Does that sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Seriously. It may be the most common phone call we get from clients after a successful web launch.
It starts out innocently enough. You need a web site, and you find a creative partner to develop the new site. Perhaps the site even includes online tools that will allow you to update the site without a ton of technical-know-how. In just a few months there’s a shiny new web site to show off to current customers and potential clients.
That’s when it all starts to go downhill. Work gets in the way, as it should. You’re not sure what content should be included. A few weeks pass from the online training session and you forget how to log in to make changes. Updates get further and further behind. The next time you think about updating the web site, it has become an unruly monster with so many “to dos”, you don’t have the time to do half of what needs to be done. In defeat, you turn off the light and walk away.
Tame the Beast
It doesn’t have to be that way. Proper care and feeding of your web site is the best way to keep it working for you. Here are a few suggestions that will ensure you continue to love your site.
Ask for a maintenance agreement when you start a thinking about a new web site. This is an essential item if your site uses WordPress, or another content management system platform. Stop thinking a web site is a one time purchase, because it isn’t. The internet is not static. Every day there are script updates and malicious viruses that can break your new, lovely site. If you work with an outside firm and don’t see a maintenance service offered in the proposal, speak up.
Brainstorm announcements and content that will feed the site. Look at last year’s calendar to gather ideas on what information you can share on the site in the coming year. Annual meetings, conventions, conferences, new product roll-outs — or even the the anniversary of your company — are good ideas to put on your content calendar.
Implement the publication schedule that works for you. Just make sure it is regular. You’re probably not producing a news-oriented site like CNN or USA Today, so you don’t have to offer content updates every hour on the hour. But plan on making the site a better reflection of what is really happening for the company. Toot your own horn, otherwise there’s little chance others will know what you’re up to.
Delegate the task of updating the content to someone other than you. Really. Your time is valuable, and the company benefits more when your attention is on the business. Meet monthly with your collaborators to plan and direct the messages you want to put out, and then let them do the task for you.
Fall in Love Again.
It is easier than you think to live in harmony with you web site. Start with the understanding that the launch of your web site is just the beginning, not the end. Make sure you care and feed your site regularly, and it will help your business get better.
Don’t have a partner you can trust? Give us a shout and let’s put a plan into action that rehabilitates your relationship with your web site.