We get a lot of questions when we first meet with a client to design and build their new website. Most of them include the same one – can I (or an employee) update the site myself after it’s done?
After all, your website is not something static that never changes, and you’ll hear (and read) us preach all the time that your site needs to continue to change with your business. Your business will change over the life of your site, and your site needs to be able to change to reflect that, too.
So what happens when you work with a digital marketing agency to build you a beautiful website? Are you really going to be able to make changes later on?
Use a Content Management System
Yes, you should be able to! Even if your website was built custom, meaning with a custom design and coding, you should still be able to make changes yourself. Using a content management system (aka CMS) like WordPress makes those updates even easier. (Fun fact, WordPress powers 32% of the internet right now, up 5% from just a couple years ago.)
When most people hear WordPress, they think WordPress.com and purchased themes. Many of our clients have either had blogs hosted by WordPress at one point or even had their first site built on the platform using a free or purchased “premium” theme.
However, as control freaks, neither Chrissy nor myself like to work within the confines of someone else’s design or code. While I love WordPress for the powerful CMS it is, allowing me to create features for clients at a fraction of the cost it would be to do so with custom code, the fact that it powers 32% of the internet makes it a popular target for hackers. Using a purchased or free theme means that anyone has the code that powers the majority of your site for the low low price of $60 or less. Purchased and free themes also can be bloated and slow, built as a one-size-fits-all solution for multiple businesses, maybe in your niche or industry, but not for you.
But Can I Update It?
So if a theme, which are made to be easily updateable, isn’t the answer, can you really trust that you’ll be able to update a site built custom for you? While not every agency thinks this way, we firmly believe you should be able to. You shouldn’t be handcuffed to your digital agency, paying $100, $200, or even $500 every time you want to make a simple update to your site.
One of the things that I particularly love to do is talk with our clients and find those things that might change more frequently, giving them easy ways to keep things current so that they never have to worry if they need to change out a slide, add a new service, or even create an entire new page. We use flexible layouts and fields to allow even pictures to be swapped out, all while providing in-person training and video tutorials to ensure making those changes don’t take a lot of digging through notes or phone calls to figure out how to do it yourself.
After all, your website needs to change, and your customers (and Google) love to see those changes. It reflects that your business is growing, evolving, and working to provide even better service for your them. Make sure that before you start any website project that you talk through with your digital agency that you’ll have training and support to make those changes on your own. After all, nickel and dimeing a few changes here and there isn’t particularly fun for either side. We work to empower you to adjust your site on your own, giving you the flexibility to have your site grow with your business.
Want to talk to us more about what makes our websites so unique? Get in touch!