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Around 9 days ago (or was it months?) Paul Boag compared hiring a web designer to getting married. I would like to continue where he left. As the famous playground rhyme goes: "First comes love then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage"

In this article I will take you through the five steps that you go through when launching a website or having a baby. I have kept it deliberately ambiguous – feel free to read it as a digital professional working with your developers and agencies or as a person about to become a parent. I hope that you will be able to see the comparisons and similarities.

Conception

This is the fun part. You go out for drinks, dinner maybe, talking and discussing the different ideas, ambitions and expectations that you have.

You and your partner try out different positions and layouts. You are not sure when you will get it right but you both know when you've got it right! You'll spend endless nights thinking of names and mapping out the future. The future is full of excitement and endless possibilities.

The first trimester

This is a grey area. You're not sure whether you're still planning and experimenting or whether you have the green light to go ahead - anything can happen! It might be rejected, it's the wrong time, or other things maybe afoot. But you're still excited, full of energy and excitement.

This period is all about testing! You can't bear the anticipation whilst you wait to see if the results are positive or negative.

Then it hits you, the message comes back that it's ‘all systems go'. In this one moment all your hopes and dreams are realised. This grainy black and white piece of paper means that in six months time you will actually have to deliver.

The second trimester

All your plans and aspirations are in the hands of the developer gods. They are off building your perfect little bundle of joy. Taking the building blocks of your DNA; combining and fusing it together. Things start to appear, unrecognisable to all but a trained expert. They will tell you “that this is the beginning”, the vital first functions that will form the basis for all that comes after it. You'll get flows, stats and measurements, strange sounds from apparatus you've never even heard of. You will nod your head pretending to understand what they are talking about reporting back that all is well.

You start to crystallize your plan, where will it go, how will it get there, what size it will be, who will do this, that or the other? So many questions, so many books to read, so many experts to consult.

The third trimester

Things are getting serious now. It is starting to grow and develop. People can see that something is happening. You are still none the wiser but there are definitely bits that you recognise. It looks normal, recognition and familiarity from others that have gone before it.

You get early hints at the pain and trials that lay ahead. The odd kick here, the odd pain there. It's all very strange but those who have been there before will tell you that it's normal.

The delivery

Finally, the day has arrived. Well, when we say 'day'; it's give or take two weeks – no one can remember the exact delivery date any more but it's around now – who cares?! You're weary from the late uncomfortable nights, you're tired of the incessant questions "when is it ready?" and "it looks good from here". But no one really knows, the experts continually tell you that it's all normal, nothing to worry about.

Finally, in the middle of the night, it decides to arrive. After many hours of shouting, swearing, sweat pouring off brows does it finally emerge – kicking and screaming into this world, announcing to everyone that it's here. Immediately you get on the phone to call loved ones and important people that it's arrived and all systems are go; relaying all the important and vital statistics.

But that's not the end, it's only the beginning. Now the hard work begins of nurturing and learning. Only now does your job really begin, taking this bundle of joy and making sure that it turns into the reality that you dreamed about so many months ago.

Post script

Like children your website grows and evolves. They adopt whacky styles and personalities of their own. Even once you've let go and said "you are on your own now" many years later people will still recognise who the parents are.

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Published 1 February, 2010 by Alex Schajer

Alex Schajer is Head of Digital Technology at Groupe Aeroplan London, the loyalty management company that owns and operates Nectar, and a contributor to Econsultancy.  

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tony greg

No doubt website development is like having and caring a baby. You have to see what is better for it and what is not just like a baby. Excellent post.

over 6 years ago

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Anonymous

Excellent post - anyone who's ever worked on creating and building a website can relate to this. Conception is definitely the best part. Then all the hard work, frustration and sometimes disappointment sets in...

over 6 years ago

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www.ericvogelphoto.com

You forgot the chance of postpartum depression, when you look at your site and start doing the second guesses "I should have had this tab here" or "the font is too small on my home page".

Great article with a great metaphore.

over 6 years ago

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farouk

i strongly agree

over 6 years ago

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Thirza H

Great analogy, the only bit missing is while everyone is celebrating the new arrival, the website manager quickly realises that all the feeding and changing is up to them!

over 6 years ago

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Bradon

Excellent  Evaluation !

In website development,  developers have to take care  about all the requirements of it and they have to decide how they can develop it properly. same thing apply in the case of having  a baby....

over 6 years ago

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James

The part of the analogy which I hope is not true, at least for the majority of websites, is that most parents believe their newborns are beautiful, whereas in truth is that really they are all pretty darned ugly until they are at least a few months old!

over 6 years ago

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Rupesh Anbhavane

I read your post , it is nice post & useful for me as guiding me towards seo

We are providing all the valuabe services regarding Website And Website
Promotion. Visit Our site www.skydelinfotech.com

Thank You,
Rupesh.
Skydel Group.

over 6 years ago

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Sarona

Great analog really,

I read your post , it is nice post & useful for me as guiding me towards seo,

Great article with a great metaphore.

i strongly agree

Thanks

over 6 years ago

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Sara Nelson

Excellent reference to the pains of labor and we all know how painful building a good website can be. I liked the part that said, ''You will nod your head pretending to understand what they are talking about reporting back that all is well.'' All too often the developer talks in html code but all you want is this to work like that. How frustrating that is. I also think that it is true, "Like children your website grows and evolves." You do seem to learn more the longer your website is up and live.

over 6 years ago

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JT

Reminds me of a quote I read somewhere (apologies for lack of source) that often comes to mind when a stakeholder wants a web project done more quickly:

"It doesn't matter how many mothers you get on the job, some things still take 9 months."

over 6 years ago

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