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Putting thought into website maintenance

by Chris Maloney
Published 5-15-2013

There are a lot of options out there for maintaining your website post launch. Most websites built these days are built on a content management system (CMS), and the idea there is that a non-technical person will be able to easily manage the content themselves. That would be perfect, right?? You'd never need another web company again!

I hate to break it to you

However, no matter what CMS you use, you always end up with a WYSIWYG editor (google it). And anyone whose ever used an HTML editor knows that it's incredibly difficult to get the styling to look exactly as you want it. Even if you want to change the original layout even slightly! And keep your fingers crossed that you don't accidentally delete class names that your web company had to use for specialized styling.

Then there's the issue with trying to track down where the content on the customer facing side is located in the admin backend. In many Wordpress/Joomla themes, it can be like an Easter egg hunt trying to track down sidebar, footer, and header content.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to bash the modern content management systems out there. They can rapidly speed up the process of adding a blog, e-commerce shop, or a slideshow to your site. However, I like to be straightforward and honest with clients about what they will and likely will not be able to do unless they learn some HTML/CSS.

That's where engaging a web maintenance service comes into play, or you could hire a web content editor. Sometimes it's better to just leave it to someone who knows what they're doing. It could be more cost effective to engage a web maintenance service unless you're making numerous major edits daily. The drawback with a service is that you don't necessarily get the personalized touch or feedback about content edits. Most services are extremely automated: you send edits, they do them.

But is anyone thinking about how the edits are going to effect:

  • Overall Content Strategy
  • Current Site Design/Layout
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • User Experience
  • Effectiveness of the Content

So when you're searching for some expertise for maintaining your website, you'll want to keep that in mind. Having a professional actually think about what you're trying to accomplish and providing consultation isn't a guarantee with every service out there. Feel free to ask us more about the issues one can face trying to manage a website.