In this day and age, none of us need to be told how important it is to have a website if you run a business. Most business owners understand that to compete online and be found by people searching for your services, it is essential that you have a website. One of the most popular questions we have been asked over the 11 years we have been developing websites for small businesses is "do I need someone to manage my website for me?"
There are a few things that come into play when thinking about this question. What system your website is built with, how much access you have to it and how much time, effort and technical knowledge you have to put into it.
How it used to be done
Many years ago, to have a website, you would have almost certainly needed a website developer and designer. That's because they were built using HTML code. This was okay but it meant that you would have need a website developer or designer to edit or add pages to your website. Other than that, you would have had to learn at least the very basics of HTML. The process also meant that knowledge of uploading files to a server, setting up the domain etc. This was time consuming and sometimes confusing.
Thankfully those days are long gone and if you have a website still coded this way, I would imagine that it is almost certainly time for an upgrade.
Today's Content Managed Systems (CMS)
Now days, most websites are built using a CMS (Content Managed System) like Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress or something similar. This type of system is perfect for small business as they allow for different degrees of access to allow staff members to make minor edits to the website content without the fear of breaking anything. They also allow for more advanced users to make even more advanced changes and add additional content.
I already have a CMS system for my website. Do I really need someone to manage it?
Good question! As we have already covered, basic website edits and changes can almost certainly be done by you, the small business owner. But, as I am sure is the same in your own business, there is a lot more to managing and maintaining a website and server than just making the changes that you need to.
Most business owners do not think about all the other aspects that come hand in hand with managing and maintaining a website, domain or even their email accounts. This is understandably so as they simply just work don't they?
Some, but not all, of the things that need regular maintenance I will outline below:
Hosting and server
If an issue arises on your server, php updates or any other problems can quickly take your website offline. You can then end up spending hours with support tickets and so on to get your website back up and running. This is time you could have been using to work on your business and serving your customers.
Website and Email Backups and Storage
So, your website has died for one reason or another. You have two options here. 1) You can spend the time, and if you have the technical knowledge, to try to find the cause and repair the website. 2) Do you have a recent full copy of the website files and database that you can use to restore the website?
Content managed systems are software. This means, as with all software, there will be regular critical, security and functional updates that need to be applied. Sometimes server access is required for these as not all updates can be carried out from within the CMS itself. The CMS will most likely not be the only software that is running on your website. For example, contributed modules and a theme may also need updating.
Website Security and Knowledge of updates and Malware
Security also plays a big part in website management and maintenance plans. Spammers and hackers are always out there trying to gain access to your website of server. The last thing you need is for a hacker to gain access to your email account and start sending spam emails to your contacts. By keeping on top of all of these, ensures that your website management company are on hand to quickly and efficiently address the problem.
So to answer the question "Do I Need My Website Managed For Me?" If you do not have the time, technical knowledge, patience or simply not prepared to do what I have outlined above, then Manage My Web is a good option and investment for you and your business.