Latest technology isn't always the right technology

Above is what I see now when I try to read an article on one of my favorite websites, Lifehacker. Lifehacker is an awesome resource, providing articles on all sorts of ways to improve your daily existence. I used to read almost every article on Lifehacker in Google Reader via RSS. Not so much anymore.

A little while back something changed. I am only speculating here so if I wrong feel free to correct me. It seems to me that Lifehacker’s parent company (Gawker) changed the way files were hosted. For example, generally website images are stored on the same domain as the website. If the domain is http://www.lifehacker.com, then the images might be stored at http://www.lifehacker.com/images/. A quick peek at their code shows me that their images are now being hosted at img.gawkerassests.com/img/. Normally, this might not be a big deal, after all Gawker and Lifehacker are the same company. The problem for me is, our corporate firewall software doesn’t like it, so the software blocks any files coming from that domain (images, css scripts, javascripts) and the results are what you see in the image above.

So why the the title? The experience got me thinking. In this case, Lifehacker has lost a reader because they changed to a “new”, “better” way of doing things. Many of us in web development and information technologies scramble to implement the latest thing. Case in point, Facebook’s mobile experiment, developing with HTML5 instead of a native application. Sometimes we should make sure what we are doing is best for our customers/visitors and not so we can play with the newest toys. JS.

I can still read Lifehacker on my phone, tablet and laptop, but I don’t look at it near as much as I used to.

Update: As of noon on 10/08/2012, whatever was broken with Lifehacker is now fixed. Yahhh!. Crazy that it is was broken for months before I wrote this.

Announcing the launch of the redesigned BrandiJackson.com and brand new JoeWatsonLaw.com

Joe Watson Law, Greenville, SCGreenville, SC – We are pleased to announce the launch of a brand new web presence for Joe Watson Law. The new website features Joe’s extensive experience as a Chief Prosecutor and Circuit Court Judge. The Greenville, South Carolina attorney specializes in Criminal Defense and Serious Personal Injury.

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Brandi Jackson Golf, Greenville, SCGreenville, SC – Brandi Jackson, professional golfer, and web|aggression are excited to announce the redesign of BrandiJackson.com. The new website refocuses on Brandi’s career helping junior golfers, assisting in their college recruiting, giving golf lessons and facilitating golf clinics. The site also features Brandi’s blog, a biography and testimonials.

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Announcing the launch of a newly redesigned website for Osborn Contract Services.

Osborn Contract ServicesGreer, SC – We are excited to announce the launch of a newly redesigned web presence for Osborn Contract Services, Inc (OCS). OCS, a restoration and coating solutions providers, offers its services throughout the southeast. The new website features an easy to use content management system(CMS). Additionally, the website was built to improve the companies presence on the search engines by improving the internal linking of rich content.

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MK Fundraising Services and web|aggression launch redesigned website.

Fund raising services scGreenville, SC – MK Fundraising Services offer a wide variety of products that help school and Church groups and other organization raise money. MK has many trusted fundraising products to choose from like: Maestro Pizzas, Worlds Finest Chocolate, Mixed Bag Designs, Otis Spunkmeyer Cookies and much more. The redesigned website features a custom content management systems, search engine optimization, a much more pleasing aesthetic and easily navigable information.

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Step one in designing a website: Define the purpose.


Many people may think this sounds so rudimentary, right? Duhhh…but do you REALLY know the purpose of your website.

I work with business owners small and large and it amazes me how many don’t have an answer to that seemingly easy question. So many think, “well, I just need a website” and for the most part I’ll buy that. However, without defining a purpose up front how can you ever determine success or failure? I don’t want to just build a website for a company, I want to help their business grow.

Do you want your website to generate leads or sales? Do you just want the site to help publicize your business or service? Start off with a simple goal, “I want my website to increase sales”. Maybe that is over simplified but at least it is a goal. In 6 months or in a year you can look back at your numbers and see if your sales have increased. (You would want to factor in what the industry numbers and if your vertical is cyclical, but you should be doing that anyway.)