It happens in the best of companies. After a few months or more of planning, writing, designing and organizing your new web site, you finally flip the switch and make it available to the public. Perhaps its your first web site, or a major redesign of an existing site. In either case, staff can get very excited about their great new communications tool.
A question to consider: are you done now? The answer is no. Unlike a print catalog or brochure, a web site is not a “create once and forget it” endeavor. Ongoing maintenance is a must for most business and organizations.
- Keep the content fresh. If something new is happening with your business, let your potential and existing customers know about it. Are you offering a new product? Did you just complete a major contract? Was someone at your company recognized with an award or grant?
- Change your home page periodically. This doesn’t mean you have to go through the design process again. Just consider a few text and graphic changes that highlight new content.
- Consider new features. Is there news in your industry that might be useful to customers? For example, if you’re a homebuilder, perhaps you want to have excerpts from news items on green building techniques and link to local and national publications. Or perhaps you want to add an automatic news feed. This can help establish credibility, and shows that you’re interested in keeping up with trends in your industry.
- Reevaluate your site yearly. The web is not a static medium, it is ever-changing. And as your business changes and grows, your web site should change to reflect your business as it is currently, not as it was three years ago.
- And finally, keep it in the budget! A common mistake is to budget for building a web site but not maintaining it. Just as you budget for other recurring costs—advertising, rent, maintaining your office or storefront, its important to budget for the maintenance your web site will require.