The Proper Care and Feeding of Your Website

Keep You Website Fresh like These Veggies

Is Your Website Fresh?

Websites need care. They need petting and grooming and feeding and if you don't take proper care of your website, well, nobody will visit it.

The fact is, the world wide web is a dynamic, happening, growing thing. It's not static anymore. People expect new links, new photos, new blog posts and an up-to-date event calendar. If your website doesn't hold interest, there are only like a ba-zillion other websites jam-packed with weird-cool stuff to check out.

If you want people to visit your website more than once, you need to update it often and use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote any new content you add to your site. Not only that, you must make your site appear like it gets updated often. You can do this by putting your most recent updates on the front page and changing up the photos, videos and design elements on your site.

How Often Should I Update My Website?

If you had all the time in the world–I'd say you should update your website every other nano-second for the best results. Of course, for most of us, that's not humanly possible.

It is important to remember that adding new content (text, audio, video, pictures) will give your audience a reason to come back again and again. Often visitors will learn how often you post and check your site accordingly. For example, If you post interesting content 2 or 3 times a day. People may check your site 2 or 3 times a day. The same goes with posting once a month or twice a week.

If your website represents a serious business or artistic effort, I would recommend updating it at least once a week. Hobby sites can be updated less often, but it's still important that you are consistent–so that your fans and visitors know when to expect new content.

Set realistic goals based on your own time constraints. Remember, uploading a few new photos or posting a quick blog post only needs to take 10-20 minutes. Don't feel like you need to compose a novel or create a feature length movie.

How Often Should I Change the Design of my Site?

The design of your website should grow and improve along with your goals. If you use HostBaby, we recommend choosing a new theme (template) every year or so. It only takes a few minutes and you can announce it to your friends and fans and get feedback on what tweaks may need to be made.

Also, this doesn't need to be a design overhaul. Sometimes changing just a few small things about your website design can improve the effect.

Consider auditing your info design as well. How is the information and pages laid out on your site? Is it easy for your site visitors to find what they're looking for? Are you making it easy for visitors to leave comments, sign up to your mailing list, and buy your products?

What Sorts of Things Should I Update on My Website?

This is somewhat up to you. But I wouldn't let any section of your website go longer than a year without a few tweaks. Sure you wrote a killer bio in 2003, but haven't you done anything of interest since then?

A website visitor can smell a out-of-date website from a mile away (kinda smells like Limburger cheese). If you don't update your photos, your videos, your bios and blog–people can tell–and not just because you're wearing an 80s pocket-protector in most of your photos. They can tell because things like events, blog-posts, and photo albums are often dated. That's right. They can just look at the date and know that you haven't posted a new blog post for 3 months or 3 years. When this happens, you probably wont ever see that visitor again. They've seen what was there and will not expect updates anytime soon.

How Does Social Media Fit In?

Social media is what you use to remind people that your website is changing, evolving and improving.

Whenever you add a new blog post, video, photo gallery or what-have-you, you can use Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other popular social networking websites to encourage ypur fans and friends to check out your new stuff by sharing a link.

This is a key component. Don't forget to do it.

How Important is Blogging?

Blogging is super-duper important. It's probably the easiest way to keep your website looking and smelling fresh.

Never blogged before? Hate writing? That's OK! Blogs don't require that you write anything. You just need to post something of interest. You don't even need to create it yourself. Post a video you find on YouTube or a picture you find on Flickr (with permission),

In many cases it's best to make your blog the front page of your website. This is easy to do with most website builders including HostBaby's Site Builder. This way, your homepage changes every time you update your blog. This is the easiest way to keep your website smelling fresher than a sprig of mint.

How often do you update your website? Thoughts Criticisms? Hate Mail? Please join the conversation in the comments below.

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