What do window washers have to do with websites?

The way you do anything is the way you do everything

In the last couple of months I had the windows in my house washed by professionals and I had some landscaping done by … UMM….how to say this and not be accused of slander… a crappy company?

First the window washers

window washer

I live in an old house with 34 windows and 3 doors.  The “old” is important because the windows are big AND have those old triple track storm windows that do not fold in for easy cleaning by beautiful women with perfectly manicured nails!  Cleaning these windows is WORK.

(Did you know you had to wash windows more often than every 5 years.. and that there is no guarantee that they’ll stay clean, no matter how much you pay?  Coulda fooled me.. But I digress.)

I am thrilled and amazed by the results of work by R&J Home Services (if you’re in the Baltimore/Washington area, call them!)

But it’s their process is what’s important here.

Two guys showed up when they said they would—actually,  a little early. They walked through the house and surveyed the project. They helped me move some big furniture out of the way. Then they removed the storm windows, keeping them by the permanent ones so they didn’t get confused.

They put ladders up to the outside of my house (like my father used to), scrubbed the windows with sponges and cleaned the water with squeegees. Then they did the insides, the storms and replaced them all.  It took about 4 hours.

Second the landscaping company

The company owner came and walked around my property in the near dark. I happened to have a scale plot map of the yard and gardens so he told me what he thought I needed, wrote a contract (by hand) at my dining room table and then asked for one third payment. SNAP… just like that he was gone.

He showed up nearly 2 months later than promised with a crew of about 9 guys. They had no visible plan, no copy of my map.  It was 3 days before Christmas, and my substantial number of perennials had died back.  But 9 guys started digging. Then in two days, “Wham bam thank you ma’am. Pay up” and they were gone.  (Need I say that spring was a mess?)

What does this mean to web design and development?

  1. Planning is key to a good experience. Not only did the window job go smoothly, nothing broke and I am over the moon with the results.
  2. Sometimes big is not better.  I shouldn’t have had to (and really couldn’t) pay attention to 9 guys, but neither did the boss who wasn’t even there the whole time.

About the results:

Of the windows: As I notice a one, day or night, (and with 34 that’s pretty much all the time I’m in my house!) I am amazed and thrilled. They sparkle!  Remember the old ad:  “Makes your windows so clean they seem to disappear”?  That’s my windows.

Of my gardens: I can’t really enjoy them anymore. I know stuff will eventually grow in and I am perfectly capable of moving the plants (except the trees) by myself.  It will get better. But I thought paying someone—with a bunch of guys—a bunch of money would give me the results I dreamed of. (Listen to that? Do you hear that buzzer? And the announcer saying “Thank you for playing our game”?)

The window guys listened to me gave me exactly what I wanted, what they promised, and what I thought I was buying. I am sure they have exactly the same process in every house they work in. I don’t care, it works.

A plan for the content of your website is similarly pretty systematic. You need to know who is your ideal client so you can  give the right information to your visitors.  The ad for J&R Home Services showed a picture of a house with a big window and a ladder up to it.  They know who they want to attract!

You need to plan (and write) some content: Home, About, Contact at least! You need a plan for how you’ll keep your site up-to-date and for how you want to grow it and your business.

The landscapers had no plan, just dug and planted.  I’m guessing that’s the way they do all their jobs, too.

A big company with a big price tag does not insure a great product.

Kerch McConlogue, Web developerWeFixBrokenWebsites is a small company. Really it’s mostly just me. I have some colleagues who I trust to help when I can’t figure something out.  But if you work with me, you’ll work with me.  I answer the phone when you call. I read your emails. And if something’s not right, I fix it.



Author: Kerch McConlogue

Harrisburg, PA: A WordPress front end web developer who speaks plain-English to nonGeeks

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