"But We Just Did Our Website . . ."
I hear that line quite often from nonprofit leaders. Sometimes, "just finished" means as much as 5 or 7 years.
Given the time and cost involved in developing a website, the sentiment is understandable. But the reality is websites are NEVER finished. They should be always evolving.
Think of it like a house. Yes, there is an act of purchasing at a moment in time, but invariably it will require maintenance. Sometimes that maintenance is simple, like mowing the lawn, for example. Other times it requires a larger investment, like a new roof or heating and cooling.
Websites are no different. They will require both structural and aesthetic updates to remain relevant and effective. That's why we recommend our clients keep this in mind—and plan for it—at the outset.
Ongoing investments to build into your plan include:
- Updates to the look and feel
- Enhancements to functionality (new features are released every day)
- Security updates (this is vital for content management systems like Wordpress or Joomla)
- Administrative matters (like updating and paying for the domain and hosting)
- Training new staff on how to update the website, if applicable
Ask as many questions as possible if you are in the midst of a web redesign and set your expectations accordingly. It will save you from surprises and make for a better website, too.