As the internet grows in its popularity and your company in its reach, merging both successes become fruitful when the presence on the internet is firmly established. Your company's web site could have been launched as a first time experiment or as a fully blown e-commerce venture, both cases of presence need to be sustained over a long period of time. The need for your company web site maintenance arises, for reasons of sustaining it in the face of so many risks it faces on the internet. Company web site maintenance is normally undertaken by it's own IT or EDP division or by an external agency specializing in this area of information technology.
The risks could arise from so many unethical and untoward practices on the internet propagated by destructive hackers or intellectual property thieves. Company web site maintenance is a relatively new concept and practice covering the following areas:
Content Updates: This function deals with updating the current content including company information, personal information and any other textual content of the web site. Content update may also include insertion of new graphics within the text, especially for sites that publish regular articles or columns. The content updates usually depend upon the industry in which the company operates, design of the website and the variety of audience it addresses. For example, if the company is a newspaper publishing company, updates may be daily or hourly or if the company is a BPO, updates may be needed on a weekly basis.
Traffic Report Analysis: To assess the success of your web site and to evaluate the same, the traffic needs to be measured. Traffic is the amount of hits your web site receives from various sources on a day to day basis. Analysis of these reports and their outcome affects the company web site maintenance function highly. Since these reports will tell you what pages of your site are more popular and which kinds of people visit it. Revamping the site as per these reports will greatly help in ensuring that your company web site is promoted properly.
Image Optimization: Images on your company's web site occupy most disk space. Optimizing these images is one way of making sure that they load faster on the visitor's browser's page. Therefore image optimization is a major part of company web site maintenance because it directly affects the loading speeds and performance of your web site. Image optimization is normally done during the initial site design but when you add new graphics to your site, they have to be optimized again to ensure that they load faster in the browser.
Web Site Promotion: After your company has uploaded and launched the web site through necessary fan fare, the question of marketing your web site comes into the picture. This is also known as web site promotion which is simply marketing. When you open a new store front you need to have a plan or a way to attract potential and new customers. Your company's website, if made for promoting business, is an electronic storefront, therefore the same policy applies to a web site. The objective of creating a web site was to share information with the rest of the world. But the world will never know that your site exists if you don't inform them. Using simple web site promotion techniques and tools, a marketing campaign can be put in place which will drive constant flow of visitors to your site.
Web Server Maintenance: A web server is the computer where your web site resides. Unless your company has a very hi tech IT installation consisting of data center or intranet, the chances are that the web server space has been leased form a third party and you have remote access to it. The hosting provider, or the company that leases out space for your web site, owns and manages the data center, handles most of the technical maintenance related to your web site. Most hosting companies give you a limited access to your web server using a web-based control panel. The most routine part of server maintenance is that you may be required to monitor disk space, data transfers and efficient performance. Doing so will ensure that your web site is performing at proper and efficient performance levels. This part of company web site maintenance is relatively easy and is a periodic chore.
Content Archival: If your company has dynamic content and it changes constantly like e-zines, portals or news sites, you must put in place a mechanism to archive older content and make sure that it is available on upon request. These kinds of web sites are usually database driven and one needs to be updated on data driven technologies to efficiently perform this part of company web site maintenance operations. A requirement of specialist is not ruled out since this is a time consuming and a seriously responsible job profile in company web site maintenance industry.
Link Validation: Link validation is a typical part of all or most company web site maintenance services. It includes microscopic scanning all the pages of the company web site to ensure that there are no non-working or dead links. Several software programs are available that do this automatically by reporting any dead or missing links at the end. It may be easy, but a very essential part of company web site maintenance.
Link Popularity: In a bid to popularize your company's web site, it has to be marketed in such a way that it should be placed at the top of search engines. This practice is also called search engine optimization and link popularity becomes very important in search engine placement. In short link popularity is the measure of the number of incoming and outgoing links on your website. The more links your company web site has, the better it will rank in search engines. Therefore, this also underlines the importance of company web site maintenance in regard to link validation.
Layout Changes: This new dimension of company web site maintenance is really not a maintenance job, but is a revamping job. It is important that the differentiation between content update and layout changes comes to the fore because content update is just changing the content as per time or incidents and is a regular part of the company web site maintenance process, whereas layout changes are not typically included in most company web site maintenance packages. Layout changes are changes to the overall design and structure of the web site or a particular page which may include addition of new graphics, re-designing or enhancing existing such as adding flash movies or sounds.
The objective of any company web site maintenance program is to keep the web site appealing, up-to-date and to attract and retain visitors. Company web site maintenance is a full-time and highly responsible job, especially for web sites that have constantly changing content. Also, being a very highly technical job, a lot of software tools have come up to automate the process, but the uniqueness of each web site does not aid the automation fully.
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