A while back we launched the website for Smart Start New Hampshire, a statewide initiative to help families in the Granite State get access to early childhood development opportunities. They were recommended to us by Hilary Nachem, someone I’ve known — and had the chance to collaborate with a few times — over the last few years.
The request was straightforward: a simple WordPress site that the team could edit easily, a nice brand to match their lovely logo which had been done prior to our collaboration, and a way for people in New Hampshire to search for (and contact) their local legislators. The shining gem of the project was the Legislator Lookup plugin we developed.
You can check it out on their live site and read the blog post about how it was built.
When Katie and I set off to create Good Good Work, before we even had a name, we were looking for legal advice. We wanted to start a social enterprise that was prefigurative, legally sound, and reflected our radical values. Katie and Jason had been moving in similar circles in Colorado for a while (most specifically, platform cooperativism) and his name kept popping up. It didn’t take us long to realize that we’d be great collaborators.
We decided to work with him to design our business, you know, the one that eventually evolved into the Good Good Work Co-op. Our relationship was built on mutual aid and in-kind trade. As he set up our business we began working on his website, which we all felt didn’t express his professionalism, skill, and leading edge practice. Read more
…And the messes we clean up.
We do a lot of work on other peoples’ websites. Often times people come to us to fix their websites because someone built them a bad website.
Let’s dig in to what we mean…
Defining bad and good
Bad and good are subjective and slippery. They’re different for different people/groups/purposes and depending on the needs being met by the website. Generally speaking though—and for our purposes—a goodwebsite:
- meets all the technical requirements, AKA it functions as it’s supposed to
- is easy to navigate and find information without being told where to go
- has backups in place in case anything goes wrong
- is accessed by secure login credentials
- is made with clean, well-organized code and has no additional bells and whistles beyond what it needs (I’m looking at you, premium WP themes)
- runs on up-to-date software on a secure server
- can be used by most/all people, even those with legacy software (to an extent) and/or alternative accessibility needs
A bad website is one that doesn’t meet at least two of these requirements. If it fails to meet three or more of these requirements you can consider yourself ready for a strategic overhaul. Read more