Every business makes mistakes with its website(s). Most of them are minor, or only even noticeable far after the fact. But some of them are obvious enough to those of us with experience doing business websites that we just shake our heads and sigh. Here’s the 10 worst:
Stop Trying to Do It Yourself
Unless you’re a major corporation (in which case you should have a web division), you can’t really go it alone regarding your website. Even hiring a ‘web guy’ is ineffectual — either you’re going to end up with a static website and a ‘web guy’ who sits around all day playing Dungeons of Dredmor, or you’re going to end up on the other extreme, asking your ‘web guy’ to handle the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, Pinterest, Digg, Reddit, etc. etc. He’ll burn out inside of a year and the new ‘web guy’ will look at the huge task list, give up, and go back to Dredmor.
The correct answer is to hire a company that specializes in SEO and social marketing — or better yet, one of each — to handle your web presence.
Your Web Presence Needs More Design
Most companies out there simply create a webpage, a few social media profiles, and then leave them to be occasionally updated by whoever is assigned to do the updating. Often, that guy has little to no idea of what the long-term goals of the company’s web presence is because there are none.
The correct answer is to sit down with an expert — hire a consultant if you need to, but most web designers these days know the market well enough to handle the job — and talk about what you want out of your web presence. The answer shouldn’t be “income”, either — it should be something you actually spend time thinking about, even to the point of asking your expert of choice what your goals could be.
Websites Should Evolve Over Time
This is a big one — business website often just sit there for years at a time, because no one has the job of keeping them modernized (both in terms of code and in terms of keeping up with the changing market.) It seems like the site is ‘working’, so why bother doing anything to it? You might just screw it up. Unfortunately, this is exactly the wrong attitude.
The correct answer is to invest a small amount into your website every month, giving your web designer leave to modernize and update something small every week as well as setting aside a small amount each month so that when that next big HTML or CSS release hits, he’ll have the budget he needs to recode the site to take the new languages into account.
OK, this is starting to get on a bit — let’s come back later this week with part II.