Updating your website is a process – one that can feel overwhelming, even if you’ve been through it before. To help you navigate the journey, we’ve partnered with a few marketing experts to bring you a candid collection of advice and best practices, which we’ll be delivering through our Redesigning Your Website series.
Last week, we shared some tips for after you launch your website, including keeping your fellow employees in the loop on your new site and informing your current clients of any new features they might find helpful or inspiring. This week, we move into our final phase - the Maintaining Phase.
PHASE 11 - MAINTAINING
Your site is now live - congratulations! But don't shut your computer down yet.
There are a few additional considerations to keep in mind after your fantastic new site debuts - such as:
BUDGET FOR ONGOING MAINTENANCE.
"It's important for clients to mark money at the end of the project to make changes that were unexpected or because things at the firm have changed," says One North Account Director Alyson Fieldman. "Invariably, those things happen."
She also suggests budgeting for enhancements after the site goes live.
"You don't launch a site and walk away from it," she says. "It should be a continuously improved, living, breathing thing."
Fieldman recommends dedicating 10 to 20 percent of your overall website budget to annual website assistance going forward.
MANAGE DATA STORAGE AND PRIVACY CONCERNS.
"A lot of time, when the law changes, U.S. firms that have offices elsewhere in the world don't know how to follow the law," says One North Architect Michael O'Laughlin. "We tell them about the changes, and they're often surprised and caught off guard."
Web partners can also help clients stay compliant with local laws.
"We just had a client open an office in Florida," O'Laughlin says. "We had to check with the Florida state bar to see what advertising language had to be in the site's footer. Firm marketing departments often don't know about or wouldn't think about those kinds of issues."
AND PREPARE FOR POST-LAUNCH UPDATES.
If Twitter, for example, releases a new interface code that affects the way its feeds appear on external sites, service providers like One North can help firms stay informed about the update.
"Everyone understands that there are going to be changes after the launch," O'Laughlin says. "Often, it involves partners seeing it for the first time - or items that were put off during an earlier phase of the redesign."
SO, GO FORTH AND CREATE!
We know it's going to be a wild ride, and we hope you found some useful advice within this series. Please feel free to reach out to any member of the One North team if you need a pep talk along the way. We've got your back!
To look back at all the steps we covered, download the Definitive & Candid Guide to Successful Websites.