Overbuying Software: On Not Buying an Indie Car to Go to the Grocery Store
Overbuying website software
There are hundreds of website platforms and development systems available. I have seen small sites built with systems that were overkill. I have worked on projects where the site owners wanted more website than they had the resources to maintain.
As an example, I have moved two sites out of Drupal into WordPress at the site owner’s request. The site owners were very confused with all the options available in the Drupal dashboard and were not happy with the extra costs associated with working with such a large, flexible system. I have also worked on 4 Drupal sites where the site owner’s original specs indicated Drupal would be a good fit, but the organization members could not agree on what parts of their data and what functions should be included in the project. In the end, they settled for different software that limited their choices!
Sometimes, even WordPress is “overbuying” because of all the customization options. At the time of this writing, one Website HELP Wednesday participant is trying Wix to see if that is a better fit than WordPress. I have also recommended Weebly to a couple of clients who found WordPress more than they wanted to take on.
Overbuying Graphics Software
By the late 90s, I was using Photoshop in my work almost daily. To novice users, I was an expert. To expert users I was a novice. Either way, I was competent enough to teach basic classes in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. And, I was familiar enough to get in, get the work done, and get out in very little time.
The problem is that, while Photoshop is an amazing tool, it is a very expensive tool. And, most of the image manipulation tasks I did for websites could have been done with much less expensive software. I am not a graphic artist, and I don’t do the major visual design for websites. So, most of my graphic work involves tasks with images that will be added to the content.
Looking for Graphic Software Alternatives
I still recommend Photoshop for photographers and graphic artists, but not to my small business clients for basic photo manipulation. There are a number of articles out there that run something like “Best Graphic Design Software for [year]”. Instead of trying to duplicate those articles, I’m just going to mention a few I have used.