As a website owner should you be maintaining your own website? We say ‘yes’; try to maintain the basics yourself.
Maintaining your own website is easier than ever before
Chances are your website is built on WordPress, Joomla or any one of a number of Content Management Systems (CMS). If so, you should be able to maintain your own website.
There are certainly some basic things you can do yourself. Whether it is worth you while to do these things boils down to how much time and technical skill you have.
The following list of skills ranges from relatively simple things to more complex website maintenance.
Website maintenance you probably can do:
Change words on existing pages or posts
This is probably the simplest thing you can do and goes a long way to making sure your website is correct and up-to-date. Log in, find the page or post, change the content and update – all done. At a minimum you are encouraged to do this.
Add pages and news posts
Here you are creating the page and putting brand new content in it. It is not difficult but there may be some settings you need to make so the page or post shows up in the right place. Also you may need to adjust a menu to accommodate the new item.
Add individual images to pages and posts
Images are fairly easy to add to a website. The trickiest part for clients we have found is resizing the images and then getting them to sit nicely on the page so that text flows around them the way you want. Trial and error is an common technique used when getting images right.
There are many ways to resize an image from Photoshop through to the image editors that come bundled with Mac or Windows. We’ve done a screencast of how to use a common online editor called Pixlr to resize images. The principles used in this app are the same as in most others.
Add to or modify slideshows
You website may contain slideshows. Your ability to modify slideshows depends on the plugin used and how the slideshow has been placed on the page. Deleting and swapping out images on an existing slideshow is probably the easiest part. The basic principles of image sizing and editing apply.
Creating new slideshows and then getting them to appear on the page may take more experience and require some understanding of shortcodes.
Do basic search engine optimisation (SEO) work
To improve chances of turning up in search it is good to know and apply the basic of on-page optimisation. This is something most website owners should get to grips with. It’s quite satisfying when the changes you make start improving the amount of traffic you get to your site. The principles are fairly straightforward and you can use a plugin like Yoast WordPress SEO to help you on your way.
Widgets are used in WordPress to display bits of content in recurring places on your website. Often the sidebars and footer of a WordPress site are comprised of widgets. They’re also found on the home page.
Sometimes they may contain HTML code which can be a bit daunting and you may choose to steer clear of editing these. Other widgets are built to automatically display certain categories of posts or pages based on drop down selections
Modify the menu
Creating and modifying the menu in WordPress has become very easy to do. You simply drag, drop and reorder items. The thing to watch out for is adding and removing items may break the layout of the menu.
Things you most likely don’t want to do/can’t do/choose not to do
So what parts of your website won’t you want to maintain yourself? After all there has to be something involved in the job of the web designer?
This is not to say basic code editing can’t be done and certainly knowing some basic HTML is a worthwhile thing to know. On the whole though it is a learning curve that you probably don’t care to attempt. After all you’ve got work to do and it makes sense to leave specialist skills to those who work with them on a daily basis.
When you need your site to do something special or when something goes wrong with your site problem solving is needed. Solutions, or more specifically how they are implemented, are more obvious to those who’ve been working in the field for years.
A question of efficiency
At the end of the day running a website isn’t usually the core business of most business owners. You might want to do your own website maintenance and you may do your best at giving it a go. But when you only get to log into your website’s backend every now and then it is hard to maintain the skills needed to efficiently keep the site up-to-date. Eventually it comes down to a question of value for money and efficiency – how is you time and money best spent? You can pay a web designer to do something in half an hour that could end up taking you two hours.
Need help maintaining your website?
PageLogic has a range of website maintenance packages to suit most businesses. If you’ve tried to maintain your own website but were unable to keep up with it then we encourage you to have a look at these packages and consider one that meets your needs.