Local businesses and third sector groups have limited resources and so often find they have to do things in-house. If they are lucky they may have a volunteer who has some idea about how to set about it. But experience shows this needs to be managed because volunteers move on, perhaps taking important passwords with them, and so leave a useless site behind them. Even if they stay around they are not always up-to-date with the best approaches to building a website, know how to design it to their organisation’s purpose or how to share maintenance with others in the organisation. Technique, is the fourth main category on this blog and covers practical approaches to online and in-person marketing.
Often consultancy is all you need, whilst you do most of the work in-house, to make sure you have considered all relevant aspects of the work. So, Technique is about how to work with a consultant as well as the applications to choose and the detail of looking after a site.
I aim to help you find the applications you need to work effectively online and highlight the issues you need to consider when you are using online applications.
Many organisations make the mistake of thinking of their online presence as a technical issue. Whilst this is always going to be true to some degree, it is not the full reality for most online experience these days. This is why it is important to see technique as at the service of your organisation’s purpose and marketing strategy.
Thinking of websites as technical can mean the site becomes independent of the rest of your organisation’s activities. Your site might be brilliant to look at but if it does not meet your organisation’s needs it can become the plaything of a volunteer who is the only person who knows how to maintain it. Alternatively, the site becomes unloved and out-of-date. Often the organisations do not know what is possible and modern sites can be easier to maintain than the system they inherited.
Websites, social media, mobile devices, email, videos and many other applications mean people can do far more than they imagined even a few years ago. Simply getting someone in to design a site no longer hacks it for many organisations. You need to be ready to dig deeper if you are seeking to take advantage of all the online world has to offer.
When cars became cheap they had major implications for organisations. The same applies to most technological innovations. Telephones, typewriters, faxes, desk-top computers … all changed the way organisations work. A website is a technological innovation. Just because it is a set of text files on a server somewhere in the world, doesn’t mean it makes fewer demands upon your organisation. Websites become moribund because their organisations are unable to adapt to their use.
How do you keep your site up-to-date? It is best to plan what you want the site to do before you go online. However, many organisations inherit a moribund site and lack the resources to carry out a major review. So, whether you do it yourself, ask an employee or volunteer to do it or engage a consultant / designer, what do you need to understand?
Walks you through the things you need to think about when building a basic website with a consultant or designer.
A review of several ways of driving traffic to your site.
These posts cover the basics of maintaining a WordPress blog. These include not only what buttons to press but also how to organise your work to produce regular posts.
There are loads of applications (software tools) that might potentially be helpful.
- Social media can support your website or do the job you need without a website
- Analytics – how do you get and interpret information about your site’s performance?
- Search engine optimisation, keyword research and all those things that affect how your site functions.
- Loads of applications help you write code and prepare graphics and animations for websites.
- Content management systems
- Various cloud resources help you share stuff online.
Many of these are free and some are very expensive. How do you make the best choices? If your designer is using an application, how can you follow what the designer is doing? I’ll interpret the jargon and explain what to expect.
A few introductory posts about how to assess the need for a website. These posts were somewhat superseded by the Circuit Questionnaire.
This page summarises my posts about approaches to local marketing requiring face-to-face contact.