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Building a Website Is Like Doing the Laundry

Joe Mayberry
#Industry Insights
Published on November 11, 2015

It might not seem like an obvious comparison, but we explain the similarities between these wildly different activities.

I'll bet THAT comparison has never crossed your mind. Why would it? I mean, one is something that everyone has to do, but probably very few people really enjoy doing it; while the other is something that every business really has to do, but really not many people like doing it...wait, those sound like the same thing, don't they?

Just like everyone needs clean clothes, every business needs to have a presence on the web. The formula to get it done is pretty simple:

Hardware + Software + (Know-How) = Website


Do you need your own washing machine and dryer? Not necessarily, but somewhere there has to be some kind of hardware that you use to wash your clothes, even if that hardware is just an old rock out by the stream. And more importantly, you need someplace to store those clothes.

It's the same with a website (although without the rock). You can build a website on your local computer, but you still need somewhere to host it and make it available to the public at large. If you are willing to spend the money, and have the people to support it, you can have your own web servers and host your own website, but for most people, that's beyond their expertise.

So instead of doing your laundry at home, you could take it to a laundromat, and use their machines. Companies like Diagram, who provide hosting as well as design and development services, can provide all of the hardware you need to get your site out to the world wide web, as well as support and maintenance.


I know what you're thinking...what does software have to do with laundry? (And you are probably still wondering what any of this has to do with a website; just work with me here.) Software is your laundry detergent. You might choose to use a liquid, or a powder, or maybe those little pods that you just toss in and forget; then don't forget the fabric softener or dryer sheets. The point is that there are a lot of choices out there for your laundry needs.

Just like laundry detergents, there are many web content management systems (CMSs) out there, ranging in price from free, to "wow, that's really expensive." But you have to be careful in your choice, because unlike laundry detergent, it's not so easy to switch once you have picked one. Here at Diagram, we have put a lot of time into considering how to select the best CMS for your organization.

Know-How — or How to Make it Look Good and Actually Work

Okay, so you have the hardware worked out, you know what software you want to use, but now you need to know what to do with it all. With laundry, it's pretty straightforward: you put the clothes in, add the laundry soap, and then push the start button. But for a website, it's a bit more complicated than that. I'm sorry to say, you can't just throw a CMS up on a server and expect to have an award-winning website with one push of a button. It takes a lot of work.

There are content strategies, where you figure out what you want to say and how to say it. There is design, which is so much more than picking the right colors, images, or fonts. It's the overall user experience, and knowing what to put where, when to put it there, and more importantly, why it should go there. Then you get to development, where you dig into the engines to try to make everything work together successfully.

So that's the know-how, and there are very few individuals who do it all very well. You really need a team of people working on the varied pieces and parts in order to pull it all together into a cohesive, well-oiled process.

Diagram = Fluff and Fold, baby!

Designing, building, and hosting a website is absolutely something that every business can do for themselves, but that doesn't mean that they have to do it on their own. Here at Diagram, we have some of the best User Interface and Experience experts in the business, along with top-notch developers, and a hosting team that is second to none. Think of it like taking your laundry to a dry cleaning company, and having them do the work for you. We go beyond just being a laundromat for your website, we offer you a more complete service. We offer fluff and fold!

Image Credit: Deposit Photos