One of the biggest mistakes which web designers often make when speaking to potential clients is in assuming that they understand what is being referred to when speaking about such things as CSS, CGI, SSL and other terms that are second nature to the developer. A client is interested in one thing and one thing only, and that is whether or not a website will help his or her company make money. That’s the truth, plain and simple.
Why then are there so many technical articles written on websites which are trying to sell web development products to clients who have absolutely no interest in learning the technical terms of the trade? In fact, it is almost a self-defeating process to try to explain any of this other than in plain English. What a client wants to hear is what can be done to generate traffic and how that traffic can affect business.
At the moment one of the biggest elements of Web design is a viral video. That isn’t hard to explain because everyone knows that a virus spreads quickly and before long it can become an epidemic. This is an easy concept to wrap one’s brain around, so no explanation need be given when trying to sell viral video production to clients. However, whether you say CGI or Common Gateway Interface, some amount of explanation will need to be given. Do you think that client really cares about a server program that runs to add dynamic content to a website?
Think of this in terms of going to your physician because of excruciating pain in your leg only to have the doctor tell you that you have a deep vein thrombosis in the lower extremity for which he/she will be prescribing a 4-hydroxycoumarin-derived mycotoxin anticoagulant. Unless the patient is in the medical profession, it may sound as though it’s some form of fatal disease and the diagnosis will be totally alien. It is much easier to simply say, “You have a blood clot and I will prescribe a blood thinner to dissolve it.”
If you are a web developer looking for new clientele, keep it simple! Conversely, if you are a business owner looking to have a website developed, there is nothing wrong with telling the developer to explain that in plain English. After all, if you understood all those highly technical terms, why would you need a web developer in the first place? You could simply build your own site and propel it to page one of Google all by yourself. It really is okay to ask questions and expect a straight answer in your own language.
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