Maintenance -- How Do I Keep My Website Updated?
Website Maintenance -- How Do I Keep My Website Updated?
The beauty of websites is that they can undergo changes on a regular
basis – even daily. Many websites, however, once launched,
sit there getting older and more out-of-date by the moment. It is
obvious when we visit a website and find the events in the calendar
listed for the year 2000.
Google and Yahoo search regularly for changes on websites, and
those that are updated regularly with good content rank higher in
the ratings. In this article, I share some processes for keeping
your website maintained and up-to-date.
Process #1. Make an agreement with your web designer.
Even though I offer my clients ways that they will be able to do
their own maintenance, 95% would prefer for me do the updates. I
even offer a service to help them learn an authoring program as
we develop the website, so that they can take the site over once
it is launched. Still, most find that sending me the information
regularly and having me do the updates for an hourly rate works
best for them. So, I am advising you to find out if the designer/developer
you hire will be willing to maintain the site, for what rate, and
for how long.
Process #2. Plan to use Macromedia’s publishing
program, Contribute (now at level 3). This program will work for
all websites -– even if they were not created using a Macromedia
product. Contribute’s capabilities include connecting to your
live website, making a draft of the page you want to update, doing
the editing, changing and updating, and then publishing it back
on the live website. Contribute works like a regular desktop program,
making changes as quick and easy as everyday work on your computer.
If you need to run changes to the site by someone else, you can
upload the changed file to a temporary page and send an e-mail with
its address to all who need to take a look. You can also start to
make changes and save the draft you are working on until you are
ready to publish it. There are rollback features, so that you won’t
lose the original if you want to bring it back. You can also create
new pages and publish them to the website.
Process #3. Either design and develop your own
website or work with a willing designer. This is someone who will
teach you the “ropes” and help you set up your site
-- on your own computer -- in a professional manner.
* This mentor should help you with graphics and understanding
more than just the basics.
* When someone asks me to fill this role, unless he or she is
already web and computer software savvy, I suggest using FrontPage,
even though my authoring program of choice is Macromedia Dreamweaver
MX 2004. In my opinion, the learning curve for Dreamweaver is steep,
and those who have been working regularly with Microsoft products
will find FrontPage friendlier and more cost effective.
* Once you have learned the program and have experienced uploading,
testing and launching, you should be ready and able to maintain
your website on a regular basis.
Overall Process. Make a maintenance schedule and stick with it.
You may have a designer do the updates, the program Contribute to
use yourself, or the files for your website right on your computer.
No matter which of these descriptions fit, you are the one who is
responsible for keeping up with your site.
If you include events, delete the ones past and add the new ones
(weekly is a good idea). Remove old news that no longer applies.
Update descriptions. Add a new photo and/or graphic, a new article
or heading, and a new offer. Think of ways to make your website
lively and interesting so that visitors will want to return on a
About the Author
Chris King is a professional
website creator / designer, storyteller, writer, free agent, and
fitness instructor. You will find her business website at http://www.creativekeys.biz
and her information website at http://www.creativekeys.net