We are developing a website management service but are not yet offering it at this time. We provide the following for informational purposes outlining things to be aware of and what our future service might encompass.
Four types of websites
- Static: A website where the content rarely changes.
- Active: Frequent changes including pictures, prices, comments, etc.
- Commerce: Selling products and services on the website.
- Existing Social Media: Do you even need a website built? Would a simple Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc page suffice?
“Content” refers to everything on the website including pictures and text. Virtually everything you see describing your business or organization has to be created. You can’t create the website until the content is created first. Don’t even try. Examples include:
- Pictures in the right size, format, and resolution.
- Text including sales copy, captions, etc.
- Contact page including email, map, address, phone, etc.
- Products pictures.
- And much more.
The content is created, then the website framework is built, then the site is filled with the content – in that order. Content comes first, then and only then is the site created and filled. Creating the framework first but not knowing what the content will be will cause immense frustration and delay.
Two ways to create a website
- Use a well known platform such as WordPress, WIX, or Webflow to help you build the site. These services have made major improvements in recent years to the point where an excellent website can be created without knowing how to write code. This site is made using 100% WordPress with just a tiny amount of custom code.
- A second way is creating the website where you or a programmer write the code from scratch. For nearly all business website needs, this has become unnecessary except for very unique scenarios.
Which way is better:
- If at all possible, use a known platform such as WordPress, WIX, Squarespace, etc. to create the website. If your web designer leaves, dies, quits or is arrested and no longer available there is a much better chance you or someone else can take over the management duties. A custom website is uniquely constructed which means if your web designer is not available, you or someone else must figure out how it’s built, assuming you even have access to it.
- When we have to come in and manage custom programs or websites where the support has evaporated and documentation is non-existent, many hours and days can be spent sorting through it.
- Building a website from scratch is required if what you need is unique and specific. We built a ticketing site that could not be created using the platforms available. Every effort was made to use accepted coding practices, known frameworks, and thorough documentation in order to maintain it for a long time.
What you should know:
- Always demand that you will be able to make minor changes and edits without having to call your “web guy”.
- If it’s a static site, there is little need for a monthly “service charge” or “support contract”.
- Creating the content is far more time consuming than creating the website the content will be inserted into.
- Pictures, text, and where they are located on the screen don’t just appear out of the blue. Someone has to make those decisions including creating the text along with creating, buying, downloading or editing pictures. This cannot be emphasized enough.
- This website was created using the business plan in the WordPress platform. It uses several additional services to make it all happen. Once the chosen platform is selected and the site built, adding or editing content is easy. This is the type of service we are looking to implement.
- An eCommerce site is a major thing to deploy. It takes constant updating, inventory control, and payment acceptance processes. It can be created from scratch, as anything can, but it’s much more advisable to use web platform services like WordPress and eCommerce services such as WooCommerce or Shopify to manage inventory, sales, payments, and shipping. It’s very involved and you should be “all in” before creating it. You don’t want to end up selling something at an incorrectly listed price.
Who owns your website:
- The number one thing to know is who owns your website, domain, hosting, plugins, etc. Do you own your website or is your web presence owned by your web designer and you’re just renting? Big problems come up when you discover that your web presence is under someone else’s name and that someone just died, went to jail, refuses to give anything up, got hit by a bus, ignores you, or just quit and shipped themselves off to the Republic of Fiji.
Our proposed web service
- You will own everything under your name.
- You will have full access to your “web properties” at any time.
- You will be able to manage your web presence yourself or hand those duties off to anyone you wish at any time.
- Routine changes to your website would be done by you. No need to call the “web guy”.
- We would use the popular WordPress platform. Changes can be made by anyone with knowledge of the platform.
- Annual payments to the various services used would be done by you, the owner of the site, with our assistance.
- Payment for our web management would be done as service is rendered, not an automatic, monthly or annual fee. This would be different if your web presence needs daily or weekly management.
- The initial cost of building of the site would be a one-time payment when completed to your satisfaction.
- A major expense can be minimized if you , as the owner of the site, create the content. As mentioned previously, the majority of the time needed getting a website up and running is content creation. This can be expensive if the web designer or some other person does it for you. I cannot stress this enough – content is king and who creates it is the emperor.
The most common issues regarding web managing are:
- How and by whom content is created?
- Who makes small website changes – so-called day to day web management?
- What platform is used to create the site or is it custom made from scratch?
- Who owns the various website services needed to maintain a web presence – you or the “web guy”?
- What are the annual costs associated with your web presence, including various services, the platform chosen, and the initial building of the site and the day to day maintenance, if any?
- Will the site use any type of eCommerce?
- Will comments be allowed? Requires constant moderation and monitoring. Many sites have closed their comment section due SPAM, junk posts, or offensive comments. Anyone can post anything at any time.
- Will Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. be part of your web presence?
- Do you even need a website? Is a simple Facebook page sufficient?
Stay tuned for further developments!