How Not to Manage Your Own Website

Tools of the trade

I just finished an update project to a site that I left in capable hands a couple of years ago, and am now back doing updates after the site languished for a while. Here’s what I learned/rediscovered while working on it.

Don’t date posts or information on pages.

If you think that you might be “one of those people” who has a tough time keeping your site fresh, I strongly suggest you avoid posting dated or date-sensitive material. Your data will appear much more relevant without dates. If your blog or website doesn’t really depend on date specific material, why bother to date it in the first place? I’m thinking about professional websites, such as a photographer here. It doesn’t matter necessarily the date on a number of posts that a photographer might make. A beautiful sunset image, or that of a young child, is always relevant. Talking about aperture, manual settings on a DSLR camera, a good lens for the money, those are all fairly non-date- sensitive subjects.

I believe that many blogs/websites could skip dated posts entirely.

On that note…

Don’t put a blog page on your website unless you intend to post regularly.

When readers see the word BLOG, they expect regular posts and anticipate that you have more to tell them. If you have no intention of keeping up a blog, just skip it and use a newsletter or other solution to get “regular updates” out to your clients/readers.

Quit apologizing for not posting “for a while” or … just give up your blog entirely.

I see this trend often with craft, home interior, beauty, fashion and food blogs. Bloggers, who had good intentions, have left their blog to linger for months (like 8 or 9 or 10 months) and then create a post apologizing for being “busy”. So, if I happened to be a loyal follower of your blog, and you haven’t posted for months, is a blog about how busy you are really what I want to see/hear/read? No. Create some useful content. Please.

I’ve even stumbled across a blog or two that has these types of posts over the course of several years. No action for 8 months, apology post including a promise to do better, no action for 6 months, apology post etc etc. If you’re only writing apology posts, it may be time to thank your readers for their loyalty, and let it go… let it go…

Don’t let your website go to hell.

And don’t expect the original contractor, or anyone else for that matter, to fix it fast and cheap. I’d rather help you keep it current (for a modest fee) than have to come back and fix whatever the twelve people that said they could manage it for you have done. If you don’t have someone on staff that can manage the day to day, please pay me the small fee that I charge monthly to upkeep your site. I offer these services more for your benefit than mine.

It’s pretty much the old adage “pay me now, or pay me later.” Pay me later costs more. Trust me when I say that.