Followbright Owner Erin Pheil Interviewed For Expert Web Advice
Hi everyone, it’s Erin. Earlier this year I was interviewed by independent market research firm, Clutch. They were looking to provide advice to business owners on how to make smarter website decisions. During the interview I was asked questions that covered a wide breadth of topics in the web world, including questions related to the website planning process, choosing web agencies, available options, pricing, Content Management Systems, and common problems and challenges that occur during website projects.
One of Clutch’s copywriters then wrote and shared the blog post you see below.
Followbright owner Erin Pheil recently spoke with our Washington, DC-based IT research firm Clutch to share her insights and expertise on building custom websites. Erin’s feedback was released in Clutch’s comprehensive report on the different options for building a website.
Simple websites don’t require complex solutions
Even though Followbright specializes in building custom WordPress and ExpressionEngine websites, Erin provided valuable advice for businesses not in their target audience who are looking to build simpler, non-CMS websites.
She emphasized there are a tremendous number of ways a business can have a website built these days (which was not the case even just 5 years ago), and the best method depends on a business’s unique needs and goals.
Erin shared, “For smaller businesses, I recommend they keep in mind it’s not always necessary to invest in a full-scale web project. There’s simply not always the possibility for a return on the investment that’s made. Oftentimes, a brand new, from-scratch website just doesn’t make sense from a time, energy, or monetary investment perspective. Sometimes, a simple site will more than suffice—meaning a business doesn’t need to work with an agency like ours. This is why it’s always worthwhile to consult with a web expert you trust BEFORE you invest in a new (or reworked) website, so you can determine the best solution upfront.”
For more complex websites…
When it comes to building a custom, complex website, Erin heavily emphasized that a business must have pressing reasons and a strong dedication to the process if they hope to have a positive project experience and successful final product.
“A company absolutely must be highly motivated and crystal clear on WHY they want a new website, and how a new website would tie directly into their business goals. They need to know what they want—beyond just thinking it's time to have a new website."
Creating a successful custom website requires strategic planning in addition to web design and development expertise. A trustworthy, experienced web strategy agency will offer invaluable guidance in the critical strategic phases that cannot be offered by most freelancers, programmers, and agencies focused only on attractive design.
A web strategy agency’s greatest value
Erin emphasized that a web strategy agency’s greatest value is its ability to act as a knowledgeable guide for clients.
“It’s this guidance that gives clients clarity and confidence, eliminates messiness, prevents distractions and costly errors, keeps projects on-budget, and allows sites to launch on time. In other words, while there are a nearly infinite number of individuals and agencies out there that can design a good looking site or write solid code, expert strategic planning and consulting (both upfront and throughout a project) are not commodities that are easily found.”
Because they’re a small team of hand-picked consultants and experts, Followbright embraces this role by acting as a dependable guide and advisor for their clients before and during their projects.
“Our strength is in being our clients’ trusted advisors and trusted guides when there’s a lack of clarity, a sense of overwhelm, a need for prioritization, and a need for creating clear Action Plans.”
An example of Followbright’s responsiveness and guidance comes from one of their client reviews.
“I was floored on how many great questions Erin asked us before they began work on the website. She really digs deep into what your requirements and objectives are for the website… They place a very large emphasis on quality and relevance. They always want to ensure that their client isn’t just getting the solution they think they want, but the solution that will deliver the results they’re looking for.”
The expertise of a web strategy agency like Followbright ensures reliable troubleshooting and constructive suggestions throughout the website planning, designing, and building processes.
Websites must be cared for after they launch
Erin also discussed how the relationship continues after the launch of a website.
“Whether or not businesses update their website content regularly, if their websites are powered by a Content Management System like WordPress or ExpressionEngine, they absolutely must have some sort of professional, ongoing maintenance or preventative care plan. Otherwise, it’s a bit like never going to the dentist: things will probably be fine for a while, but the longer you put it off, the more you’re going to regret it when something ends up happening; fixing things retroactively will probably end up being expensive and stressful at some point, even if nothing happens immediately.”
It is vital to regularly update and maintain any website powered by a Content Management System to avoid security breaches and ensure long-term functionality. Followbright offers these preventative care packages for businesses— yet another benefit of working with a high-level web agency like theirs.
There are countless benefits of hiring a reliable, expert, web agency with a specialization in strategy vs. an agency or freelancer that offers just “web design” or “web development”. More insights from Erin can be found in our full-length article containing the full interview on Clutch.