Content-Related Site Maintenance

Why is it important to keep your site up-to-date? The answer depends upon your site.  Assuming your site is secure and well-maintained, you need to focus on content.

No-one in their right mind wants a website. A website is a lot of work and it is not worth it if you have no goal in mind other than owning a website.

First, be clear: What is this website for? What are we trying to do? Whatever it is, that is the thing you want, not the website!

Your website is a subtle machine you can bend to do the will of your organisation. If your website is an endless source of frustration and resists your will, then the chances are there’s something wrong with it.  Discuss your site with a web consultant who can help you diagnose and address the problem.

Your site maintenance, beyond the essentials for site security, should always contribute to your organisation’s purpose.

If your site simply describes what your organisation does, then it will need an occasional review. Perhaps once a month, depending on how quickly things change, do a quick read through to be sure everything is working as it should and nothing has gone out of date.

If you hold occasional public meetings and your site promotes them, you need a blog. However, so long as your target audience knows to look on the site, you don’t necessarily need to do well on search engines. An email list that automatically informs people when you post a new event may be all you need.  Local groups don’t need to worry too much about search engine optimisation (seo) but it does depend on your overall aims.

Regular posting is most important when you hope to build a following online. Two reasons.

  1. Regular posts register with search engines and so people will be more likely to find your site.
  2. People who find your site and discover recent activity are more likely to subscribe and take part in your activities.

These are known as traffic and conversions. If they are important to you then you need to put more effort into your site. Basic site maintenance is necessary (because to fail to do it will be a barrier to your message) but it is not sufficient – there is much more to traffic and conversions.

This post is simply underlining the need for basic good housekeeping. There is a lot more to getting your machine working and this will be a major theme when I return after the summer break.

How do you review your site?

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About the Author

I've been a community development worker since the early 1980s in Tyneside, Teesside and South Yorkshire. I've also worked nationally for the Methodist Church for eight years supporting community projects through the church's grants programme. These days I am developing an online community development practice combining non-directive consultancy, strategic management, participatory methods and development work online and offline. If you're interested contact me for a free consultation.

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