The pitfalls of updating your own website

Updating your own website might not be a good idea after all

updating your own websiteThere are pitfalls in updating your own website that nobody tells you about. It has nothing to do with your intelligence or ability as a website owner. It boils down to design standards and requirements.

There is a growing trend towards CMS (Content Management System), where a web designer is employed to design the website from A – Z. However, text and image updates are done by the website owner instead of the web designer. The benefit to the website owner is a saving in money and time. Web designers usually charge an hourly rate, therefore it would make sense to the average website owner to conduct quick updates themself. Having this kind of access to your own website allows you to instantly change a date, number, amount or image without having to log a support ticket first.

It all sounds marvelous, until you start to consider a few things…

Did the web designer provide some training or a guide to assist you with the edits? Providing a website owner with login details only is just not enough. The software you will be exposed to is new and foreign. The dashboard of CMS software is often extremely daunting the first time. Where do you go and how does it work? Ensure that you discuss training with your web designer before committing to updating your own website.

What are you editing? Websites are intricate and complicated. A good web designer will adhere to design standards and requirements in producing your website. Every element on a website is placed there with a certain purpose. Let’s say you don’t like the image used or want to change the heading of a paragraph. That small change may affect your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) in a negative manner. It is something that you are unaware of, but the impact may be considerable.

Adding additional content such as pages, blog posts and multimedia items require additional SEO.  Are you able to do SEO on new content?  Without SEO it is like having a car with no engine – you will not get very far. You should really only conduct minor edits and updates to your text. 

Did you test the updates? Your website has to display well on every possible screen size out there. If you enlarge text or shrink text it could become an issue on certain mobile devices. Without proper testing and adjustments your website could end up looking tacky on mobile devices. Before you shrug this off, consider that 85% of all website hits are generated by mobile devices. 

What if you break the site? You would have to contact your web designer who will charge you to correct the errors or restore a backup at cost. Your ego might not like this, but you are not a web designer. To avoid breaking your website, stick to the training or guide you were given. Don’t venture into areas of web design that is not covered therein.

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