One of the trusisms that I’ve heard
floating around the ‘Net is that there is “no such thing as a final draft on the web.” This can be very liberating, as your site’s pages can always be updated, revised, changed, and improved as you learn more about how to get your audience’s attention and convert it into business. It can also be a giant pain in the neck if you don’t plan a few of your strategies in advance to make your living documents easier to maintain, so here are a few tips on building your site as a living document:
- Use a Content Management System (CMS): This is especially crucial if you have multiple people working on your website. If you’ve poked around my website, you’ve probably noticed that I’m running a WordPress blog; I happen to love WP for everything from blogging to content management, but there are cases when you’ll want something more like Joomla or Drupal for your website. Which is most appropriate for your site? Well, since we just met I couldn’t say. Feel free to drop me a line if you’d like to talk further, though.
- Build your stylesheet correctly: If you’re new at HTML and CSS, the tendency is definitely to make small changes that you need directly in the document itself. What’s the harm of tossing in a quick <span> tag with some styles, right? Resist that urge, because after a few years of that, upgrading your site’s look and feel will be the kind of thing that makes you want to pull your hair out in clumps.
- Measure: Put analytics on your website. If you don’t have something on your site right now, drop what you’re doing at this moment and get it installed. I’ll still be here when you get back, and we’ll have articles about GA in a few weeks in case you want to learn more here. In the mean time, get measuring.
- Budget time every week: If your site is more than a blog, you should take some time every week to think about what it is that you’ve been doing and what it is that you want to change. Look at those analytics and see what it is that gets you clicks & conversions. If your site is a blog, you should already be budgeting time every week to new articles anyway.
- Push your comfort zone: Always be in the process of learning and trying something new on your site. Have you ever shot video? Maybe you should give that a try. Are you a fan of podcasts? Maybe you should start one of your own! You get the idea, I’m sure.
If you prepare for it adequately, keeping your site up to date and well-maintained can be quite a hassle. This is especially true if you’re using a site that was built as a quick, cheap job by someone who’s a friend of the family or who you found cheaply through a freelancing arbitraging website such as Elance.com or Odesk.com. If you need a site that’s simple to maintain (and don’t we all?) CrowdTamers can help by recreating your website so that you can maintain and create the content yourself. If you can use a word processing program, you can keep your site up to date without paying a webmaster to make the changes for you.
Give us a call at (407) 374-9079 or email us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to show you how.