So you’ve taken the plunge, and now you’ve got a shiny new website. Every design and development company has different rules and ways of working with you after the website is complete, depending one what services you’ve purchased. So what now? Unfortunately, websites don’t come with owner’s manuals. If done well, your website is completely unique. You’ll be taught how to update certain chunks of text within your site, and who to call if you need other updates, but deciding to update is virtually up to you.
Here are 5 steps you need to take to be a great website owner.
- Love and care for your new website like a puppy. It won’t know how to take care of itself. Text updates, image updates, tweaks, adding new products, adding new pages, etc. all has to be done by someone. Your new site should grow and change with time. If you let it sit stagnant, it will lose its value to you and your business or organization. Keep it fresh and updated with your current events, offers, products, projects, or services. If you neglect it, it won’t flourish.
- Be a front seat driver. If you only have access to edit certain “front” areas of the site, that’s great. Stay there. If you’re able to see what’s going on in the back end (code) of your website, stay away. You may think that you know enough code to update it, or you see the part that you need to change, and it would be so easy to just make that one tiny change. But after you mess it up, you’re going to have to pay for someone to fix it. So, ask for updates in the approved manner from your design company. It’ll be faster in the long run!
- Don’t copy paste from Word. This is a very common mistake of new website owners. Let’s say that you’ve got some text off of an flyer that you want to add to a page on your site. If you copy and paste the text straight from the flyer in a word processing program into the text editor on the page you want it on, it won’t look quite right. You see, when you copy the text from somewhere, you’re copying the font, font size, and spacing along with the text. When you paste it, elements get lost or don’t translate correctly into your text editor. To save yourself the headache, you’ll have to change it to plain text or paste it into an HTML editor. If you’re not sure how to do that, either ask someone to show you or have someone do it for you.
- Reach for the stars (within reason). Your design company is not made of magicians or super heroes. That said, they can probably do a lot of really cool things. So, use them! Have an idea for a new way to display your products? Ask about it. Need your contact us form to look different? Bring it up. You want to make a super awesome website with all the bells and whistles, so come up with ideas and bring them up! Work with your designers to make your website everything you want it to be.
- Show off. If you don’t market your awesome new website, nobody will know its there. You can’t expect people to come to the circus if you don’t tell them it’s coming, right? If you don’t have someone at your company or organization that knows web marketing, hire a web marketing company. It’ll be the smartest move you could make in regards to showing off your new website. Web marketers are experts at marketing your website to your target audience.
Joli D. writes for ArcStone, providing web design, website development, web marketing, and other website services in Minnesota since 1997.