Georges Clemenceau, sometime Prime Minister of France

Georges Clemenceau

I make no claim to be good, let alone excellent, at blog design or the more general field of web design. And I have great respect for good and great designers.

But what I know is that, as a business owner, the design of my blog or other web site is my responsibility and not one to be passed completely on to others, no matter how brilliant the designers and no matter how many prize-winning sites they have to boast of.

To borrow from the great French statesman, Georges Clemenceau, who is said to have remarked that war is too important to be left to generals, web design is too important to be left to web designers.

I am guessing the smarter designers will agree.

Because surely they will want whatever they design to be not just pleasing to the eye but as effective as possible in terms of their client’s business objectives.

I’ve met too many people over the years who have trustingly handed over many thousands of dollars to web designers and have been seriously disappointed when the resulting site did not bring them commensurate returns.

Almost certainly through no fault of the designers who were probably doing the best they could, but without guidance or challenge from the client.

Business owners and executives who will fuss over the most minute aspects of a print brochure design will often leave the design of their web presence – with arguably much more potential impact for their brand – to designers, who are often basically graphic designers who have re-badged themselves as web designers.

Nothing wrong with that, but caveat emptor applies here as for other purchases of goods or services.

Over the weekend I’ve spent a slab of time looking at a lot of blog designs, seeking insight and inspiration for an imminent makeover of this site.

Some of the best insights and inspiration haves come from a Copyblogger post The Strategy Behind the Copyblogger Redesign and the accompanying interview podcast, which I highly recommend for some educational – and entertaining – listening. The post and podcast have helped confirm the appropriateness of my decision to use the Genesis Framework as the platform for the re-design.

I’ve spent some of the weekend time playing around with the possibilities of that framework and I can see that (ed: with the Enterprise child theme) it can work pretty well for me “out of the box”, with plenty of scope for enhancement as I go along.

Over the next week or so I’m also going to do some serious thinking and probably some pen and paper (remember those?) sketching to get as close as I can to a design and layout that is right for my business objectives.

Frankly I doubt that the end result will win prizes, but if it helps me get new clients and is valued by existing clients and other readers I will be more than happy.

My blog, my responsibility.

In the meantime, any tips or tricks you have to share, for getting the right combination of business purpose and technical aspects of blog design, will be welcome.

Image credit: Georges Clemenceau – public domain

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Des Walsh is a business coach and independent, confidential sounding board for business owners and entrepreneurs. A long term advocate of smart, risk-mitigating business use of technology and a certified social media strategist, he is well placed to support businesses in adapting to the rapid changes in the technological, business and social environments. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).

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