If you build it they will come (?)...
This title has erroneously been associated with the film Field of Dreams (1989) In which, while walking in his cornfield, novice farmer Ray Kinsella hears a voice that whispers, "If you build it, he will come". Ray interprets this as an instruction to build a baseball diamond in his fields. After he does, Shoeless Joe Jackson and other dead baseball players emerge from the cornfields to play ball. Good film by the way, different and interesting at the same time.... but....
How, you may ask, on earth does this intro tie in with the blog topic? What is the topic anyway? Read on to find out!
"If you build it they will come (?)"... is definitely true with regards to web development, good design, bad design, simple design, elaborate design, over-elaborate and sophisticated design. There's certainly a fine line between success and (at least partial) failure. There are perfectly sensible reasons why today you have a branch of developers primarily focusing on design, styling, formatting and all that falls under the category front-end.
Put your concept in the right frame or context so that it doesn't circumvent or destroy the user experience. Consider carefully all factors for they do matter, either alone or combined together.
With todays web standards, lots of great developers and ditto tools, it's pretty easy to go overboard. There are plenty of examples on how to go too far but there are also plenty of excellent examples around on how not to. Eminent examples on balanced design, functionality and content are to be found in plenty. Mobile or responsive design have forced developers and designers to creative while trying to keep things simple. There's a sensible limit to how much functionality you can get onto a small screen, without at the expense of the overall functionality.
So we built it.. now.. how do we make "they" come....
As we can agree (can we?), it's not enough just to build and present, not enough to invest time and resources in elaborate design, functionality, or great content. You also need to promote, attract and secure traffic. Well you might be lucky, you might be in the right spot, at the right time, with exactly what the masses are looking for. Or you may be in the right spot and at the right time for a paradigm shift, catch a new wave or trend and thus surf yourself up on the ranking.
It might be you're lucky because someone with a trillion followers on social media stopped by, got caught or fascinated, tweeted or blogged about your place.... set fire, made you go viral... and that was it. Perhaps Santa was coming to town and you just happened to be there.
Well, in my experience it takes a lot more than luck or good timing although it would be wrong to say that too doesn't count. It might actually demand some investments, Google AdWords, advertising and a considerable amount of time spent to bombard the web with your domain name/links, addresses or what have we.
You should factor in that increasing traffic to your site can be a slow/long process. To climb on the ranking on search engines can be a slow process. Content matters, content relevance to your concept, words, references, all matters. And don't believe for a split second that bringing up a site and publish pages once is going to do it. Plan and scale your content over time, with the help of a smart CMS you can plan ahead, set timers on documents so that they go live without you having to manually do anything.
Configure your website in such a way that it and all documents contains meta-information relevant as well as linked to your concept. Don't overload, single out that which has the highest degree of relevance to your content. And above all, be patient, promote across the web steadily. Do not take too much advantage of social networks, or friends, and above all avoid spamming! If you perform an overkill and lose your viewers it will take a lot of time and energy to get people back. Too many over-utilize on social networks these days, and that quickly leads to.... fatigue. And you losing your readers, or visitors.
Therefore we can say If you build it [propely] they might come.. but to succeed you'd better digest an idiom. "Rome wasn't built in a day".
Thank you for reading.