Warhead, a new web design platform, offers agencies and consumer brands' in-house IT professionals a customizable, cost-effective solution that dramatically reduces the cost and time involved with creating interactive websites. With this platform, developing a website that would have taken months to go live can now be done in just a matter of weeks. Warhead CEO Gil Walker spoke with BXP Freelancer Laura Koss-Feder about the wave of the future in web design.
Q. In an ideal world, what are web designers looking for in a platform?
A. We believe that every designer wants a blank canvas, that you can design to your mind's eye. This type of platform allows for a totally customizable approach to designing a website that fits the needs of each particular client. This is true for both web design agencies and in-house design departments at all sizes of companies - from big to small.
Q. What does such a platform offer in terms of its CMS (content management system)?
A. An easy-to-use CMS gives designers the freedom to update content anytime and anywhere. One designer will be able to build up to 15 websites a month - which was unheard of before. This way, content can be manipulated more easily and more often. An add-on system also gives designers access to features such as e-commerce capabilities and blogging tools. Websites are usually refreshed every three to five years, and content can be updated as much as five to ten times daily. Now, that process has been made easier. For instance, a small chain of restaurants in multiple locations can now quickly and effortlessly update their online menus with daily and weekly specials.
Q. In your experience, what have been the biggest obstacles to getting a website up and running?
A. Well, the graphic designer will have an idea of what he or she wants to develop online. That person then gets together with the content writer. But, when they bring their vision to the engineering department, they realize that they cannot do exactly what they want on the website because of engineering challenges. They have to start making changes to the design scheme or the content. And, the engineering department may not have the time needed for this project. The costs of developing and bringing the website online at that point can start to get out of hand.
Q. Why are making these changes so costly?
A. Everything on the Internet has been built on templates. You basically can't change the structure and deviate from the template on a website. But, now, with this newly-designed platform, you can deviate from the template with just the click of a button. This eliminates the need to go back to the engineering department, which adds to the cost, and keeps the design process much more streamlined.
Q. So, with so much more ease of design, what are the costs now associated with this new platform?
A. In the past, bringing to market a more creative website meant that you would need to have a large budget with four to five graphic designers and an engineer. This new platform allows your designers to create, publish and manage multiple website projects without the need for an expensive engineer. At the high-end, a fully developed e-commerce site runs as much as $20k, but creatives utilizing Warhead can cut the cost of design and implementation of the same site to as little as $3k.
Q. So, just how quickly can a new website be launched with this platform, from start to finish?
A. The development time for such a project has been reduced from four to six months, on average, to just three to four weeks - at a much lower cost. Now, small companies - not just Fortune 500 brands with deeper pockets and larger staffs - can have the website that they have always wanted.