So many tools, so little time

Small and simple project?

Don’t hire a web design firm.

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

I often get the question from people of all walks of life that usually starts with, “I wanted to get your advice on something.”

This past Christmas, an in-law described some original artwork that he had created that may be featured on a reality show. He needed a place online to showcase this work. He previously used to use an out-of-the-box Adobe web site creation tool. He figured there was something newer, easier, different, cheaper, etc.

The usual


My knee-jerk internal reaction in the past would have been to think, “Boom, I’ve got a lead.” But this doesn’t serve either of us properly. For the size of my agency, this would be too small of a project to take on, and for the scope of this site, there are plenty of DIY tools he could use.


questions, questions

In typical fashion, I asked some basic questions to get more of an idea of what his needs were:

  • How much artwork are you looking to showcase?
  • How often will the content change?
  • Do you want sharing tools?
  • Are you flexible on the design?
  • Would you be happy with a well-designed template that you could customize slightly?
  • Will you (a technical person) or someone else (non-techy) be updating the site?

Before I had any of these questions answered, I knew I would already recommend Wix or Squarespace. I haven’t built a site with either of these platforms, but I know they’re perfect for simple, small sites like this, and they’re very cheap or free.



As a side note, whenever I read blog posts or tweets about these platforms, or see a random TV ad (like that 1-to-1 interactive company), another knee-jerk reaction I had in the past was to think, “These jerks are replacing guys like me.” But I’ve learned that these companies are a godsend. For where I want to go with my agency, I don’t want to be working on 5 page web sites that could be well-served by a template and almost no strategy or customization. I’d prefer to work on larger endeavors where there are many challenges, goals, and unanswered questions.

This seems completely counterintuitive and ridiculous for me to suggest, but if you’re looking to build a small, simple web site,

Don’t hire a web design or development firm.

There I said it. I feel so much better now. Even though companies like mine will say that your web site is interesting and that we should strategize the look & feel, interactivity, and user experience, they’re probably pretending.

Why you should

talk to us

Does your college roommate have a startup idea and some capital and is looking to get a prototype built? Does your cousin work for a medium to large-sized company and his department needs an overhaul to their area of the corporate web site? In that case, we’d love to talk about the project and how we could help. This is where we provide value.

Why you should

save your money

But if you have a small business selling a product that you hand-make or from your brick & mortar store, sign up for Shopify. You can be selling your products on a slick-looking, mobile-friendly, secure platform in less than a day. If you want to start sharing your ideas on a blog, head over to and use one of their templates.

When all else fails,

ok - then talk to us

If none of those inexpensive, out-of-the-box tools look like they’ll meet your needs, that’s when you should talk to someone like me. And of course, if you ask me over Thanksgiving dinner what to do, I’m not going to ignore you. I’m always happy to save people time and money by recommending an existing service or tool. We keep abreast of all of these new tools in case we can help people get things done quickly and cheaply, rather than take up our bandwidth with a project that doesn’t need to be custom designed and developed.

– Andy Milk, Principal and Development Director, Kindred Development

How can we help you?

So you need more than an off-the-shelf widget…

Posted on January 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

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