Keep Your Website Up to Date!
Finally it is here. Your website is ready, a joy to behold. Now you think you can finally take a rest, but that would be a big mistake.
You have created a high-quality website, with all the necessary sections, information, and with a stylish design. There is no doubt about the customers' interest, and you are sure that the number of visitors is going to increase rapidly. Those are all basic preconditions for a successful website. However, if you want your shop or company to really benefit, there is more you have to do.
Hold on to what you already have.
With a bit of fantasy you can imagine that a customer is like a beautiful woman loved by everyone. You must make a big effort to convince her to choose you. And even if she does, it does not automatically mean that you will live happily ever after.

To maintain stable relationships, your communication with customers through the website requires constant care and attention, an understanding of their needs, and a willingness to compromise and make changes if things are not going as they should. Since websites are used by more and more people and companies, never forget that other "suitors" are waiting in line to get the attention of your beautiful woman.

How often and how thoroughly you need to update your website depends on its type and complexity. The structure itself tells you how much care it actually requires.
What is a website update?
Website updates are changes made while the website is fully operational. At the user level we mean mostly text editing and insertion of images which you can do on your own. The deeper interventions that make significant changes in the website's structure (e.g. changes in the graphic interface, navigation or programming procedures) are used when we intend to change the website radically - for example, when the website does not work properly, even though it is regularly maintained.
Your blog must live with you.
Frequent updates are crucial for blogs, and without them the website is just a dusty archive of outdated posts. Such websites can harm your good name, so improvements should be made without delay.

A blog is a form of communication - visitors communicate with you by visiting your website. Outdated and obsolete articles will convince them that you don't want to communicate with them anymore. So update your blog at least twice a month.
No one is interested in last year's discounts.
Imagine a customer is trying to buy a product, and only because the website hasn't been updated he buys a discounted product, which is no longer discounted, or even offered.

Not only will he never buy anything else on the same website, but he will most likely share the story of his bad experience with others. Thus the number of customers who are unlikely to make any further purchases increases exponentially.

E-shops require continuous care – the particulars depend on the type and turnover of the goods and many other factors.
Every website can be easily updated.
Laymen won’t recognize the differences between static and dynamic websites, but when you create one you will easily understand what we are talking about.

Static websites are usually very simple with a small range (usually within seven subpages). They serve as basic business cards with a few paragraphs, pictures, and contact information. They are mostly used for web presentations or to introduce small businesses. Their aim is simply to inform you about someone or something's existence. These kinds of websites don't require much care or many updates.

Dynamic websites usually differ in their range, structure and use of technology. From the visitor's perspective, these websites have lots of interconnected sections, links and active elements (for example order forms). Their creation requires more effort and costs more, but they can be expanded quite easily. Frequent updates are crucial.

Webgarden does not divide websites into static and dynamic categories because all of Webgarden's websites are dynamic. They can be modified at anytime from static to more complex websites or vice versa. Updates can be done easily in all cases.
How and when to update?
Efficiency, reliability, and transparency of the website should be your aim. The more often a website is updated, the more likely it is to have high attendance.

Every change you make should be displayed on the website immediately. Keep in mind that customers need easy access to your contact information, latest prices, products, and catalogs.

Discussions demand frequent care – although visitors may mostly share their experiences, the admin should still take part in the discussion and respond flexibly to requests, suggestions, or complaints.

Some outdated elements might even be awkward. For example, the „Joke of the Day“ which was posted months ago seems ridiculous rather than funny.
Clean up your web space.
When it comes to managing a website's content, you have to keep in mind that less is more. So updating does not only mean adding new information, but also removing old information. This might seem obvious, but even a little mistake can create unpleasant consequences, whether we're talking about the outdated sales and campaigns mentioned above or just about dead links.

The customer needs to be informed but not overwhelmed by information. If you need to insert many new articles and you wish to keep the old ones, you should create a special archive and enable the visitors to search the content of the website.
Take advantage of your potential.
If you already have your website well organized and updated, you should let visitors know about your updates. You can insert a link for visitors to subscribe to your newsletter by providing their email address. Webgarden has a special tool for creating and editing newsletters.

In a nutshell, website updates matter. The website will not function correctly without updates and maintenance. Online there are many companies which offer website maintenance services for a fee. Despite this fact, it's up to you if you would like to take care of your website on your own, or if you would prefer to have others do it for you. If you decide to do it yourself, don't forget to backup each previous version of your website.
What is RSS?
It's a software program called RSS reader (RSS = Rich Site Summary) which allows you to automatically receive newsletters from one or more chosen sources. RSS reader is used mostly by those who follow a lot of sites and do not have enough time to check every single website to see if there is anything new. The RSS reader simply (and rapidly) checks every website and makes a news summary for the user.

It's a good idea to have a link on your website for people to be able to use RSS readers (download and subscribe). This ensures that customers and visitors will be informed immediately about each and every website update.
Alexandra Niklíčková
11/07/2014 08:44:24
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