What About On-Going Maintenance, Evaluation, & Overall Analyzation? Part 4 of 4

Evaluating Website Technologies

What About On-Going Maintenance, Evaluation, & Overall Analyzation? Part 4 of 4

Revised August 16, 2017
Originally Published June 8, 2016

Part 1 of this series discussed what type of website needs to be built (a CMS, Shopping Cart, or other custom application.)

Part 2 of this series discussed technologies required to implement the new website. Will it require the use of Flash, javascript, Ajax, PHP, or even some other technology?

Part 3 of this series discussed what type of hosting might be best based on the business needs and target market.

Part Four - What kind of on-going maintenance, evaluation, and overall analyzation should be expected?

Part 4 of this series discusses what to expect once the new site has gone live. In today's world, a business cannot just put up a website and consider it done. In order to make a website productive, generate leads, sales, and profits (in addition to maintaining security); the site will need at least a certain level of on-going maintenance, evaluations of what's working, analyzation of traffic, users, and their associated interactions with the website.

On-Going Maintenance & Updates

A website, just like a physical store-front or office, will require on-going maintenance. The type of maintenance, how often the maintenance needs to happen, and the effects the maintenance will have on the site vary.

    Technology Patches & Fixes

    Websites are essentially software; except instead of being installed on a local office or home computer, the software is installed on a server, and accessed via the Internet. Like any software, the program(s) that make the website run, needs to be maintained, patches installed when released, and versioned upgrades, as needed for security and reliability.

    There are many potential pieces that could require attention at any given time. From the software running the server, to the coding that makes the website or application perform functions; there are always aspects that may need to be reviewed, addressed, and updated.

    Such updates could be:

    Be sure to subscribe to any updates, or industry news for the technologies used for the company website. Staying on top of trends and keeping on top of updates, news, and changing trends will help the company's site to achieve and maintain maximum return for the website investment.

    In addition, staying up to date will keep the company's records, users, and their private data safe from hackers or malicious users.

    Content Updates

    Keeping a website's content fresh, and up-to-date is imperative for those companies in need of optimizing their overall organic, search engine presence, and wanting top search ranking.

    Whether the goal is:

    • to improve SEO,
    • provide better overall customer service,
    • or to increase the website's overall ROI;

    consistently updated content on the website can help achieve the desired result.

    There are an ever-ready number of different topics that could be covered on a website to update the content:

    • From internal company updates,
    • to industry-related news,
    • to help related resources,
    • or even in-depth case studies;

    there are numerous methods by which to keep a website's content up-to-date and relevant.

Frequent Evaluations

Ideally website evaluations should be on-going; perhaps evaluating a different portion of the site, interface, user-interaction, as well as related medias (such as social medias or video medias, like YouTube) on a regular basis.

What gets evaluated, and how often can depend upon many factors. For example:

  • Sites that deal with online transactions, personal information, and other sensitive data would obviously need to review their security systems, SSL, and password protection mechanisms quite regularly.

  • On the other hand, websites that are simply attempting to generate more online leads, business, or better ranking in search results -- are going to be more concerned with evaluating conversion, SEO factors, analytics, user-engagement, and CTA's (Calls to Action) to increase incoming leads, and other lead producing aspects.

While the basics of website design, SEO and other marketing techniques rarely change, the technologies behind each change rapidly.

A website's entirety should be evaluated at least once per year, but ideally pieces of the site should be reviewed more often like once a month, quarterly, or semi-annually; depending upon its function and roll in relation to the overall business and its well-being.

Overall Analysis

Viewing a website or campaign's analytics and studying the results are imperative to overall improvement and success.

By studying the analytics provided by either Google's free Analytics, (or another service) one can begin to visually see trends, user patterns, and potential methods of improving the overall site interaction; as well as interactions with other business assests, such as the business social media assest interaction, etc.

Analytics are not something to be reviewed right away, but instead requires time to accumulate data, user trends, and so on.

Ideally, a website's overall analytics should be reviewed and studied once per quarter; more frequent data will not necessarily show dependable trends in data.

After a year or more of data, trends will appear, and assist in furthering future improvements of the website's return-on-investment; leading to increased online leads, sales, and profits.

Summary

The most successful websites with the highest return on investment realize that the work doesn't stop once the website goes live; there are numerous on-going activities from updates, maintenance, on-going evaluations, and analysis.

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