This post is a continuation of the series “You Need More Than a Website“.
You have your website, but as we mentioned last week, your website needs to be more than just existing, it needs to be performing. One of the ways to make your site a performing site is to regularly update your site.
Search engines don’t like static sites. They prefer sites that are regularly updated. If you have a static site, you’ll notice your stie gets lower and lower in the search engine results. Having a strategy to regularly update your site helps keep your site noticed by search engines.
First, let’s look at information to include on your site that will require regular updating:
- current news
- highlights (employee and/or client)
The list is endless. These are just ideas to help you brainstorm of what type of information to include on your website that requires updates and works best for your business or organization.
How To Update Your Website
We want you to be able to update your own site and not have to wait on a web developer to make minor changes. There are several options available to make updating your site easy. The technique used to update your website largely depends on how it was developed. Here are three options that will cover most sites:
- Online editing
- Content Management System
- Site Builder
There are websites that let you plugin your access information to get ‘behind-the-scenes’ of your website. CushyCMS is an example of this. See How To Update My Website with CushyCMS for more information.
Basically, type of sites do is let you set up the main content area of your webpages to be editable. That means when you login to a site like CushyCMS, a list of your editable web pages will appear and you’ll be able to edit the main content areas. This technique will not let you edit the menu or navigation items. This is a way of protecting the site so that only safe, editable content areas are touched.
CushyCMS is free. It does require an account at CushyCMS and some very basic code to be added to each of your webpages to allow CushyCMS to access the editable areas.
- Easy to Use
- Setup is fairly easy
- Only see the editable areas, not the entire page (menu, header, etc)
Content Management System
The most content management system (CMS) available is WordPress. A CMS keeps your content separate from presentation – which lets you easily change your design of our layout without affecting the content. I highly recommend moving to the most common used CMS system, WordPress, for your website.
WordPress lets you easily update your site and as your business or organization grows, it lets you easily grow your website. Websites can be developed in less than half the time it used to take by using WordPress. Because WordPress is used so much, there are free plugins readily available to add functionality to your site. For example, there are plugins for slideshows, ecommerce, google maps, social media, etc. The list is endless.
WordPress is free. The cost will be upfront costs to get your website into WordPress. For more information on how to use WordPress, see How to Update Your Website using WordPress.
- Easy to use
- Can change design at any time without disrupting the content
- Huge support and user community
- Requires site to be developed within a CMS system
There are a variety of site builders available. Usually your webhost has a site builder option available. A site builder lets you select from a variety of templates, lets you put in your own information, and you are up and running. They are relatively cheap and can work very well for a very basic 2-4 page site.
The downside of Site Builders is you are limited to what the template allows. An example of this is Weebly.com. They often let you easily add various kinds of media and common functionality (paypal, slideshows, etc.)
- Easy to use
- Good for very basic sites
- Limited functionality
- Limited editing options
What other methods have you found to update your website? Or, what questions do you have when it comes to updating your website?