So, you have a website. Now what?

Photo of a man reading a book standing among a flourishing garden of yellow flowers. Photo by Joshua Coleman.

Launching a new (or recently updated) website is a moment to celebrate! It’s also the transition point from one phase in your site’s life to another. This series will tell you what you need to know as you step into your new role: Website Owner.

A lot of discussion happens during the planning, designing and development phases of your website. But, as King George asks in Hamilton, what comes next?

Many times you—the website owner—are sent off with a new website, possibly a maintenance contract, and an accomplished feeling that the website is now “done” and you can move on to other things.

An attitude of “one and done” sets your new site off on the path to unnecessary redesign.

As website owner, your priority is to keep that site in the best shape possible for as long as possible. This means knowing how to recognize and address your site’s needs. This series will prepare you to do just that.

Here is what you need to know as a new website owner:

  1. Getting to know your site’s strengths and weaknesses early prevent big issues from getting in the way.
  2. Your website is a representative of your business. Making sure the message it projects is well-received takes time.
  3. A maintenance plan is key to keeping your site fit for the long haul.
  4. There are different roles to maintaining and managing your website—understanding each enables you to build the right team for your site.

Each of these pieces will be more fully explored in their own upcoming posts. Here’s a brief overview of what we’ll be discussing in each:

Getting to know your site’s strengths and weaknesses early prevent big issues from getting in the way.

Photo of a spade in a garden box. Photo by Markus Spiske.

A lot of information can be gained from studying how visitors interact with your site. We will take a look at three crucial questions that directly impact decisions made for your site’s future:

  1. Is your site being found by prospective customers?
  2. Are visitors able to complete the tasks they need to?
  3. Is your site easy to use on the devices your visitors are actually using?

Your website is a representative of your business. Making sure the message it projects is well-received takes time.

Photo of a woman biting into a coconut. Photo by Lukas Beer.

Armed with the knowledge of how visitors interact with your site, you can now take a look at the content through the lense of your audience. We’ll break down:

  • How online content is typically consumed.
  • Finding content that resonates with your audience.
  • Compelling visitors to take action.

A maintenance plan is key to keeping your site fit for the long haul.

Top-down view of common gardening tools. Photo by Eco Warrior Princess.

You may have passed when your developer mentioned an ongoing maintenance contract for your brand-new site, but having a plan ahead of time accounts for seen and unforeseen updates. During this topic, we will explore:

  1. Recognizing your site’s needs as it ages.
  2. The different types of updates and how to plan for each.
  3. Identifying the best person(s) to perform updates.

There are different roles to maintaining and managing your website—understanding each enables you to build the right team for your site.

Photo of a hand wearing a gardening glove inside a greenhouse. Photo by Vince Fleming.

For some websites, the “team” is made up of one person. Others require multiple individuals serving specific roles. Whichever way your site is managed, knowing the roles and responsibilities will keep everyone on task with your site’s best interest in mind.

Website ownership is easier when you’re in the know.

Websites don’t typically come with owners manuals, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things we can do to help make owning and managing your website easier. Join me next week as we dive in to what pieces of information you can grab from your user statistics to help make decisions that improve your website over time!

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