Maintenance and support is the final ingredient in designing a successful website for your business. As we have illustrated in the previous posts, websites are not static items that should simply be left to exist in the background of your business. They are living and breathing entities that need regular maintenance and support in various guises, whether that is security and maintenance updates, reporting and data analysis, content editing and additions or tweaks and modifications. Failing to keep on top of your website’s future needs will result in your investment not delivering the greatest return on your investment.
The most basic and critical requirement a successful website needs is to be kept in good working order and above all else live and online!
The internet isn’t always a cordial place, more and more regularly we see on the news how large websites, even banking websites, are maliciously hacked. Although in the cases which make the news the hacked websites have most likely been deliberately targeted, this however isn’t the case for the millions of other websites which are hacked but don’t make the news channels.
WordPress is the most popular content management system on the internet powering over 75 million websites which unfortunately also makes it an obvious target for malicious intent too. That may sound worrying but due to WordPress’s dedicated following and development community it is regularly updated to ensure it is kept secure, known vulnerabilities are patched whilst new features and improvements are rolled out. In the latest report from Securi, a leading industry information source and website security provider, they analysed the 9000 hacked websites they worked on during the 2nd quarter of 2016 and found that 78% of the hacked sites were running on the WordPress platform. Of those sites 55% were running a WordPress install or plugins which were out-dated highlighting the importance of ensuring your website is regularly kept up to date with the latest releases of the platform and plugins. It also highlights the importance of taking and retaining regular incremental backups of both your website files and database in the event of any problems… nobody can ever guarantee your website won’t be hacked.
Besides the importance of ensuring your website’s security, on-going maintenance and support can be a helpful aid when it comes to reporting on and providing insight to your website analytics. Keeping a regular track of how your website is performing and knowing which are the key metrics is an essential part of being able to evaluate how the various sections of your website and sales funnel are performing. Being able to investigate and interpret the analytical data, understand how the different parts of your website and sales funnel interact with one another, highlight which areas could be improved with further refinement, and in what form that may be, often requires the experience of your web developer to know the subtleties and strategies which have worked with their wider client base as well as in their implementation. Having regular on-going communication and advice from your web developer can be a great asset to your wider business team.
Beyond the scope of security, maintenance and analysis many businesses simply do not have the time, confidence or inclination when it comes to the tasks of updating their website with new content. This is another area where on-going support with your website can be of great benefit. Bearing in mind just how important it is to have an active website as the fulcrum or your sales funnel if you wish to have a successful website it can simply be helpful to have someone on hand to get what should be small tasks done quickly. Perhaps it may even be more productive to outsource the heavy lifting of content creation, publication and promotion in its entirety or in selected portions allowing you to focus your concentration on the day to day requirements of what you offer and do best as a business.
And with that it rounds up our series on the 11 key ingredients to designing a successful website… we hope you have found the posts both useful and insightful and help you understand how you can commission a website that delivers your business a return on its investment.
If you would like to speak to us at Worth Developing about how we help your business develop your website then please contact us through our Start Your Project page – we’ll ask you an initial series of questions to give us an idea of what you’re looking to achieve before arranging a suitable time to give you a call and speak with you further.
This Blog Post is part of larger series, view the accompanying posts using the links below.
Simply put, if you can’t monitor the statistics your website is capable of delivering to you, you can’t analyse how well the various sections of your marketing strategy or sales funnel are performing. You have no way of measuring the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
One of the greatest problems a client has when determining the budget they wish to allocate to building a new website is they have no real understanding of what a website is likely to cost. Much like buying a car you can spend a couple of hundred pounds or hundreds of thousands of pounds on the most exotic Ferrari in the showroom. Knowing what you are looking for helps you know your budget.
It goes without saying that considering your website visitors are going to be a crucial factor in designing a successful website but does your website design provide Substance Over Style and does its Form follow Function or is the wrong way around?!
Identifying your target audience helps you connect with their mindset and in doing so view your service through their eyes. When you do this you can look at your service or product differently to the way you see it as the service provider or seller.
Considering how your website is viewed by search engines is just as important as how it is viewed by your potential customers. Search engines have the power to deliver large volumes of potential business to your website or to cast it into the obscurity of the internet.
Engaging with your customers through the modern digital channels, and most importantly through your website, is the key to making your website successful. If you think about traditional offline marketing methods one of the main elements is networking, speaking to people… your website is no different.
Before building a new website there are a number of pre-design questions you should and your web designer should be thinking about. The answers to these questions should be key factors in driving the design process of your new website…