Pruning The Bonsai

Bonsai Tree in Contemporary Home

Of Websites and Bonsais

Sometimes, when chatting with my fellow web designers about developing and growing a website, I reference the process to a bonsai tree. Before I get too far into my story, I must confess that I have never owned a bonsai tree. I do think, however, that bonsai trees are awesome, and I have tons of respect for the dedication and care required to keep one beautiful for years. With that in mind, I’ve done a lot of reading on bonsai trees and their care, and I do not doubt that I will acquire at least one at some point. I do know a little about websites, though.

Of course, bonsai trees and websites have different benefits, but they also have similarities. Bonsai’s benefits include; purifying the air, lowering stress, a feeling of general well-being, maintaining humidity, developing patience, sparking creativity, developing self-awareness, self-confidence, consistency & regularity, and enhancing the beauty of your home [1].

Planting, Growing, Trimming, Sculpting, and Pruning

Websites and bonsai tree similarities include planting, growing, trimming, sculpting, and pruning to be their best.

  • Like the bonsai, a website must be planted, not with a seed but with an idea.
  • Properly nurtured, both grow over time. 
  • Occasionally, you have to trim out the dead, the useless, and the ugly.
  • The constant trimming of both tree and the website lead to the sculpting of a pleasing design.
  • Consistency is key.

Knowledge is Growth

"Ambition without knowledge is like a boat on dry land."

— Mr. Miyagi

It’s not enough to want to grow a tree; you’ve got to learn how to grow the tree. That sounds like something Mr. Miyagi might say, but I believe it is especially true for websites (with no disrespect to the bonsai community).

I recently read an article about bonsai tree care and maintenance, stating in its first sentence, “Caring for a Bonsai tree is not nearly as difficult as it might seem.” Websites are easy, too; at least, that is what the brochures tell you. The article suggested that their online courses can help further explain the Bonsai essentials. See, it already sounds like a website :-). The reality is that while Bonsai trees may be easy, that is not always the case with websites.

The article taught me that the three most essential components of growing a flourishing Bonsai tree are placement, watering, and fertilizing. Again, the similarities are easy to spot. Placement, or hosting in the Internet world, can make all the difference in a website’s performance. Of course, watering is essential to growth. Plants need water, just as websites need a constant flow of attention, updates, and maintenance. Content is king, and the content is the fertilizer that grows the site. As it grows, your trimming, sculpting, and pruning will help form it into what it will ultimately become.

References
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