yep. Yeah. Okay. But there’s more.

[00:19:32] David Waumsley: Yeah, I’ll run through ’em quickly. partly because in our industry I was mentioning to you about how Rachel Andrew, who’s been teaching HTML and CSS since the nineties, it is very much encouraging of everybody to go out there and try and teach people, as part of their learning.

Because everybody is different in how they learn. So you might communicate with somebody something that she couldn’t or something. So I think it’s encouraged in our industry anyway, which builds onto the next. Reason for doing this is the building of connections. Perhaps by putting yourself out publicly with other peers who might be in a similar situation.

nice. and, I think that is it for me. it’s we did WordPress all that time together and, still might be, I’ll be building some WordPress sites, but if I want to step outside of that support network, which I’ve been in for what, 17 years or something, and do something different, then I need to build up connections with people there.

So this is one way of being able to do that. Maybe somebody watch stuff and relate to what I’m going through. So there’s that side of it, and then, yeah. There is one more thing. I guess putting some content out might be useful indirectly for money in the sense that it gives me a, it’s good for my brand.

Even if clients aren’t interested, they could see the fact that I’m transparent in what I do and I put out content on the thing that I do. So I’m sure they’re not very interested in these things, but the idea that you are out there talking about what you do as a profession probably does lift you up in their eyes.

[00:21:09] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah, that’s interesting. gaining new knowledge, building connections with peers in, a, way you can short circuit it because you’ve, maybe they’ll come to you having watched some video content or something like that. So that’s interesting. And then also there’s a possibility for some future project where you might build something and wish to, wish to put that into the hands of other people.

Okay. shall I do mine? Yes, please. Okay. Mine are in no particular order. and some of them are very frivolous, but, this is frivolous, but I’m gonna say it, it’s a bit like the, I want a new apartment, one that we mentioned from the WDN article. I just wanted to carry on talking to you. E every week.

We talked for like over a nearly a decade. Not over a decade. And I wanted that to carry on. So that’s a very personal one. I wanted that whole experience to continue. ’cause the idea of not talking to you each week, ’cause we have quite a lot of fun. we speak Yeah. off the camera and we speak for a long time before we hit record.

So that’s a very personal one. But that’s important. I think the, gaining knowledge in an area where I know I wouldn’t have put the effort in. Is nice as well because I’m in the WordPress space and a lot of the WordPress tools that I’m using allow me to bypass learning new things in the W three C spec, HTML, the new CSS that’s coming along.

And so this is forcing me. To, I’m not really implementing it, but it’s at least confronting me with it. Maybe it’ll force me to implement it as well. So there’s that, step outside. So this is a little bit like you making connections with peers, step outside of a community that I’m really familiar with and maybe make some connections with some people that I’m unfamiliar with and, who knows where that’ll take you.

I dunno quite how that’ll happen, but history shows doing the. Podcast that I didn’t, that I still continue to do in the WordPress space, just tells me I have an intuition that things just happen unexpectedly. And so the, my last one, my fourth one is, yeah, just see what new opportunities come along.

Yeah, I’m a firm believer in serendipity and putting content out without necessarily an agenda for, we want this many followers or we want this many people on an email list or anything like that. It history shows that things happen unexpectedly and, opportunities arise. And so that’s also gonna be interesting for me.

So mine are far less, far more, ephemeral I think than yours, but they are the real reasons.

[00:23:40] David Waumsley: Yeah. And your first one, which was very kind is part, is really a major one for me as well. We’ve stopped doing the other podcast and it’s only like a week when it’s I’ve guilted you into saying that.

I feel, proud that No, It’s absolutely, that is one of the things because there’s a missing gap, but it, there was a use. So I think that’s it. We haven’t got any, exact, and of course these things may change over time. I think with anything you ask the question for us to.

What exactly do we want to accomplish? But I think these are questions you would need to keep circling around because they’re bound to change. As we change businesses, change, things happen. Websites need to change, forms of communication change. So I think, yeah, so yeah, that’s, that sums up what do we want to get out it?

So money hasn’t come as the main thing, but it may have an opportunity to deliver something because you found a skill in podcasting and interviewing people that could. Be expanded out beyond what you’ve got. And I’ve got a way of forcing me to learn stuff and meet people. What about,

[00:24:45] Nathan Wrigley: I think we’ve maybe smuggled in money.

Yeah. under the banner of, you called it looking a, way ahead. Yes. Yes. and this idea that maybe you could do templates. And I had this idea of future opportunities. So I think we’ve smuggled in the opportunity for this podcast to make some revenue, but it’s it’s not high on either of our agendas.

I don’t think so it’s. It’s maybe something, but anyway, yes. Yeah, sorry. So we’re on to the next one. I think

[00:25:11] David Waumsley: it’s, yeah, it’s very much part of our profession, I think, to put that stuff out there. And yeah, you’ve found like everybody, I think, who goes into code and that you do it as a hobby and it seems to grow into a business.

And I think it’s the same as talking about it as well. Yeah. Things grow out of it. So we’re different from a lot of industries in that way. So yeah. The next question is, so what needs to be done? Oh, hang on. If I

[00:25:32] Nathan Wrigley: jumped one. No, yeah, you missed one. How will a website help me with my goals? So that’s the next one.

okay, I’ll hand it over to you again. You’ve given it some thought and putting some bullet points and then yeah, it gets a bit waffly on this one. So effectively

[00:25:44] David Waumsley: I’m repeating myself ’cause I’m big to, I’m a big fan of the idea of. A website that constantly develops an agile approach. That’s a big thing that I’m into, and this is really the only project that I’ve got that can be like that, that can keep changing.

I can’t keep doing that to clients or encourage them to keep changing. So this is an agile project where I can learn from doing the website itself. And I already covered these in a way. In the sense that it’s a way of building up some social proof and trust that will help me with my goals with the clients.

And a bit of, it’s a sort of bit of branding about my transparency. That’s what it’s gonna help me reach the goals of, be more creditable to clients. And then really it is about the fact that there is a potential to. Other source of income, perhaps through peers rather than just clients only. If I can come up with some stuff that I’m going to use to make my projects easier, I’m going to share that most likely for free.

But there might be something that might come outta that in terms of support where that, might be some way to monetize that, but there’s not an idea behind that. So in that’s me, really, it’s the how will it help me achieve my goals. It’s the doing of it is. Itself, the building and the constantly building and iterating on is it, yeah.

[00:27:10] Nathan Wrigley: Mine are, I think mine are much more easy to, map because, so my first one was, having fun chats with you. we’re seven episodes in, so that’s already been ticked off. So it’s already proving, it’s worth there, gain knowledge and about something future orientated. again, that’s done it.

I, one interesting thing that I. I haven’t yet really implemented anything, so I’m keen to see if I can bridge that gap. If I can make time in my week to actually implement some of the bits and pieces that I’m gonna do, step outside of a community that I’m familiar with. I don’t know how that’s gonna work out with this website.

I’ve literally no idea. We haven’t, as far as I know, we haven’t got a contact form, which allows people to get to me in that way, or, I don’t know that we’re pushing this out into social channels, so maybe that’s something we could explore in the future. and the seeing what opportunities come out in the future.

that’s just, that’s like blue sky thinking. I’m just, if the more we keep doing it, yeah. Maybe some of those opportunities will come along. Like I said, with a bit of serendipity. It’s not gonna be me pushing it ’cause I’ve got other things to do during the week. You never know. Maybe once we get 20, 30 episodes in, this’ll become more important in my week and we’ll have to, manage how that goes.

So yeah, that’s the answers that I’ve got.

[00:28:31] David Waumsley: Yeah. Should we move to the third and final question? Which is what needs to be done in what order to reach my goals? So our goals Yeah. Are fairly vague ones, but I’ve got some ideas for this. Yeah. And this is probably what we’ll need. I think we’ll need to lead this on into another episode on this as we get into how we’re going to design this website to reflect what we’re trying to do.

but the first thing for me was that we need clearer messages. So we put up this site just to have something to dump the episodes there. We’ve got this thing at the beginning on the homepage that says. For people who build websites. it’s so vague and not really true. That’s such a massive number of people, but actually we only reflect a small number of those people who build websites.

So we probably need a bit of audience targeting. We need to find people who are like. With our messaging, so That’s right.

[00:29:23] Nathan Wrigley: So maybe more conversation, maybe more text about W three C or CSS or web standards or something like that. Yeah, Okay. So refine it. Refine it. Yeah. For me,

[00:29:32] David Waumsley: yeah. for me it would be the fact that I need to probably, it might be different for you.

We will talk about that, but it, I would think I need to communicate the fact that it is for people who kind of learning to be able to build these static sites from, a. From a platform that’s been dynamic that you’re used to. So I think it’s connected to those people who have lost touch with the, that sort of stuff like me.

So some message rather than just for people who build websites, we’ll probably need to get some messages. So that would be the thing that needs to be done next. What do you think needs to be done next?

[00:30:07] Nathan Wrigley: I think the, I think you’re absolutely right. the whole branding thing, which I mean.

We, we literally did start this just as a project and we WI don’t think I was thinking about the audience at all. I was really thinking about, oh great, let’s just do some more content. Let’s just see how that goes. But now that we’ve done it a few times and it’s, it’s consuming parts of the week and all that, it will be interesting.

And I think messaging is exactly right. I think you are taking on the heavy lifting, all the lifting of the website, but I’m sure at some point. You’re gonna want to, to address that because with the best will in the world, I’ve got a feeling that the website won’t look like this, in a, I don’t know, five months time or something.

I’m sure it’ll iterate a lot. So maybe, that’s, I think what needs to be done, is to, pretty fire it so that anybody jumping in isn’t put off with, oh, it’s all black and white. These guys dunno what they’re talking about.

[00:31:02] David Waumsley: Yeah. I think we still have a connection with, you’re still doing a podcast for WordPress and I’m still very much connected and follow the news in that as well.

But there’s a kind of like within that as well, even within that community, there’s a lot of people who, with us with the page builders, we like not dealing with code. There’s a lot more people who go, oh, I do need to learn a lot of the code and that’s going on at the moment, and some projects I might just need to be able to not use my platform.

Even if I still primarily use that platform and it’s that connection people, I think there may be a lot of people who just wanna get back to go, okay, what would I do in VS code if I needed to do this again? it’s that kind of, connection that I would like to communicate in some ways.

And, do you know one thing that I think would be important to, to. Align with those people.

[00:31:54] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. One thing that we haven’t mentioned in this episode or much in the other episodes is that you are also taking this as an opportunity to create, your own YouTube content around what we’re doing.

Yeah. And, so that’s important and it will touch on the stuff that we cover in the episode. So for example, if, the stuff that. So it, the podcast that we’re doing, if it’s episode number five, if you go to our YouTube channel, the, YouTube cover art will look in a certain way for the podcast and it’ll have a five in it.

But I’ve also noticed that you’ve got a different kind of color palette, the same color palette, but swapped around for the content that you make. But if it’s related to number five, you’ll still see a little five somewhere. But that’s also a part of what we’re doing, or you are doing, we are making this podcast.

Hopefully it’s gaining a bit of popularity or interest or whatever that might be. And then you are gonna be making content over there. One of the, one of the things that you wrote is you wanna, look at the SEO of this website as well,

[00:32:54] David Waumsley: maybe it’s a possibility. it might just be interesting as I do this for clients.

I never do it for myself, ever. it might be worth looking at what people are searching on. On this just to see what keywords and whether we are reflecting any of that, the, obviously the keywords that match what we’re doing anyway. Yeah. There is a kind of audience in mind. it’s still the people who’ve gone down the same path that we have with WordPress.

And it isn’t, for people like me who are effectively at the moment. I’ve stopped using WordPress because that’s not a guaranteed at all. And there’s just some projects where you might want to do that. And of course a lot might this. This will be the first site I’ve ever done that hasn’t involved WordPress and it probably still will later, So there is a sort of price. Yeah. ’cause we still might want to put the content in a format that. Be better suited to that. So it’s quite an interesting little niche in a way that we’ve not explored or found a way of being able to communicate that. also, I think also the whole

[00:33:56] Nathan Wrigley: reliance on the WordPress plugin ecosystem for SEO, there are fabulous products out there that you can buy that really do a lot of the heavy lifting for SEO.

So there’ll be a bit of learning there. So how to implement it without just filling out a, field in a CMS and clicking save. making sure that each page is done correctly and that you know that all of the bits and pieces that you need. Boy, that’s a whole, that’s a whole industry of itself.

[00:34:24] David Waumsley: Yeah, and that’s the interesting learning bit, which I’ll do on another video about that. Just some of the main things that. When you switch from doing static traveling, a dynamic platform, there’s some advantages that you get for static with some control, and there’s some things you lose as well because the platform’s done it for you and you have to now do it manually.

So yeah, it’s the topic. But yeah, I mean I think, yeah, that’s, there’s not much we need to do it, I think other than maybe we need to write off some text and have a better designed homepage. To attract and explain the different types of content that we’re putting out, which will change. Should you have a quick look at our

[00:34:59] Nathan Wrigley: homepage, just very briefly.

Yeah. So this is what it looks like at the moment. a show. For people who build websites. We’ve got a fairly, fairly dark black background. I’ve got a little bit of a menu at the top, which is, fairly self-evident. We’ve got the show strap line, which you mentioned, probably need a tweak, little bit of text.

We’re putting the latest episode on the top and I notice this fabulous new, New way of playing the episodes. I’ve gotta say, this looks pretty cool. I like this a lot. And then that’s it more or less. Then we’re onto YouTube channel, and then a tiny bit of information about who the pair of us are. Yeah, it’s very, bare bones at the minute, and obviously each episode.

is more or less the same. We’re on, we’re looking at the stuffer episode seven at the moment. And maybe that’ll need to be tweaked as well, how each episode looks. Yeah. yeah. Okay. And that, homepage does nothing to

[00:35:52] David Waumsley: explain who we are and why we’re doing this and what we’re specialized in.

And it doesn’t even actually, right that homepage, it actually takes you to the audio podcast. And I would imagine we probably need to swap that player out to. YouTube where we seem to be on more with the option to go to your own podcast player of choice, So I imagine a reader Yeah, that’s an interesting idea.

[00:36:15] Nathan Wrigley: yeah, encouraging people from that page. I think YouTube, the embedded video, ’cause the audio is obviously just the same, more or less. The, idea of just having a link, should, you wish, have you, you’ve landed here. Here’s a video, and if you’ve enjoyed the content that the video has presented, how about taking that a step further and adding it to your podcast player, a choice that might be a, so instead of playing it as audio, you just the option to find the RSS feed and what have you.

That could be a good

[00:36:41] David Waumsley: idea as well. Yeah, it could be, and it probably, we didn’t start it. I did the little videos where I’m talking about more the code stuff that. Which is roughly in line with what we’re talking about on the podcast more generally. there is one other thing that needs to be done that I think what will help us reach our goals to make this more community, and it’s what you are very skilled in, is the idea of interviewing some people.


[00:37:06] Nathan Wrigley: which, Which will

[00:37:07] David Waumsley: probably come to the show at some point, I think. Yep. Yeah, that’s definitely

[00:37:11] Nathan Wrigley: an area that I’ve definitely clocked up some hours in doing that. Yes. and okay. Yeah, maybe be interesting because my, intuitions will be, I’ll have to hone those a lot more about the kind of questions that I ask, because I was immersed in WordPress prior to.

beginning that podcast, I had a, set of a repertoire of questions, which I knew would land okay. But in this era, sorry, in this arena that, that won’t be the case. And I’ll, probably feel the, heavy burden of asking silly questions to intelligent people. So I’ll have, there’s gonna have to be a bit of, upskilling.

So related to the website though, putting out video content on the website. All right. So we did our best to

[00:37:57] David Waumsley: answer our three questions. I think we did. I think so. But I think, and it just leads us onto a redesign, certainly of the homepage. I suspect as we go on through this, we, there’ll be only so much design that we can do on this particular site and it’ll probably need to be fairly simple always.

But I think it, there’s nothing to stop us doing a whole talk about how we might design and we can build that separately within the website with a whole different styling, another type of website so we can. I think we can explore that with different designs so we don’t have to pin everything on the look of this one site I.

[00:38:31] Nathan Wrigley: That’s good because, having, different opportunities is, yeah. Is really good. I think it’s great for now, it got us over the hump of having nothing. You put in a, enough time to make it work. So thank you Bravo for doing that. And, it got us started and in fact, in many ways, having a website right at the beginning, which was bare bones, is a fabulous starting point.

’cause it shows that you can, you have the capacity to iterate and improve, which I guess is part of the point of today’s episode, getting the client to, to. Pay you some money with the process of getting a website iterated on over many months and years, hopefully, are we gonna do this client brief thing right at the end?

Do you wanna do that? we’ve done it. We started with it. I think so in

[00:39:11] David Waumsley: a way we’ve just covered, do we ask these questions of people? And I think we’ve, I think we’ve already covered it. Yes. Do we challenge the answers we get? We have a little bit, we just didn’t ask people these questions, did we?

No, For such a long time. And I think this very short article is right. I’m sure lots of people through their proper design systems do it. But for people like you and I, who were largely working locally to local customers would bypass this bit. We would you, you want a website? We can build you a website.

And that’s where we’d start.

[00:39:43] Nathan Wrigley: It’s interesting. I think there’s a human component in here in that if you are a very good communicator or just very good at conversation, this. Episode, the content in this episode will probably be fairly straightforward with a bit of thought. You’ll be able to walk into that, strange environment and ask that new client that you’ve never met before, those questions, and be able to have that conversation be because you’re good at it.

If you’re a bit more insular or a bit more of an introvert, I feel that, this is always gonna be harder. getting, just getting into the office might be hard enough. Having that conversation in a way that you’re not. Constantly thinking, let me get outta here. Let me get outta here. yeah, I, just think that’s a part of it.

And, we can’t teach you that, I’m afraid.

[00:40:26] David Waumsley: No, And I think we’re coming to the end and I actually missed over, missed out something that I put at the very beginning, which I think, this is my own personal opinion, but I think the industry has very much moved to accepting the idea of those emphasizing as web designers, those soft skills.

being able to, help people to articulate what they want to achieve is part of Yeah. The skills that we do. And it puts us so ahead of anything that AI can do for us. This ability as humans to understand context and communicate well. And I think also this move. I think, the majority of proper, serious web design projects now have gone an agile approach where we assume that everything is gonna evolve the technology.

So we keep it as simple as possible and we iterate as we go because communication and technology changes. So I think, that’s. The way that the industry’s going. And in some ways this, these three questions here, or starting with that is very much in line with that. And, I think where web designers are increasingly going to, talk much more about this kind of communication, what we’re trying to achieve, to do, keeping it as simple as possible and iterating and.

Acknowledging the fact that we’re in websites evolve and people evolve.

[00:41:44] Nathan Wrigley: I’ve just had another thought about the, the website itself. And one of the things that I probably would want to add in, and I dunno how we’re gonna achieve this without a CMS, is, is some kind of commenting system. Because at this point in the podcast, what I want to say is, if anything you, you found in this podcast is of interest to you, or if you’ve got any, anything that you wanna add, head to the website and drop us in a comment.

I dunno, maybe that’s, on the five year plan. but we don’t have a commenting system. But if you’re interested, nevertheless, head over to no script show. Forward slash seven in this case. we’ve obviously got other episodes. Put a different number in there and see what pops out.

But, but yeah, head over to the website over there. We’ve got a YouTube channel as well. I actually don’t know what the YouTube channel URL is. Is it as simple as I. script or have we managed to bag any of

[00:42:39] David Waumsley: that yet? I believe it is. It will take you there on the link, but that’s the commenting system.

I think this will be an interesting thing. We’ll have to do this one privately, I think. But in terms of what we need to do we need to gear people to comment through YouTube? It would help us. It would help our reach with this. Yeah. That might be. Rather than, ’cause it’s always a difficult thing, even when you’ve got WordPress, whether you turn the comments on or Right.

A lot of people have turned them off because it’s something to have to guard against or some stuff might not reflect what you want to get over on your pages. So yeah. Okay. Yeah, we’ll add that into the list. Yeah. So we, but it’s. Something will still carry on talking about what we need to do next.

But for me it is just the messaging on the beginning that it needs to explain what’s here. ’cause it doesn’t do that. as we’re saying, we’re not even sure about where we point people to. And probably YouTube is the place.

[00:43:30] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Okay. do you think that’s a wrap episode seven in the bag? It definitely is.

Yeah. If that’s the case, I will get rid of the website and, all we have to say at this point is, thank you for listening. Really appreciate it. Head over to YouTube and give us a comment there. Find us on YouTube, and subscribe, all of that nonsense. But yeah, thank you. That was a really interesting episode.

Hopefully you got something out of it. I certainly did. Thanks David. Yeah, thanks a lot. I’ll see you next time. See you next time.

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Nathan Wrigley

Nathan hosts WPBuilds and the WP Tavern podcasts. He lives in the UK.

David Waumsley

David started building websites in 2005. He's from the UK, but now lives in Asia.