What is Website Maintenance ? Food for thought …
So what exactly is website maintenance ?
In much of the last decade I have seen people maintaining websites and Clients expectations out of it – it eventually boils down to this –
Working on all the aspects of a website to ensure that it shows up correctly when someone comes looking for it and does what is expected out of it.
But it is not as simple as it seems. So let’s break it down a bit.
“Ensure that it shows up correctly when someone comes looking for it”
Now who is this someone? Can this be anyone….? NO … it’s basically the people that the website is trying to target. In today’s world , technology is ever shifting. We moved from Laptop/Desktops to Tablets and then to mobiles within a few years and hence to ensure you are targeting the correct someone, the first need is to understand who will come looking, what age group, gender and all the other demo-graphical parameters you can think of and what kind of designs/fonts/images they are comfortable with, what kind of devices they are more frequently using etc.
Next part of the solution is to ensure whether the team which is
“ensuring website correctly showing up”
is asking these questions or not and are they equipped to handle the answers.
Then comes the issue of
“what is expected out of the website”
The moment i ask these questions to the clients or the people who are defining the website they start explaining the functionality. The problem is that expectations are much more than functionality. Expectations are business goals. Success and Failures of a website are not determined by whether the payment gateway integration is working properly it is determined by how many people are making payments using the gateway.
During development you can explain “what is expected” by explaining functionality because answers to whether it will fulfill expectations are known only after you start running the live site and looking at the results. But when you get into maintenance you need to have comparably more defined goals, better data analytics and a long term plan to sustain and improve. That is where you need your provider to be aware of the problems that come, ability to plan in advance and the capability to provide you a solution suited based on your budget.