When I talk with a client about creating a new website, one question I always ask is: Who will add/update content after the new website is published? Most clients like the idea of controlling their site, but often don’t know what’s involved. To help, I ask two more questions and offer some guidance.

Do you have a basic understanding of HTML?

Even if a website is developed on a content management system (CMS) such as Wordpress or Joomla, it’s a good idea to know the basics of HTML. Knowing HTML will help when the system’s text and image formatting tools fail – and they often do. With basic knowledge, you’ll be able to figure out what’s wrong and fix it – without wanting to scream. There are many free online tutorials to take advantage of, including Code Academy and the WC3 School.

How often will you be updating your website?

For many small businesses, their website is created, then updated infrequently. If this is the case, I usually recommend that I make the edits. That way, they don’t have to learn how to log into the backend, find the content, and update it. If a business has a blog, It can go either way – they can update it or I can. Regardless, I train them on how to create, or find and edit articles. If the site needs to be updated daily or weekly, I recommend that the client assign the task to someone in their office. I do the initial training and I‘m always available for assistance.

It’s also important to note that the level of difficulty increases if a website contains a variety of content types. For instance, blog updates are different than online store updates or creating marketing landing pages that need custom forms. The more complex, the more knowledge/expertise is needed. Then it becomes a discussion about retaining my services or hiring an internal webmaster.

The topic seems complex, but with the right guidance, your new website will always be fresh and current. And regardless of your decision, I’m always just a phone call away.