For a lot of people and organizations, the thought of building and maintaining a new website is a scary proposition. What does it require? Where do you start? Who do you call? What do you need to do?
What makes this whole process even more challenging is when you require a great website. We can admit to ourselves that we don’t want a bad website. A website is supposed to represent the best things about our organization and ourselves. We want to be proud of what we do and who we are.
So what should we require from ourselves when it comes to building and maintaining a great website?
A commitment to gather and provide great content.
Website programmers and designers can do excellent work, but they require “mission and vision” from the client. “Mission” is all about what the organization is all about: its purposes, goals and objectives, commitments to others, what it accomplishes in the marketplace or the community. “Vision” is all about what the organization wants to be “when it grows up.” In simple terms, the vision is where the organization is headed and what it aspires to achieve. Both of these are critical pieces of the resources that programmers and designers want to know and understand.
For some clients, it’s just plain difficult or impossible to provide logos, designs, graphics, or even text to help the process of building the site. Great programmers and designers understand these difficulties, so they are skilled in finding what works for the client. If the client can look in the marketplace and find what they like, and even what they don’t like, this process will help those who are working on the client’s behalf.
As the process moves forward, clients can provide considerable help by sharing ideas, concepts, designs, and content as they gain more clarity on what they want and don’t want. Great programmers and designers encourage collaboration with clients so that the end product achieves excellence.
A commitment to consistent improvement to the site.
As much as the process creates a lot of work and a lot of challenges, there shouldn’t be a “finish” to the site. Instead, building the site is the start of a process to communicate and promote your organization to the marketplace. You want to create visibility for your organization when you want to build a website. That visibility requires a commitment to update information, provide additional content about your organization and the community it serves, and to show that you care about what you communicate.
There are some leaders that want to create a simple website and then just leave it there for a while. Although it is a potential option, it is truly a bad one. First, most organizations want to increase search engine results for their websites. Search engines such as Google pay close attention to updates and new content on websites. If a website doesn’t change, search engines will move that website down in their listings. After a while, a low listing becomes a credibility problem – not just on the search engine, but in the marketplace as well.
Secondly, customers and clients want to know more about the organization. They want to see current information about what is happening within the organization. In today’s marketplace, providing insight and communicating great ideas isn’t just a great marketing strategy. Customers require it. In many cases, it’s an important factor for potential clients to decide whether or not to work with your organization. Clients want a consistent flow of benefits from those they trust, not just a single transactional experience.
Lastly, consistent improvements to the site shows people that you want to communicate with them on a perpetual basis through your website. It creates a place of trust for customers and clients. If you are consistently updating your website, it communicates your desire to provide value to your customers and clients. Connection in today’s marketplace is an important part of maintaining and growing relationships – and your website is an important part of that process.
A commitment to require a great experience through the website.
Even though we can provide great content and then commit to making improvements to the site, that doesn’t mean that the site will be great. Making sure that the website provides a great experience is just as important as content and updates. The technology needs to work. Being able to see the website on a computer, tablet and cell phone is not just important. It’s mandatory in today’s marketplace. Missing content is just not acceptable anymore. All of these factors come into play.
The platform which the website is built is a critical point of emphasis. Especially with the advances of website technology, building and maintaining a website has become a whole lot easier than ever before. Pages can be built or modified without too much difficulty or knowledge. Having a skilled programmer on your team, however, will make this whole process easier for everyone concerned.
Even though you can build your own site, it’s wise to have a programmer on your side. Great programmers want sites to run seamlessly and perfectly. They can build a site structure that allows you to do what you want without negative effects. That’s a smart strategy that will preserve a great site for your organization.
When it comes to building a great website, don’t be afraid of the requirements. If you work with a great team alongside you and your organization, you will find that the process isn’t nearly as hard or as difficult as it might seem. When you allow great people with great skills to create greatness with you, it turns into a fun process that creates incredible results.