Just like a new puppy, websites need care

Remember when the family decided to get a puppy? They’re soooo adorable! The family was so excited to have one. You did your homework and got a puppy that was allergy free, didn’t shed and was a kid friendly breed.

When you went to pick up the cute little tyke, you just knew at first glance which of the puppies was right for your family. He had the markings of a pedigree, was playful and had the perfect temperament.

So you took him home and realized he was hungry and thirsty. So you got him his bowls and put food and water in them. It was so cute the way he lapped up the water and his ears nearly dipped in.

You picked him up, hugged him and rubbed noses with him. … And then he peed on you.

Wait! That wasn’t in the brochure. And neither was there any mention of having to get up at all hours of the night to let the puppy out, or that chewing habit to break, or keeping him off the couch and restraining him from jumping up on people.

Puppies are cute and can be great lifelong pals. But like anything, there’s some training and maintenance involved.

Websites are no different. Getting the website you think is just right for your business is only the first step. There are many things that still need to be done to actually make it work for your operation.
For starters, make sure there’s a time commitment to keep it up to date. With all the content management systems (CMS) out there (like WordPress, etc.) updating content is a breeze. Not only is it easy, but it’s effective, especially in the long haul.

Here are some areas you will want to pay attention to as you get your website housebroken:

Quality articles: I figure that an article the length you’re reading takes the average person about an hour to write. Some folks take longer and some can whip it out on a napkin over lunch. Just know who you are and commit yourself to writing on a consistent schedule. Don’t skimp and “just write an article.” Write an article that’s relevant to your client base. Write about something that they want to read. Write something that is high in value.

Security updates: The online world is filled with anonymous teen-agers causing mischief. And because of this, software developers submit updated patches that need to be applied. Yes, it’s important to keep this up to date or you risk losing everything. At the very least, if your site is compromised, you’re looking at some cleanup to some inserted links. If the site is completely taken offline, you’re starting over. The moral is, install the security updates.

Backups: This is a maintenance task that should be done regularly too. Yes it takes time. But it saves a whole lot more time when things go wrong. What can go wrong? How about you accidentally upload files on top of your site? Or the database just randomly inserted your boss’ picture onto every page? Or the server company went out of business? Or the server went out for a smoke break and never returned? These things really do happen.

Marketing: It’s pointless to get a nice website and let it sit there. No one will find you if you don’t lead them to your site. So there needs to be consideration for how much time and money you’re going to allocate to getting noticed online and turning visitors into sales.

The point of all of this is to open your eyes to a few of the hidden, real life aspects that occur with websites that you really need to be aware of to make full use of your site. Properly planning for the time and money to make it happen will make your website a total and complete success.

Plus, your business will clean up in a much more pleasant manner.