Website

Websites Built to Scale

I’m not sure why it’s always so surprising to me, but building websites take a lot of work. Even if they are small sites for some reason it seems to take a good amount of effort. A lot of that effort is due to the unknown. People are sometimes involved in their first launch so don’t know what to expect. Sometimes there is one bit of functionality that slips in as a “oh, and remember it needs to work with ______”. A lot of times it’s just due to the number of people that seem to need a say.

Then the works comes to an end. The glorious day of the site launch! It’s here! And then what?

Typically at that point, people go back to their “day jobs”. The focus moves to another part of the organization or project.

The challenge with this dynamic, and it’s a widespread epidemic online, is that we are no longer in the age of the “brochure” website. When someone comes to your site or enters into your digital world, the expectation is that they will encounter a living, breathing experience. New posts, new banners, new offers.

New. Fresh. Engaging.

For this to be successful, you cannot just build a website to launch it. It must be built to scale. This is not just a small vs. large organization issue, this is a problem that most marketing departments face. How quickly can you get something updated? How much effort does it take to get that new graphic online? How hard is it to spin up that new landing page?

One practical thing to do when you’re considering your new website or evaluating your current website performance is to define the top 10 things that need to change often (graphics, content, forms, links, offers, etc.) Then walk-through how those changes are going to work out. Flush out the workflow in your mind or talk it out with your group and figure out if there are changes to the process that can be embedded within the website itself.

Build once use many. That new blog post can also populate tweets, Facebook posts, landing pages, PPC ads, etc. That hero graphic that will become your new banner can also be a great Pinterest graphic or a Google+ posting.

Scale. Scale with efficiency and planning, but also scale with the right technology behind you.

Photo credit: stevendepolo

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