3 Steps in website management

Some time ago I’ve written that webmaster is an obsolete profession. For any website bigger that 5 pages there is no persons who can manage everything – from content to software installation. Even if we’re taking about information website without e-commerce or huge database, there are still several steps, which one needs to follow in order to set information online.

Those are the typical steps in current a simple website management:

website3

Step 1. Content copywriting.

Copywriting means you’re writing marketing BS and know about it¬†Normally managed by marketing people without serious technical knowledge. This is where your ideas are.

Step 2. Content delivery.

This is mostly technological part.

  • Hosting with fat connection to the Internet
  • Hardware and software, required for the website, for example LAMP.
  • Content Management System, software required to implement your texts in a menu-based hyperlink structure with your design
  • Configuration of this CMS, like web analytics, forms, email connections, user logins, etc
  • This could be done by engineers with knowledge of Internet technologies. Normally managed by IT departments.

I’ve seen in a lot of organizations that stop at with these 2 steps and they have a lot of problem. Marketing people and technical people speak different languages. They have different work agendas. In marketing they’re mostly managers and technical people are mostly makers. Click for a great article about ¬†managers and makers it by Paul Graham

There are a numerous cases when it’s not completely clear who should do semi-marketing, semi-technical tasks, like for example check texts for HTML-compliance or upload images on the web. Linux system administrator could say it’s not his problem, he has installed the CMS and it works perfect. Marketing lady doesn’t quite sure, what “upload” means.

Actually the picture should look like this

website2

Step 2.5 Content Publication

This a very important step, which is not completely technical or marketing. The goal of this step is make sure the text written by marketing becomes web content and ready to join the Internet sea.

  • Design – your CMS must have appropriate design
  • Menu structure – this is how websites structure the texts – they put them in the menu tree. It should not be very deep, more than 3 layers and people get lost
  • HTML-coding. There are 1001 rules on how to set the HTML-tags up. The pages must be viewed normally in major browsers
  • SEO-optimization. This part is much more important that people think. If a page is good optimized for SEO, it’s good optimised for the Internet.
  • URL – very important that your page has short fixed URL, not the one, which CMS generates and changes from time to time
  • links, outgoing and incoming – needed to be checked. Its one of the biggest pains of content publishing. Internet is a sea, and it’s always changing. Keeping your links updated is a complex problem.

What kind of knowledge is required for this step. Obviously a lot of technical background but with a hint of marketing. The person must understand why we’re putting this on the site, not only how. Also he must be punctual, resourceful and stress-resistant. Publishing of 300-pages site can drive you mad.

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