Small Business Planning
October 3, 2019
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Congratulations! You’ve finished this website and it’s live for everyone to see. So now you’re forever done with that website, right? Wrong. Websites are living and breathing things. You need to take care of them so they can continue to help your business grow. So today let’s go over the ways you can support your website so that it continues to run smoothly and help you.
Congratulations! Your website has been launched. You’ve told all of your friends. And it’s breathed new life into your business. Life is pretty good.
So now what?
Well, while the website has been built and launched, you’re still not really done with it. Honestly, you’re never truly done with a website.
Websites are living, breathing things. You need to manage them. There are updates to be made, there are potential security issues and you are probably going to be making changes to the content.
And like the rest of this process, if you don’t have a plan for it, it can go very wrong for you. So now that the site has been launched, let’s think about ways that you can support and maintain it so that the website continues to run smoothly.
Who’s going to be managing the website?
You need to really figure out who is going to be managing your website? Will it be you or an employee? Will it be the developer who built the website? Will it be another developer? Your friend?
And I don’t necessarily mean the content in this either. The code is going to have to be updated. If you’re running the website with WordPress, there are themes, plugins and even WordPress core itself that are always going to have to be updated. The same goes for basically any other content management system out there.
And even normal code needs to be maintained. Just because it’s a simple site doesn’t mean there isn’t HTML code that might need to be changed every now and then.
So who’s going to be the point person for all of that? Figuring that out now can help you avoid potential problems and help you know what to do in case something does go wrong.
Is there a plan to update the website?
Next, you need to make sure there is a plan to update the website. This is a place where things can go wrong if not done correctly.
Updates will likely happen often. I’m updating my plugins on my website once every couple of days. And a bad update can kill a website.
If the updates involve making changes to the code, what is the process for that? How do you make sure the change is made right without breaking the website?
If the updates involve things like plugins and themes or the content management system core, how are you going to make those changes and test them out to make sure they don’t break the website? I will say most hosts nowadays offer a staging site where you can test some of these things out. But you are going to need to come up with a plan to do it.
And then there’s also figuring out what to do if something goes wrong. How will you take backups before you do the updates? How will you restore those backups? How do you figure out what you need to fix?
So think about the updates that you’ll need to make on your website. It’s a great time to start planning for those.
How are content changes going to be made?
Next, you need to make sure you know how content changes are going to be made. Really, this is simple, but, I mean, it could become a problem.
Content management systems, or CMSs, have really made this so much easier over the past 10 to 15 years as opposed to just having to go through the HTML code like you did in the old days. But it never hurts to know who is in charge of the content and making those content changes.
Ideally, this person would have a good knowledge of the content management system you’re using, if you’re using one, as well as the website in general. In all likelihood, this will be the same person who’s managing the rest of the website.
But just make sure you know who’s in charge of the content and what, you know, the plan is for changing the content, if it’s going to be complicated.
Getting website support
Finally, you need to have a place to go for support in case something does go wrong with your website. You’ll likely need that support in case goes wrong with the code that you’re not able to fix.
Most developers will offer some sort of support package for websites that they build. It’s actually pretty good passive income for us. And it makes fixing those errors and problems so much easier because we already know the code base.
I know I offer website support packages, which include hosting on WP Engine plus daily backups, updates for WordPress plugins, themes and core, fixes if something gets broken and small tweaks and changes. It takes those worries completely away from you.
So see if your developer offers that. It never hurts to ask. And if so, look into it. And if not, see if there’s a company or other developer who can do it for you.
When something goes wrong, which it will if you have a website for a long enough period of time, it really helps having that knowledge and support that you can rely on.
So congratulations on making it to the end of this series! If you’ve watched this entire series before beginning this process, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. And if you’ve been watching this series as you’ve gone along, I hope everything turned out well for you.
And always feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, or if you want to show off your new website.
As for what’s next, I’ll be talking a little bit more in depth about other website topics, such as web accessibility, ecommerce and even digital marketing. And we’ll take deeper dives into those topics to give you a much better understanding. And I’ll be offering different sort of design and content tips for your website, and we’ll probably talk a little bit about WordPress as well, since that’s what I mainly use.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in comments below or you can reach out on social media. You can also learn more about creating a website for your business over on my website. I have a bevy of resources and blog posts that can help you make informed decisions during this entire process.
But again, congrats on your new website, and I’ll see you in whatever video you watch next.
Post Launch Support