Web sites need to be attractive and functional. But here’s something most Web designers don’t understand: function comes first.

An attractive but non-functional Web site is completely useless, while an unattractive but functional site still works.

Of course it’s true that an ugly site is also a problem. Ugly sites don’t “convert” as many visitors as they could. As Kent wrote in Pay Per Click Search Engine Marketing for Dummies, “Ugly don’t sell!”

Thus Kent creates Web sites based on this simple process:

  1. Design a functional Web site
  2. Make it attractive

The sites below are examples of Kent’s Web design projects, in which Kent finds the designer (or, in some cases, ready-made, low-cost templates) and manages the design project. Each has its own story to tell. For instance…

  • It could be argued that the original Colorado Ballet site was
    attractive…but it didn’t “work” for several reasons. For instance, every
    page was an image, so making changes was very hard (and thus expensive). And
    because it contained images and no text, it wasn’t indexed by the search
    engines well. And it was hugely expensive; it was built so that it would
    only last for one season … it had to be thrown away at the end of the
    year! The replacement was reusable, much, much cheaper, and easily edited.
  • Peripheral Manufacturing wanted help with Search Engine Optimization;
    but they also had a site that didn’t convert well. Kent brought more traffic
    to it… and because the site converted better, more of the visitors bought.
  • ScaffoldMart’s new site had two almost instant effects; phone calls went
    up, and the callers were asking fewer questions…they were calling to place
    an order, not to find out if the firm was legitimate.
  • Greenspring Fund’s site was “old fashioned” and out of the control of
    the Greenspring staff (even a spelling correction had to go through a Web
    designer). The new site is more up to date, and can be edited by
    non-technical employees.

Before After
BracAlumni – The Budget Alumni Site, an online community for former Budget employees

None –
New Site

Peripheral Manufacturing – A wholesaler and retailer of computer-room fire suppression and air-conditioning products, etc.
Greenspring Fund – A mutual fund
DTC Computer Supplies- Office and computer supplies

Not available

Colorado Ballet – Colorado’s award-winning ballet troupe
Anapol Schwartz – A Philadelphia law firm’s Web site
Scaffold Mart – A company selling scaffolding online
TherapyMall.com – A vendor of therapy and exercise equipment

None –
New Site

LegalView.com – A legal-information site

None –
New Site

LegalWebMedia.com – A small legal-firm site

None –
New Site