Is the information on your website out of date? Are you unsure how to create a blog? Do you not display prices because they might change?
Then you could probably benefit from one feature every website should have.
You need a website that can be easily updated, even by someone with no technical skill.
Why You Have to Have It
Most small businesses don’t have anyone in-house with the ability to update a traditional website, so ease-of-use is critical if any changes or additions are going to be made. It will let you:
No one likes a website with outdated information. If the text on your website can be easily changed, there’s no reason for this to be a problem.
Ease Development / Save Money
It’s hard to think of everything (although preparation does help). If your website is going to be fixed for the next five years – then you have to plan ahead for that entire time. If you can add content as time goes on, this is less of an issue.
Also, if you’re on a very tight budget but need a lot of content on your site, you may be able to save money by adding some of it after the site is complete, rather than having your web designer install all your text and images.
Run a Blog
I’ve written about the benefits of blogging, and am a big believer that it can be helpful for many businesses.
If it’s hard to update your site, you may end up hosting your blog somewhere else. This will make it harder for the blog to share the SEO benefits it should accrue to your website (which is even more important with today’s blended local search results).
Don’t Want to Update Your Website?
There are plenty of business owners that have no interest in getting another login and learning to update their site, no matter how easy. But for the above reasons you still may have to make changes, which will then need to be hired out.
Even if you are hiring someone to make changes, an easy-to-update website will be helpful, as you should be able to find help at a lower price.
How A Website Can Be Easy-To-Update
So it’s great if a website is easy to update, but what makes it easy?
Content Management System
Many sites today are built on content management systems. Most online website builders qualify under this label. Even more popular are the open source systems, such as WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. When you work with a designer, make sure they’ll be setting up your website on a system like this. As an example, this is WordPress’s edit page screen:
Because many of these systems are open-source, there’s very little cost involved. The downside is that there is some maintenance with them, as the software needs to be kept current to avoid security issues, much like that on your computer. This might push some companies to a website builder (Yola is an example) or hosting from a site such as Page.ly, which automatically keeps WordPress installs secure and up-to-date.
Small Business Shift Websites
I can’t finish without mentioning that websites sold through Small Business Shift (this site) run on a WordPress-based system, setup specifically for small business owners. They’re designed around the idea that you should be able to access and edit your site, without costing a fortune.
The days of static, never-changing sites are over. Having a website that can easily be modified, even by someone with no technical skill, costs very little more and leads to a host of benefits. Make sure you insist that your next website has this critical feature.