Creating a Website for your company requires a lot of time, thought and effort. However, that's just half the battle won. The real task of having a website is to update and maintain it. Keeping the WebPages fresh and content rich encourages people to return to it frequently. Poor maintenance is a sure-shot way of losing your website visitors permanently. They would resemble movie posters or ad bills that never change.
Maintaining your website
Website Maintenance refers to making minor changes including adding and removing text on its WebPages.
Maintenance generally means making sure that your files and file directory structures are up and running properly at all times, and all your links are functional. Since HTML documents and their related graphics components are linked in specific ways, any changes or additions that you make to existing file names or directories could alter their relationship to one another. The most common result is that links are broken, and images or entire pages don't load properly.
Periodic maintenance thus ensures that your website is robust and healthy. A good way to keep your website fresh is by incorporating suggestions provided by the users.
Time & Budget Involved in Website Maintenance
Maintenance time for website varies according to the size of the project and the content in it. For a small site, it may take as little as two to three hours a month. However, for a large site, maintenance may be a full-time job. The costs of maintenance need to be incorporated into your budget during the planning phase so it doesn't take you by surprise. For a large, ambitious site or to gradually add more content and functionality, working with an experienced designer and programmer from the outset will save you a lot of time during maintenance. Starting with a well-designed site is the most effective way to prevent resource-intensive updates and maintenance.
What could possibly need fixing on a seemingly robust website?
Common problems visitors find are old and broken links. If you have linked to an external source, you should check from time to time and ensure that the links are valid. This is especially true if your link is a page or a blog entry because they are deemed to change, the site and the entry may still be there, but if something changes on the link, your visitors will not be taken where they want to go.
Internal links are just as likely to break, especially if you have links to photos or audio files. When you make changes to a part of your website, think through the links that you may have touched.
Most Website Maintenance jobs include at least the following:
- Reviewing Domain Name Record
- Checking website email addresses
- Check for accuracy if automated messages
- Test uploaded forms
- Check for link validity
- Check your site’s search feature
- Content change
- Updating / adding images
- Adding/removing pages
- Accuracy of file size and download time
- Check for accuracy of time references and Copyrights
- Shopping cart product updates
- Newsletter & Email list maintenance
- Website modification and addition of website content
- Article / PDF creation
Keeping your website up-to-date and right on the money:
Updating a site involves changing its content. Changing content varies from checking links to the other sites to make sure they are current and including new links, or adding new articles and functionality. Updating depends upon the size and content of your website.
Adding new content doesn't necessarily mean scrapping the old. Dated material like press releases, software updates, articles and newsletters can be useful and need to be archived. The archived information then needs to be organized in a way that's easy to access.
A simple way of letting users know that your website has been updated is by adding a notation.
How often should Website Maintenance be carried out?
A news publisher will likely update information on an hourly or daily basis, A retailer may update the site whenever there is new merchandise or for sales and promotions. Updating a website also depends upon suggestions and comments by the users. You could also go by analytical reports that show which pages on your website are reviewed more often and are popular.
When people start tracking their marketing it is all too common that the wrong results are being monitored. Should your website get more visitors, it does not follow that you get more money. Your website needs to be clear, authoritative, trustworthy, and easy to navigate.
The beauty of a website is that it is versatile unlike a brochure or a manual. You can change it to reflect new products and developments. You can kick-start new campaigns, and add more content. Even before you start your website you should think one step ahead, so that you can develop the site intelligently, keep it healthy and ultimately be successful in your business online.