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The days of static websites are long gone but in the early days of the world wide web, updates to websites often started with a call to the designer. This was because sites were originally written entirely in code. If you didn’t know that #FF0000 meant “red”, then you had to find someone who did. Fortunately, we have come a long way since then and website owners are able to update their sites on a regular basis on their own creating and posting new content as often as they like.
Regular fresh content is not only essential to the user experience but also to your search engine optimization. When websites are continually adding new and relevant content, search engine crawlers take notice and award these sites with higher search engine rankings than sites that stay static.
But business owners don’t want to have to call their web design company every time they’d like to make a simple change. (And quite honestly, web design companies don’t want that either!) So you need to have the ability to make basic updates yourself. Most website design today comes with a full content management system (CMS) that allows you to make basic changes.
These changes include content changes and additions, uploading of files such as photographs, images, video files and pdfs. You can even add new pages to your website.
For example, you may wish to make a simple content change – such as changing your business hours. Or you may wish to add entirely new content – such as a blog post or a new product. Your CMS will allow you to do this.
Other changes may include adding photos of a recent event held at your company or pdf files such as price lists. Speak to your designer to ensure that your CMS will include everything that you want it to.
Unless you have design experience, it is not a good idea to try to change the actual design or structure of your website however.
Most CMSs are fairly straightforward and easy to learn. They are set up for the non-designer and it is unlikely that you are going to accidently “break” your website. But if you are unsure, make sure that you take the time to ask your website designer about how to use it.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the type of content and the frequency at which you should be adding it. If you intend to blog, have a conversation with your web designer about SEO and ask for a few tips. And your learning doesn’t have to stop there either. Do some of your own research on SEO strategies and best practices. Remember, the better you understand these things when you are updating your content, the more successful your site is likely to be.
You no longer have to contact a designer to update website – especially simple ones. Of course, if you have major design changes or any other issue that you don’t feel comfortable doing yourself, your web design company should be willing and able to help you.