Keep your Website up-to-date11 January 2012 Online Innovations
How often do you hear people say, “I saw it on the internet”, when trying to motivate a point? My guess is: often. My response is usually, “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet”.
The web has become a very important resource – providing us with access to a ridiculous amount of information from the comfort of our home, office or mobile device. We use the internet to do our banking, registrations, research, bookings, shopping and so much more. Unfortunately, we put too much faith into the internet and rely on all of the information published there as being factual and current.
A sceptical approach goes a long way to assist in ensuring that the information found on a website is credible. What proves to be more frustrating than reading unqualified opinions, is outdated information.
Surely companies and organizations don’t intentionally aim to frustrate their website visitors by not maintaining their website’s content - considering the damage it does to a brand.
So Why is this Problem so Prevalent?
Well, in my experience, I can put it down to the following:
- The website’s structure or architecture is restrictive.
- The webmaster is under-resourced or there is no webmaster at all.
A restrictive website structure
A website’s structure could be restrictive in the following two ways:
- The website may be static and not have a content management system accompanying it.
- The content management system is overly complicated or unmanageable.
Five-page websites or brochure websites are often static websites, because they present pre-defined, static information to the user.
This type of website usually displays the same information to all of its visitors. Similar to handing out a printed brochure to customers or clients, a static website will provide consistent, standard information for an extended period of time.
Updating a static website’s pages is a manual process and requires website design skills, an understanding of HTML and software. This usually means the involvement of external parties and additional expense. This is what usually contributes to the likelihood of neglecting your website.
Restrictive content mangement systems
The alternative to static websites is dynamic websites. Variable content is displayed dynamically by-way-of software systems like, ASP.NET, PHP and the like, usually by retrieving content stored in a database.
A website with dynamic content refers to how its text, images and other information are displayed on the web page and more specifically, how its content changes at any given moment. The web page content varies based on certain criteria. For example, a website with a database of news articles can use a pre-defined rule which tells it to display all news articles for today's date. This type of dynamic website will automatically show the most current news articles on any given date.
Needless to say, a dynamic website can operate more effectively, be built more efficiently and by-way-of a content management system is easier to maintain, update and expand – compared to a static website, which often becomes outdated.
Speak to us about our content management system (CMS)
Online Innovations are able to offer a comprehensive, tried-and-tested content management system solution that incorporates the latest technology. It can be integrated into the simplest and even the most complex of websites and can be customised and configured to best meet our customer’s objectives.
The need for a dedicated webmaster
In most large organisations, the websites are managed by either the marketing or IT department. This inevitably leads to a turf war, with the website becoming the victim of internal politics and budget constraints.
In reality, the website is not particularly suited to either group. The IT department may be excellent at understanding the technical requirements and limitations of a system, but it is by no means is suited to developing a friendly user experience or establishing or complementing the brand.
The fact is that a successful web campaign is a full time job and the need for a dedicated webmaster cannot be overstated. A webmaster who can receive guidance from both departments and spend time ensuring that the website is up-to-date, while delivering a solid brand message.
The Benefits of a Well Maintained up-to-date Website
- An up-to-date website tells visitors that the owner is organised, professional and serious about business.
An outdated website can leave a visitor disappointed and can spoil the brand that the company has tried so hard to build.
- Google loves up-to-date websites.
If Google notices that a website’s information is changing regularly, it will visit and crawl the website more frequently.
- Visitors will return to, share and bookmark the website.
If visitors can depend on the information on the website they will revisit, share and remember it.