Storytime: Myths about Business Websites, Chapter II
The Big Myth: Once a page is built, it’s easy to manage yourself.
Alright, so you found a web developer and your website is ONLINE! It looks good right? Seeing your brand stamped on a piece of internet realty? From here on out you’ve got this, you can take care of that website without a web content manager. It’s easy, just like driving a car.
Except you can’t drive a car if it isn’t maintained. Your website is similar; it’s the engine that drives customers to your business and it needs to be maintained, gassed-up and sometimes washed a little. But just like a car you are going to need a professional mechanic to tune things up, make sure
plugins are updated, maintain ADA compliance, keep new items from affecting your SSL and generally help you keep pace with everyone else. You need a web developer to keep your site running correctly.
Pulling into the pit.
The developer that helped build your site can probably help maintain it, but you should make sure they have the other skills that transform your website from a placeholder on the web to a revenue-earning tool for your business. Some developers have content creation, web marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) skills. Some can manage an email marketing campaign through a third party and efficiently execute your social media strategy. Before you settle on just any developer, ask if they (or their team) has all of these skills.
Just having a website isn’t enough, it’s like driving a car without a radio, air conditioning or power steering. While each of those was once considered a luxury, they’re now standard for good reason. The same should be said for your business’s website. It needs a digital support team capable of handling all
the different tools that affect your ROI. Keeping all of those moving pieces in sync takes expertise, planning, and time that you may not have while focusing on the other elements of your business.
Speak the language.
“Website” is a simple term, much like engine, but a successful website is made up of so much more. Your site is useless if it doesn’t also possess web discoverability, and for that you need to ask for some very specific skills. When talking to a potential “mechanic,” drop some jargon on them and ask about SEO Optimization, Ongoing Website Maintenance, Email Marketing and Social Media Integration. If your developer is willing to talk to you about those services and is capable of providing them at a professional level, you should probably hand over the keys and see what happens.