As some may know, I am getting married in less than a month! As excited as I am, I must say the planning can be quite overwhelming. There are many factors to consider and hundreds of choices to make. I've had to make so many decisions regarding flowers, cakes, chairs, photographers, food, etc that I'm even feeling a little worked up just writing about it now! However, one key point my fiancé continues to remind me is this: At the end of the day, we will still be married. If there aren't enough chairs, we will still be married. If the food isn't tasty, we will still be married. If the flowers wilt, the cake falls over or the guests refuse to dance, we will still be married. I then realize that I've placed too much pressure on the details, when I needed to focus on the big picture. The same can be true with websites.
Through the course of planning a wedding, I can see some similarities between this process and the process of planning a website. I'm going to point out a few of these things in hopes that you can keep your focus on the big picture: At the end of the day, you're going to have a website.
Focusing on the Details
When I first began to plan my wedding, I had a hard time deciding on anything, even temporarily, because I thought it would be a permanent decision. However, that was not the case. I've changed my mind a couple of times, and it was not the end of the world! I have the feeling many people view websites in this same manner. The truth is that websites are very flexible and can accommodate change very well (when they're built correctly).
I think details are important and should be looked at carefully, but only at the appropriate time. Far too many look at their future website with a magnifying glass during the time they should be giving the whole site a broad scan. It's best to start with the biggest pieces and gradually move to the smaller parts. When people get too focused on all of the little details, many are unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Losing the Big Picture
As I mentioned previously, I've had to be reminded on several occasions that this is just a wedding. It's one event. It's for the purpose of joining two as one. Odds are, our gusts will not remember the flowers we chose, the food they ate or which shoes the groomsmen wore in a year or so. There's only a few elements that we really need to have a great wedding, and that's where our focus needs to be.
The same phenomenon happens with websites. Many are reluctant to even begin writing their website copy because they're too stressed about the outcome of the final product. However, if the focus is on the big picture, it will (hopefully) take some of the stress away! Unlike a 4 hour wedding, a website will be in existence for years and can be visited time & again. Because of this, it has something the wedding does not have: The chance to evolve and change over time. The wedding is a one-time event, so the pressure probably should be amped up a little more, but it's important to remember that a good website can and will change; in fact, we encourage it. When one is able to focus on the fact that this is just a website that can be changed at any moment, the pressure should truly be relieved!
So, there you have it. When writing your copy or gathering pictures, try to remember that at the end of the day, you'll still have a website. And good news is, it can be changed whenever you want!