Just like the infamous undead monster that was brought to life by stitching together dead human body parts by Dr. Victor Frankenstein, the protagonist in Mary Shelly’s novel, Frankenstein, your website… is alive… Or at least it should be. But how exactly is a a website considered alive in the first place?
Everybody Has One. And I Want One Too
It’s true, every business, every celebrity, every friend of yours, even your neighbour’s kid has a website. It could be something as simple as sharing your hobby online with your close friends in a personal blog, or it can be as complex as a full-fledged, e-commerce capable website that features and sells products and services globally.
In a world that is ever getting smaller, and the far reaches of the globe getting ever closer, cyberspace is the next, and probably the last frontier. But cyberspace is also quickly being colonised, and everybody who is just anybody wants a piece of the action too. After all, you don’t exist if you don’t have a website.
But having a website, and running a website are two totally different animals altogether.
Templates And Sample Images Galore
With so many web builders and user friendly CMS platforms out there, just about anybody can put together a website with little or no coding knowledge at all. But what happens once it has been fully assembled, and has gone live? What happens next to the website? Do you simply just keep it there for the world to see, safely knowing that you have already placed your mark in cyberspace? Do you print your URL onto your business card, pass it around and invite people to visit it over and over again?… Of course not!…
Would you visit your favourite shop in your favourite mall if you knew that nothing changes every time you go visit them? It is the same astounding “No” to both questions. After all, if you have seen them once, you have seen them all, right?
So what makes you keep going back to your favourite shop in your favourite mall over and over again? Well, while the core business and the overall shop layout remains relatively unchanged, many subtle changes are introduced every once in a while. New products are introduced, older stock sold on discounted prices, interesting chats with the shop owner, store decorations changes with the seasons. These are the little changes that makes the retail front continuously interesting enough for you to keep going back, over and over again.
Your Website Is Your Retail Front
Just like a physical retail business, your website is the cyber retail front. And just like how you want new and regular customers to keep coming back to your physical retail store, you would also want new and regular netizens to keep coming back to visit your website too. But how do you do that if your website remains the same?
“Our company’s corporate structure is the same, nothing changed.”
“We sell the same products, nothing changed.”
“Our Organisation Chart remains the same, nothing changed.”
The company logo, tagline and corporate colours are the same, nothing changed.”
Well, if nothing changes, then your traffic soon will. Nobody wants to keep coming back to the same establishment if everything remains the same. Just like a physical retail store, if they sell the same things, at the same price, and looks exactly the same all year round, even the foot traffic into the store will eventually drop.
Likewise, if nothing changes on your website, eventually virtual visits will eventually drop. Nobody wants to keep going back to see the same thing over and over again… No, not even you.
But How Do I Keep My Website Alive?
A valid question, but also quite easy to answer too. Just like how you keep foot traffic keep coming back to visit your physical retail store by having special sales, promotions, new product launches, celebrity visits, even Christmas decorations, you do the same for your website too.
Most business websites are basically divided into two very different parts, the static pages, where information remains relatively the same, and the dynamic posts, which is kinda like a blog… Well, let’s just call it a business news update section, shall we? A “blog” sounds so juvenile for the big boys of the big corporations, right?
This is where things come alive. Any new updates to your business, like promotions, members’ sale, new products, celebrity visits, seasonal greetings, write something about it. Report about your office part too, and don’t forget the photos while you’re at it. Let them know that you have human beings behind that cyber facade of your website. Most importantly, keep things regularly moving. Let your regular visitors know that you are alive and thriving. You can even put up discount vouchers, which visitors have to print out and bring over to your physical retail shop to redeem, or discount codes if you trade online. Anything to keep your visitors engaged.
Web Designers That Stop At The Delivery Of A Live Website?
Well, there are business entities that engages web designers to build up a complete corporate website, launch it live, and then hand over the keys to the owners.
Some companies don’t see the need to keep web designers on retainer once they have completed the job they were engaged to do in the first place. They can either take back full control of their websites, and expect their employees to keep it updated from that point onwards. Or worse, take back full control of the website, and leave it as it is for eternity…
If you have a dedicated web maintenance team, or at least somebody on your payroll who oversees the website updates, even occasionally, then you should be fine… Provided that the people you task the maintenance job to is competent of the responsibility. But if all you want is to take delivery of the finished product, and then just leave it in cyberspace to collect cob-webs and dust, then you are much better off without a website in the first place.
Do yourself a favour, and keep the designer on a retainer. At least you will have somebody competent enough to keep your cyber retail front fully staffed and happily running, including putting up the cyber christmas tree decorations in December, and bringing it down again in January. Keeping your cyber retail front alive brings the much needed traffic in, and that keeps your cyber business running.