When You Can’t Fix Your Website

It happened again this week.  A prospective client admitted they can’t make changes to their website.  Not without sending out the changes.  To a developer.  Who costs big bucks.  And who MIGHT get to the project before the end of the year.

Think about it.  You have a brilliant idea for a marketing campaign.  A make-a-difference, save-the-quarter kind of idea.  But you can’t do anything about it until sometime next spring.

Ever notice a typo on your website?  On the homepage.  Imagine leaving it there for a while.. a long while.

There’s a change in your market.  A big change. The competition has a new web page up and an e-book.  With a lead capture form.  Nice. But we know you’ll get something up…someday.

You know Google rewards frequent updates on your website.  Too bad your budget only allows updates twice a year.

By the way…John Smith?  You know, the business development guy who left your company two months ago and joined your biggest competitor?  He’s still listed on your website.  With a link to his LinkedIn profile and all his new contact info. Nice.  I’m sure he appreciates all the new business you’re sending him.

Many small businesses don’t have technical resources on-staff.  Nor do they really need to if they work with a reputable website developer who can craft a website anyone can maintain.  Industry standard architectures like WordPress can be updated by anyone capable of using a basic word processing document.  A good Content Management System (CMS) can be constructed so updates are no more difficult than Mad Libs.

Creating an RFP for a new website?  Be up-front with the level of technical expertise (or lack thereof) that exists within your company.  Don’t abdicate responsibility for website updates and changes.  If only one person can update your website, what happens if that person leaves?  Don’t assume that changes will only happen on existing pages.   Will you be able to add pages?  Will you be able to structure downloads, email responses and create new web forms?  How easy is it to swap out images?

And, any time a developer tells you it is easy to make changes on a website they are proposing, ask them how easy it is for them. Or for your team?