Russ Harvey Consulting - Computer and Internet Services

Site Maintenance

An introduction

What is Site Maintenance? | Maintenance Contracts
Social Media | Blogs | CMSs | Self-maintenance
Don't See Updates?

Scheduling maintenance

What is Site Maintenance?

Static content on a website seldom requires updating but stale date-sensitive information can quickly make your site look poorly maintained.

Site maintenance includes

How Do Updates Happen?

Rapidly-changing or date-sensitive material on your website needs to be regularly updated.

There are two methods of maintaining dynamic content separately from your website:

Self Maintenance

You can also maintain the site yourself by

Choosing the Right Option

There are advantages and disadvantages to each depending upon

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Maintenance Contracts

The easiest and least expensive option is a monthly, quarterly or annual maintenance contract for the upkeep and changes to your site.

As-needed Maintenance

Updates can also be done on an as-needed basis.

This will require more vigilance on your part to ensure that material is updated regularly as it becomes dated or irrelevant.

It can also be more expensive if too much time is involved because your website has degraded significantly.

We should discuss the limitations.

 

Get professional results!

 

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Social Media

Social media can provide you with an excellent place to post date-sensitive information like special events, sales, job postings and more.

The interface is designed for non-technical postings and most such sites post material by date so that older information won't hurt your credibility the way it can on a website.

Know the Rules

Facebook, X (Twitter) and other social media can be a great place for discussion, but you need to be aware of some unspoken rules to be effective.

Social media is about community. People want to belong; to talk to others they trust.

If you don't engage in social media communities you'll be considered an outsider.

For example, Facebook usually refuses access to anyone without a Facebook account (one reason you need a website to provide universal access).

Choose the Right Community

Different social media communities service different needs.

Essentially, you want to reach into the communities that work best for you and speak to them “in their language.”

Customer Service

Its not just about self-promotion. Many customers are using social media to access customer service.

Unlike a phone call, these conversation can be very public. Be sure to treat such issues quickly and with tact. Everyone's watching how you handle the problem.

Quality Not Quantity

To reach more people, concentrate on the quality and uniqueness of your offerings.

You have a lot of competition for your viewers. You need to be original and creative to grab attention.

Treats, No Tricks

Click-baiting may work for newspaper headlines, but if you annoy too many people, you may find the power of social media working against you or become the victim of changing social media algorithms.

Time Commitments

Can you, your staff or volunteers dedicate the time and energy it takes to maintain the ongoing interaction with the social media communities in which you are planning to use? More about social media…

 

Questions? Call Now!

 

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Blogs

Blogs are less formal than a website yet they don't have the restrictions or expectations that social media may present.

Not Time-Sensitive

Because blogs are generally a series of posts sorted by date, they allow you to post time-sensitive information without worrying about appearing stale. Expectations are different than they are for a website.

However, like social media, you need to regularly update your blog or it will appear abandoned.

Self-managed Blogs

If you or your staff have the skills to do a good job of writing blog posts, then a blog can be self-managed. Learn more about blogs…

 

Questions? Call Now!

 

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Self-maintenance

Simple edits to a standard website can be accomplished without too much knowledge using copy and paste techniques.

Significant Layout Changes Impractical

While some knowledge is required, you don't have to be able to build or significantly change the layout to make minor updates.

More Technical

While relatively-simple, HTML edits require more technical knowledge than blogs or social media.

Changes are made in text editors and uploaded to your hosting service using an FTP program.

Help is Available

I can help you with setting up the software and learning simple HTML edits required for your site.

Major changes or updates would still be done by me and you can move to a maintenance contract if you find it too much.

 

Questions? Call Now!

 

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CMSs

Sites built using content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress work best where the format and layout is simple and unlikely to change.

Masking Technology

The main advantage to CMSs is that they allow you or your staff to update your site without any technical knowledge.

Unfortunately, most people don't understand very much about website design and this can create issues. It isn't unusual for self-managed CMSs to degrade over time.

Security Concerns

Security is an important aspect of maintaining any site.

Unfortunately, CMSs like WordPress have difficulty with security, partly because they are so popular but also because their users understand so little about how they function.

Other Considerations

There are some significant technical considerations that most users are ill equipped to assess or deal with.

Learn more about CMSs and the issues that may affect your decision to choose to do your own maintenance using a CMS

 

Questions? Call Now!

 

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Don't See Updates?

Clients sometimes cannot see changes I've uploaded to their site.

Old Content is Cached

Browsers keep a copy of the files on a site they visit to avoid downloading the same files again.

While this helps increase load times, it can fail to show new content on a site.

Instead, the browser presents what was there the last time you visited.

A Simple Fix

The fix is quite simple.

Try reloading the browser and if that doesn't work, clear the cache.

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Web Design Index

  1. The Introduction.
  2. Design philosophy.
  3. Design considerations.
  4. Design criteria.
  5. Content Management Systems.
  6. Customized Blogs.
  7. Factors affecting price.
  8. Request a quote.
  9. Site maintenance.
  10. My design portfolio.

Questions? Call Now!

 

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russharvey.bc.ca/maintenance.html
Updated: January 10, 2024