There is a difference between having a website and having a successful website. Anyone can have a website. It doesn’t need to be successful. Most people, though, want their websites to be successful, which, translated, means, generates them attention, promotes their agenda(s), and/or secures them money.
The most successful websites are those which, in order of priority:
- reside on a top level domain, the three varieties of which common folk can own being .com, .net, or .org — example.com, example.net, example.org. Country-code domains are also considered top level domains (.uk, .ca, .us …); (See DIY Website Advice)
- have original, pertinent content added on a daily basis;
- are responsive, “geek” for look and work equally well on all devices, from HD wall screens to the tiniest mobile phone and everything in between;
- are well-maintained;
- load fast;
- have a domain name that’s pertinent, catchy or easy to remember, plus not easily confused. (See DIY Website Advice)
Original, Pertinent Content Added Regularly Explained
Content is: text, images, interactive applications like forms, automated service, games, calls to action, videos, audio, podcasts…. That’s all I can think of at the moment.
Original, pertinent content is that which furthers your website’s goals and which you create or pay to have created for you wherein you own exclusive copyright or patent. Yes, you can use public domain content and open source applications, but you have to use them judiciously as enhancements to your original, pertinent content.
Added regularly means:
- Best — daily.
- Next best — several times a week.
- Third best — once a week.
- And so on.
There are websites that only require changes once a month, because that fulfills their goals. There are some, like my client’s CulverTennis.com (now closed and stripped of content), that are only used once a year for the annual Culver Invitational Tennis Tournament. These are special cases. They are not the norm. Normal is for the website owner to want daily traffic to the website and something called ‘engagement’, which means visitors utilize the website in a manner which fulfills that website owner(s) goals for that website, whether that’s driving sales of a product or service, influencing or raising awareness in some socio-political cause, or ‘whatsit’. Your website’s purpose defines the periodic interval for adding and updating pertinent, original content.
No matter the periodic use, though, websites must be maintained, which means somebody has to keep an eye on them, either the website owner(s) or someone they hire.
Managing and Maintaining a Successful Website
…requires commitment. Maintaining one is tedious for the webmaster. We commit ourselves to our clients to do things over and over and over again. It’s the job. And it can be tricky. But a webmaster’s job doesn’t even come close to the work and commitment required of the website’s owner(s) as the website’s periodic interval for adding content becomes a weekly or daily affair.
There’s no getting around it. Creating, managing, and maintaining the content of a SUCCESSFUL WEBSITE is a LOT OF WORK for YOU, the owner(s), because you have to constantly be adding original content or else submitting that content to be added by a hired somebody, either your webmaster if that’s in your contract or someone else.
I’m going to repeat myself, here: The most successful websites are those which have pertinent content added on a daily basis.
If you are good at writing copy, providing graphics and video, then it will be easy for you. If you’re not, then you’re either going to have to pay someone to do it for you or expect your website to underperform.
Know What You Need and Know What You’re Getting Into Before Diving In
There is a reason why companies hire people to write copy, create layouts, secure or create artwork and videos. Your website is your promotional and advertising platform, and it and its content has to be created, designed, and set into the interface with your goals and your audience in mind.
What is the purpose of your website and who will be its audience? You have to know both of those before even thinking about purchasing a domain name and hosting for that domain to “live” on.
Establishing the purpose or goal of your website allows you and your webmaster to begin to consider what kind of functionality your website will require. Knowing the type of visitor you wish to reach and appeal to defines design aesthetics. Define these, and you’ve got a head start on a successful web presence.
“Can’t I Do This All on Facebook without having the Headache and Expense of a Website?”
Yes, you can. I don’t advise it for anything other than cottage industries, though, but I will explain the how-to on the Social Media page, along with the upsides and the downsides of doing it that way.