Trick Question. Your Website is Never Finished.
Whether your website was built by you or by someone else, “completing” your website is when the most important work actually begins.
We like to say that a good website is a process, not a product– meaning the important part of the website work is ongoing and long lasting. You should think of a website as something you do, not something you have.
If you’re not in the website business, it might not be clear what needs to happen long-term for a website to be successful, and sadly a lot of web development companies don’t cover this. So even if you don’t know exactly what ongoing management looks like, at the very least you need to know that it’s an important step.
In truth, having a beautifully built website while disregarding the management and maintenance of it is like building a magnificent home in the middle of nowhere with no roads, maps, or any indication of its existence. For those who might stumble upon the home, they might take a quick look with admiration and then be on their way. In terms of your website without management: someone might accidentally stumble upon your page online but probably won’t stay for long and will likely not do what you want them to do (buy something, sign up for something, click something, and so on). Without ongoing work on your website, it’ll be lost in the abyss of the search engines and the millions of other websites.
We’ve seen lots of companies who charge an exorbitant amount of money for a beautiful and clean website with all the functionality. And then charge another massive fee for ongoing management as if it’s a “perk”. We know ongoing management is a necessity in order to succeed online. Let’s say you have a competitor who is far less talented than you, and you have similar websites. If you don’t manage your website while they are, their site will rank higher in search results and be more successful (which might mean a more successful business).
What are the lessons here?
- If you’re planning on paying for a website to be built, make sure part of your budget is dedicated to ongoing management.
- If you’re working with a web development company who doesn’t offer management, or worse– tells you that it’s not necessary: RUN! Or at the very least find someone (like us) who will help you manage your website so you can succeed online.
- It’s never too late to get started! If you’ve had a website for a while but you’re not seeing the traffic and success online that you know your site deserves, giving your website the proper management and attention can help boost your business pretty quickly.
Don’t let your website get lost online because nobody is looking after it. When your website is built, take a breath and then make sure you have the tools and support necessary to manage your site for the long term.