Do You Need a Web Janitor?
The Sprocket Report
If you have a brick-and-mortar location you already know how important maintenance is. You either hire a service or pay a fee to your landlord so that the snow gets plowed and the windows washed. So why should it be a surprise that your website needs maintenance services, too?
You want customers to feel comfortable about doing business with you, but a shop or office with peeling paint, filthy floors and burned out light bulbs doesn’t inspire much confidence. Budgeting for maintenance is simply an expected part of doing business.
Since your website serves as your online storefront, keeping your web pages tidy is every bit as important, so don’t forget to budget for that maintenance as well. How much upkeep do you need? Well, just like your physical location, “it all depends.” Here are a few of the most common services you might need to consider:
Regular Mopping and Dusting
Websites get metaphorically dusty and benefit from a little regular polishing. You should clean up expired sales and old copyright dates. At the same time, update event calendars and blog posts so that your site looks fresh. A walk-through once a week would be great but if you’re not updating at least once a month, your site is probably looking pretty stale.
Sometimes links get broken or a technology update messes up how applications work together. If you aren’t regularly maintaining your website, you might not even notice there’s a problem until a prospective customer complains. And then it might be too late!
Fashion trends wane and your site may be looking dated. With many of the newer web platforms, like the one we use, you can freshen up the look without having to rebuild the whole site. Ask your web developer what you can swap out, like graphics, colors or layout.
If your analytics tell you that folks aren’t finding your Call To Action or if you’re spending too much time answering phone questions, maybe it’s time to add some functions or rearrange the pages. This is much easier to do on a website than in your storefront and you won’t need a “pardon our dust” sign while you remodel.
Tear Down and Rebuild
Sometimes you reach the limit of what you can do with what you have and when that time comes, you simply need to start over. Again, this is much less disruptive in a website since you can build the new one while the old one continues to work. Once you and your web developer are done with the new site, you just point the domain name there and you’re done.
There’s an entire Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association with conferences, books and a magazine to help folks take care of their brick-and-mortar shops. We didn’t see a similar organization for web maintenance, but we did find this:
In a perfect world, you should be able to focus on your business and its production. However, we know that small setbacks happen such as maintenance issues. What if there was a company that could take all of your maintenance issues away and even provide preventative maintenance?
Boy, that sure sounds like a web developer, doesn’t it? Take a look at your website with your customer’s eyes and see if it’s time for a little upkeep. Or give us a call and we’ll take a look for you and report back. We’re happy to help you look good!