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Friday, March 1, 2013

Kristal Young: Are you being money smart with your web site?


By Kristal Young
We're all watching our budget line extra close these days to stay ahead in our business, but are you making the best decisions for the long run? When you first built your site you had to make all the decisions. You had to decide who will create it for you, do you want to update it yourself, use a content management system or keep the web developer in the loop. What extras did you want such as a shopping cart, data bases, blog and the list goes on depending on your individual needs.

One of the biggest mistakes clients can make is they get a great web site, but then they let it sit and never update it. There are plenty of reasons why this happens, but a big one is the cost factor. The problem with this is when you let it slide too long; you get to a point, where it becomes better to just start over again. This is a much larger cost than just updating it here and there to stay current. When you fall into this pattern, you end up losing your largest initial investment every several years when a complete redesign is in order instead of putting forth the smaller effort and costs to make small updates along the way.

If you haven't updated your web site recently, CALL YOUR DESIGNER RIGHT AWAY! Not sure if you qualify for a tune-up? Follow these guidelines.

Make sure your web site:

1. Has regular text changes on it to keep it fresh for search engine optimization. The more frequent the better. It's even possible to implement code that automatically changes it on a daily basis.

2. Has updated content, be it graphic or text, which reflects your company, which is also continually changing. (This could be new staff photos, new specials going on, etc.)

3. Is keeping up with technology and uses the best interface possible for your needs. For instance, does the navigation still make sense and is it easy for people to find what they need.

If you don't know how your site is holding up in comparison to these suggestions, that's ok. Your web designer can help you answer them. The important thing is to at least ask these questions so you keep the momentum of your new site moving. You want to take ownership of your site, and be aware that it's most advantageous to keep it fresh. Just like you wouldn't dream of buying a new car and skipping the regular oil changes to maintain it, make it your goal to treat your web site investment with the same care.

-- Young, owner and graphic designer of Kristal Clear Graphics in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, offers creative services in print, web and beyond. Now specializing in social media design for business identity, you can visit online at www.kristalcleargraphics.com or like Kristal Clear Graphics on Facebook.

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