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Can’t You Just….?

I hear this all the time from clients. “Well, can’t you just put that over there instead of here?” “Can’t you just change this font size here and leave that one the same?” “Can’t you just make this awesome thing happen that I saw on []?”… which took a team of programmers, designers and copywriters about 6 months to accomplish and they want it by oh, let’s say, Thursday.
I built my first website back in 1996, when the coolest things on the internet were frames and little twirling graphics, and “under construction” pages showed little men in hard hats with shovels. WYSIWYG editors were terrible at that time, so most people didn’t use them, and it was darn hard to get a page to look the same in Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator!
Nowadays web designers have a vast amount of tools to choose from, HTML and CSS have come a long way, and basic customization is not difficult if you know those two coding languages.
However, making adjustments to a website, whether it be a straight HTML/CSS site or a CMS (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla) is not like making adjustments in a Word document. It’s not possible to simply click on the font you want, or the color, or the size and voila, it’s done. On a website, every adjustment is done with coding. Every cool effect is CSS or Javascript, or some other coding language. Every placement on a page is coded in to be at that precise spot on the page.
So, when you and your web designer decide on a WordPress theme, for example (or a layout), then certain things are coded that, when you wish to change them, you are changing the structure of the theme—in which case you may as well choose a different theme that’s more in line with what you want.
And when you want something far outside of the box, like this, then you’re looking at an entire team of designers and developers, and months of work. And that ain’t cheap.