Web Design Can Make or Break Your Image

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“The times, they are-a changin.” Bob Dylan, of course, was referring to the way one presents one’s self in the Information Age. Now they say 57 is the new 48.5, and that the website has superseded the power suit. That’s right Mad Men, the tie and the cufflinks are being replaced by the tabs and the font scheme. Your avatar is your identity. People work from home; I’ve got a corner office, and it’s in the basement. I’m not saying everything has changed (I still have a 9 A.M. scotch each day), but certainly web presentation has become at least as important as attire when it comes to professional image.

This being the case, I need to put together a site of my own. I want to like the way I look, but alas, tracking down the Men’s Warehouse of web production has not been easy. I want to be able to host video and audio streaming, post event dates/descriptions, and blog regularly. I’m willing to invest a little money into my suit, but it would be nice to receive three shirts, two pairs of pants, and six belts with my purchase (I’m actually looking for the Joseph A. Bank of web production).

As a sophomore in high school, I created my own WordPress account, The Royal Blue Review — a Kansas City sports conversation. It has lain dormant for the past seven years. I dabbled with Wix (much to the chagrin of this blog’s operator), but never got too far. The voices spoke well of SquareSpace, but I failed to understand the interface. I have started to suspect that I may be the problem.

I’ve been giving a “clip-on” effort to assembling my suit. The reason my sites have not surpassed a tuxedo t-shirt status is because I have not allotted the time and energy needed to tailor a winner. This is a symptomatic problem not fixed by light seam work. Sloppy sites are everywhere. Anyone can tuck their shirt into their pants and pick up a blazer from Goodwill. I want a stunning website, and a fear of failure has kept me from creating any website at all.

One can draw parallels to writing. If I had waited to thoroughly develop the suit metaphor before starting this piece I’d still be staring out at my scenic view of “storm drain and top of bush.” The first step in the writing process is to write. Cliche. Simplistic. Lifestyle bloggy. I know, but I find it to be true. By vomiting some terrible stuff onto a page I give myself something to make fun of. “At least I’m not gonna write something dumb like that guy.”

This needs to be my process for creating a website. Thinking about a suit will get me nowhere. I can’t just steal someone else’s dry-cleaning ticket. I’ve got to hunker down and choose a nice two-button cut. My first attempt won’t be up to Armani standards, and that’s okay. Kohl’s is technically professional-grade, too.

Danny Neely

Danny Neely

Danny Neely is a Kansas State grad living in Dallas. He likes writing, comedy, and evaluating media.

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