If you have heard ThirdSide’s local radio ad you are familiar with the tagline, “Your website is your front door.” It’s a catchy phrase—one we’ve become known for.
Your website IS the first thing your customers and clients see, but what happens if we take that analogy a few steps further? What if we compare your website to an entire house?
Like a house, your website needs a solid foundation—or platform—to support it. It needs an envelope of exterior walls and roof—or security—to protect it. It needs separate rooms—or pages—for the different activities that the occupants, or visitors, will need to engage in. (And like the storage rooms of your house, your website will have certain areas that you keep hidden from the public; temporary pages that you bring out for special occasions, or the inventory list that you keep private.) There are plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems—or software—that provide a modern, comfortable experience. And of course, no house is complete without nice, inviting decor to welcome your guests—that’s where good design comes in.
After you build your house—or your website—you will need to maintain it. You’ll want to review your pages every so often and update the content as needed, just like you might paint a wall or add some curtains. You’ll check the site software on a regular basis to make sure it is functioning properly, like you might check your water heater at home. And you’ll take the necessary measures to ensure that your site is protected from external threats, just like checking a roof for leaks. You will also want to routinely check your platform (foundation, remember?) to be confident that it is adequately supporting your site. Ignoring these important maintenance tasks can result in outdated content, broken features, or a slow and vulnerable site.
Like the average homeowner, after a while you might want to change the decor or even remodel your website. Perhaps your business focus has changed slightly. Maybe you want to offer new products or services to your customers or clients. Or possibly, you’re just tired of seeing the same old design every time you look at your site.
When was the last time you did a complete inspection of your site? Is it secure and performing well? Does it give your customers the most up-to-date information about your business? Is it a pleasant experience for your visitors?