Think Past Your Website Launch

When people ask us about our services and how they can market their website, most of the time it’ll be the addition of great content. Many say they just had their website completed, and now want to start marketing it.

Your website isn’t a “set it and forget it” type of thing. It won’t just “work”, without you working it. “Working it” means providing good, industry relevant content that your potential clients are searching for.

Fortunately, I’ve noticed a lot of people who contact me are in some type of Content Management System (CMS). Even better, WordPress (our personal favorite!) If you don’t know, put your website into BuiltWith.

Problems usually come up when we try to add the content to the website in a blog form, and we realize that when the website was made, no one considered you’d actually be doing that after the launch. When a company builds a website, many times they do only that, with no idea that you the customer will actually want to be adding to it.

Here are some questions you want to ask to the company doing your website:

  • How do we update pages when we have things to add or remove? A major plus with a content management system is that it separates the code from the content. When you want to add or change content on your website, you see what looks like a word processing area with a place for a title and content like this:

WordPress Editor

  • How do we add blogs, and where will they show? There should be a blog page (or call is news, resources, whatever) that, by default, lists all of your blogs in chronological order. However, it should also be able to be sorted by category, author, or tag. Make a few blogs and have them put onto the website so you can see how it lays out.
  • How many blogs do you have to write until it paginates? You have 30 blogs written, does each page hole 10, and then have “2, 3, 4” links on the bottom? Or is it a one page, never ending list?
  • Will the blog titles be elsewhere on the site to entice people to read your latest content? You may want to show your last 3 blogs written in your sidebar or homepage, to show people you have other good content on your website.
  • Will the main blog page show the full article, or an excerpt (preferred) of each blog like the front page of a newspaper? An excerpt will allow someone to choose which one they want, click the “read more” link and read the whole thing. Four years ago, Jakob Nielson, a usability consultant, did a study about the main blog page and said excerpts are better because they “expose users to a broad selection of topics”.
  • How do we add multiple bloggers? If you aren’t the only person writing blog articles on your website, you’ll want have individual logins. Usually the blog will make the author based on the user who is logged in and posting unless you manually change it.
  • Will the post show the authors info, at the bottom? Will it show their image as well. People will connect a lot better when they see the person behind the words.
  • How will post images show? If you upload an image to a blog post, will it automatically be pulled onto the main blog excerpt page, like mine? Do they align left or right so the text flows around them?
  • Will you be taught how to use your website? If you want. I have some clients that don’t want anything to do with the updates of their website. I’d recommend learning anyway!

If you haven’t read my article on 5 Things to Consider When Updating Your Website, make sure you check it out.

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