Stop building websites and start cultivating gardens

GardenWhen someone visits a website, the goal is not to show a work of art, it’s to answer the visitor’s needs. It’s to keep the visitor engaged in the website providing them what they came for. In this context and with the reality of a constantly changing Internet, why not build a garden rather than a building?

Web designers and their clients can get caught up in the building of the website structure. How it looks and the cool shiny features seems to drive the process. Like a building it stands firm and tall as visitors enter and exit. The site owner and web designer look proudly at their creation and think all is good.

But websites aren’t for the owner or web designer … they are for the visitor, aren’t they?

Think back to when you walked into a wonderful garden. The wafting smells, the incredible colours, the diverse flowers at different times of the year. You’re attracted to some flowers over others and stop to take a closer look or even smell. You get lost in the moment and time disappears.

Think of your website like the plan of the garden, the container if you will, and your content like your flowers. Both compliment each other and, like a garden, content is placed where it fits the best. Like flowers in a healthy garden, content needs to be pruned and the dead content replaced with new information. The gardener constantly tends the garden ensuring it’s health, knowing neglect will kill it.
As websites become communication hubs, it’s time we realized they are living breathing gardens, not architectural buildings.