Tag Archive for 'Web Design'

Why you can’t “set and forget” a website

Recently, I was reviewing infomercials (they are a great source of creative ideas). A popular TV pitchman had the audience repeating the mantra, “just set it and forget it!

Website Set And Forget

Set And Forget Might Work For BBQ Chicken, But Not Your Website

While this might be an exciting idea for a dinner appliance, it’s suicide for your website. Like a car or a house, your website requires regular, on-going maintenance.

What is “Website Maintenance”?

I define website maintenance as both the art and science of keeping a website current in both technology and (Killer Kopy™) content. That means assuring proper functionality (how users move around the pages), verifying the accuracy of copy, fixing any broken links and images as well as performing an overall brand/positioning assessment of the site to make sure it reflects how you and /or your company wants to be perceived online.

An easy metaphor to explain website maintenance is home maintenance.

You can take a look at your home for light bulbs that need to be replaced, look to see if there are any new cracks in the foundation, maybe a room needs some new paint, tiles or carpet.

The same is true of your website. It’s good practice to review your site at least once a month.

Website review tips:

  • Check date sensitive content such as an announcement of an upcoming event. After the date passes, it should no longer be “upcoming” and the date or deadline changed. The longer the old date remains, the more out-of-date your website appears to your visitors.
  • Even though computers “don’t make mistakes”, functional elements of your website including contact us forms, event registrations, product purchase links and other e-commerce and database functionality should be checked. Often, these break due to an indirect parameter being changed somewhere else on the site. You don’t need to check everything each month, just run a random spot check or pick a section of your site each month to review.
  • Check external links (links to other sites) on your site. There are several free utilities that can provide this function for you. Recently, I had someone send me an email with a link in her signature that was broken…
  • You should review as many pages on your site as you can, paying special attention to the links in the navigation bar(s), make sure the visual elements appear correctly on all pages. This can be done very quickly to find the most obvious errors.
  • Check for images that are not displaying correctly or have the dreaded “red x”. This can usually be done by skimming the pages quickly – you may realise that some images load too slowly (all you need to do is reduce the file’s resolution to a web optimised format.)

I highly recommend taking notes as you do your website review. You’ll get ideas for immediate and future improvement that can become part of your tactical and strategic deployment respectively.

What do you do when you find an issue?

Continue reading ‘Why you can’t “set and forget” a website’

Case Study: An excellent web page design

In a previous post, I explained the benefit of using a great illustration or photo to explain a step-by-step process. Sometimes the image can be a page of text – like this one for mobile phone recycling… One page says it all in a very attractive layout, with the necessary links.

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