I read a great post by Gerry McGovern, who made the point that companies are more than happy to spend $200,000 every three years on a massive website redesign and put no money into redevelopment in the ensuing years. They were reinventing the wheel every three years and then letting the wheel go flat in between times. In short, he recommended that companies would be better off to spend $50,000 a year for three years.
He is right. But he is also in the minority, sadly.
Web site maintenance is a key part of a successful web strategy. In my workshops on web writing, I often asked the question of participants ‘ how often do you update your website?’ I sometimes ask them ‘ how often you go through your website taking down old material?’ The answer, sadly, is ‘when I can find time’.
Web site maintenance is not about web servers. Maintaining a website is not about minimising downtime so people can access information around the clock. It is about ensuring that whenever they access information they are getting the best information possible. That usually means giving them content that provide to answer the questions, to help them to achieve their goals or to assist them to easily contact and connect with your organisation.
Website maintenance is about content. It’s about maintaining what you have and ensuring it ALWAYS hits the mark – not just in the afterglow of a relaunch.
Part of any website responsibility is to ensure that you are regularly adding good information, replacing old information or archiving redundant information. Does your organisation have a plan to deal with this?
Because many organisations struggle with this concept, I will be releasing shortly an eBook on how to effectively maintain your website, to schedule in time to continuously improve your web content. Watch this space.
In the meantime, do you proactively manage or maintain your website or does the website manage you?