10 years ago, you needed a site. Any site. It didn’t matter what it looked like or how it “indexed”, you just had to be online.
Today, you could score free lunch for a week with all the lunch-n-learns talking about all the “must do or your will lose” sales/traffic/ranking/money.
It is still very interesting that many people are still concerned with just getting a website up. “We just need it to look better”. “We want it to be more like SomeonedDoingItRight.com”.
First question I usually ask, “How will you manage your site once it’s built?” Even when you have great a content management system in place to make it easier for the lay person to manage the site, you still need someone to MANAGE the site. At the end of the day, there must be one person/group who owns the website. They have complete visibility and authority of the site. There can be a lot of people contributing, but if you do not have that one person who’s sole responsibility is The Website, in a few years you will be back to the same exercise.
Here is a list of team members I believe make up a successful website group:
- Director – this person keeps all the parts moving together. They are both creative and tactical (keep brand standards yet help think “out of the box”). Think project manager.
- Creative – this person makes sure your images, fonts, and site in general stay consistent. If they are the designer of your website, even better – they will be more vested in keeping their finished product in good condition. Images, buttons, embeds – these are all things that need some massaging here and there so having a creative person who knows how to design and play with the web is a huge value. Keep that person happy.
- Editor – this person makes sure your copy is rocking. Your site has to keep growing. You need someone to report on what’s happening with the business, making sure data sheets are up-to-date, checking the site for grammatical errors (you would be amazed), writing great headlines for blog posts and in general keeping the tone of your group. As a side benefit, this person could also help to manage the social media channels being that they are already writing so much…
- Coder – this person makes it all work. Even if you are able to get your site built on a CMS like WordPress or Joomla, you need a coder in your corner that can keep things dialed in. There are patches to be made, server tweaks here and there, updates to components/plugins, new functionality you’re trying to figure out, that “man it would be great if the site could…” moments.
That’s a very rough list of folks to manage your site. Depending on the size of your organization that could range from 11-12 full-time people to 1 part-time person and a crew of volunteers. In this day you can find hosting/out-sourced options for a lot of what you’re trying to accomplish.
Don’t just find the pretty colors that make your website look nice. Get the team in place behind it and your site will not only grow, but will generate business and serve as your #1 salesperson – without a doubt.
Who/what did I miss? Who on your team do you find invaluable?