Don’t Get Stuck With a ‘Stupid’ Website
Being employed in the field of digital marketing, as of 2018 I’ve redesigned over 100 different client’s websites throughout the last decade. From restaurants, like Providence Coal Fired Pizza to WiFi engineers like Ruckus Wireless to medical/healthcare companies like Hydrocision.
And while the clients were fiercely different from each other in regards to goal and website functionality, the top complaints that pushed the decision makers to find a new web designer are as followed:
- I just want to change one line of text.
- Our web guy charges us even for small updates.
- Making changes to the site is a pain in the ass.
- I need to make simple website edits myself.
- I want the ability to add my own page.
From making small changes to adding new webpages, depending on the platform (or lack thereof), these can be a very frustrating tasks especially if you are not a technically inclined person or don’t have an IT team at your disposal. Some sites require a level of administrative access that is isn’t normally given to a client by their website partner (a.k.a. job security), others use straight code to generate pages making it hard for non-developers to make edits to text or even replace an image.
Managing your Website
Website management takes on all shapes and forms in today’s varied online landscape. Depending on the structure and size of your business the web manager could be a team of individuals, a sole webmaster, or just someone in your organization who ‘knows how to code’. Often times website updating procedures become convoluted and the knowledge of how to make edits is siloed or hidden from decision makers.
Nowadays the buyer journey almost always starts online, on their mobile device. Depending on your product or service, the awareness stage (I need this in my life) will guide audience members to your site and you only have an average of 3.5 seconds to capture their interest – a lot of judgements or decisions can happen in under a second.
So your website needs to be current! Whether that means posting holiday hours, publishing blog posts to become a resource in your local market, or updating team member photos, phone numbers, and bios – everything better feel kosher to your visitor at first and second glance or they’re out.
All Editable Everything
Every unique page is built in a way that leverages predefined layout (or layers). For example, let’s say that you want selected blog posts on the front page of your website. I do not just add them to the front page, I create the ability to add a blog layer to any page. So in the future, when you want to build your own landing page at 3am and include three related posts – you can do it yourself!
Another use case may be a feature layer that contains a product summary, image gallery, related documents, and a button. Rather than add a static element to your site, or worse – duplicating that element across multiple pages – I build it so you can build it yourself You can then choose your own product from a list generated from live data, import images or use current media assets, choose the documents to display, and create a button with custom text, icon, color, and destination.
Global Options Page
In addition to custom layers, I usually will include an option page from a centrally accessible point within the backend which holds all of the data that is used throughout the website. This page lets you edit information such as phone numbers, logos, footer blurbs, social media links, fallback images, and more depending on your needs.
In terms of web management, the goal of your web design partner should be to create an intuitive website for your audience and an easy to use backend for web managers. It doesn’t have to be one or the other and we have the projects and happy clients to prove it.