by Casey Reid
You've just launched your brand new, awesome website. But before you sit back and relax, there are some important things you should know in order to set your new site up for long-term success.
Usually during web design or redesign projects, our clients want to know what to expect after the project is complete. They often wonder, "What does our ongoing support look like?" "What do we need to budget for?" "What should we be aware of?" "How can we make sure our new website continues to work well into the future?"
To answer these questions, we typically talk with our clients about a few different areas with regard to what is next:
We like to explain to our clients that a website is like a car. Periodically, you need to get your oil changed and do some routine maintenance."
We like to explain to our clients that a website is like a car. Periodically, you need to get your oil changed and do some routine maintenance. It works best if you are proactive about this instead of reactive. Doing this regularly allows you to catch any small issues before they become bigger issues.
With a website, it can be the same way. Technology changes fast and there are always new advances or even security issues to be aware of. That is why we recommend at least a quarterly website audit and update. This usually involves:
Make sure you are planning for ongoing maintenance and upkeep in your yearly marketing budget.
The worst thing you can do with a brand new site is to just let it sit there for 3 years until the next redesign comes along."
A website should be an active part, if not the cornerstone, of your marketing plan. It should be updated on a regular basis with new content, blog posts, FAQs, case studies and other relevant material.
The worst thing you can do with a brand new site is to just let it sit there for 3 years until the next redesign comes along.
In this day and age, your website is essentially the front door to your business. For that reason, we recommend our clients use it as one of their main marketing tools and that they stay active in producing new content, engaging on social media, etc., to keep people coming back through the door.
What is and isn't working? What might need to change or be updated? What can we do to move the needle even more?"
During the early phases of most website projects, we like to create measurable goals (KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators) for the project that will help determine if ultimately it was a successful project in the long run. This might be something like increased page views, higher sales, more contact form submissions, etc.
So after your website has launched, it is important to continue to monitor these goals and metrics. What is and isn't working? What might need to change or be updated? What can we do to move the needle even more?
We'll use Analytics platforms like Google Analytics or FullStory, A/B testing tools, user studies, surveys, and other data to help assess what the results are and how to help you identify areas that could be further improved.
Based on an ongoing evaluation of these results, we can then make further determinations and recommendations about minor tweaks and adjustments that could produce better results. This cycle of continuous analysis and improvement can and should be done throughout the life of your website.
Documentation is a crucial part of successful project communication – and even more so when you have a remote team. We know that it’s impossible to deliver a complex project successfully without documenting it from inception through post-launch.