Many people tend to feel a little lost when it comes to being a website owner. They don’t know what to do. They may feel overwhelmed. They may feel completely out of their element.
So what do you do as a website owner? What is the website owner’s role in the creation (and maintenance) of a website?
Share Your Vision
What are your goals? Where do you want to go? What image do you want to represent? This is important when you first start making a site, and must be kept in mind as you continue regular maintenance. Make sure your decisions are always in line with your goals. If you don’t know what you want or where you are going, your website will probably reflect that. And your visitors won’t care for it.
Your site is never “finished”. There is no such thing as “done” in web design. GOOD websites are always updated and have the latest information about an organization. New photos, new written content, improvements to site navigation, SEO improvements, and so on. So always update your site. Which is similar to…
You may create or maintain a website in partnership with your web designer. Don’t drop it in the web designer’s hands and forget them. Always stay involved. Which reminds me that you need to…
Share ideas and feedback with your web designer. Ask questions. Learn the lingo. A good web designer isn’t going to laugh at you for not knowing all the answers. That’s OUR job, not yours. My doctor doesn’t laugh at me for not having all the answers either. Neither does my plumber. Also, you probably know your industry better than we do. You know your target demographic as well. You interact with your customers and we probably don’t. So your feedback on what we do is very helpful because we don’t have your perspective. But remember, to be a good communicator, you also need to…
Pay attention to what your web designer is telling you. It’s probably important. Personally, I’ve been a professional web designer for 11 years. If I tell my clients why something they want is a bad idea, I’m saying it for good reason. I have long experience in this field making websites for a wide variety of industries. Admittedly, it can be very frustrating when I advise a client that a feature they’ve requested may be counter to their goals and they dismiss the feedback. To be fair, you all know your customers better than I do. But I’ve also spent a long time studying how your customers are most likely to respond to what they see and hear online. I’ve read countless studies. I’ve stayed current with trends. Part of my job is to know when to trust your judgement or when to go with mine instead. Let’s brainstorm alternatives, examine scenarios, or even do some testing to see what actually happens when visitors are presented with a certain feature. As I tell all my clients though: ultimately, it’s your site and dime. If you want it and insist, I’ll make it.
Read about doing business online. Learn about best practices for websites and your industry on the web. Keep asking questions. And remember that the Internet always changes. The steps you took for SEO may change tomorrow. Always, always ask questions and keep learning.
- The Right Tool for the Right Job
- It’s Still YOUR website! Or Is It?
- It’s Not Free Advertising
- Finding, Hiring & Working with Web Designers series, Part 1
A Book to Read: Website Owner’s Manual