5 Tips To Make Managing Your New Website Easier
You’ve set up a new website. Maybe you intend to blog about your hobbies and/or your industry or provide a service of some kind. You might intend to go down the e-commerce route, offer free content, or take the middle road and have some tacked-on monetization (along the lines of a donation system or a Patreon-style support structure). Regardless, you’re serious about making it as successful as it possibly can be — but that’s a tough task.
After all, it isn’t the setup phase that’s the tough part about having a website. These days you can get a website up and running with minimal effort, particularly if you use some wizard that lets you take advantage of existing templates. It’s the management that ultimately takes up so much of your time and energy — and it’s an ongoing concern that you can’t avoid.
It’s generally worth it, of course, but you shouldn’t put in any more effort than you need to. Business Website management can (and should be) easier than it first seems. In this post, we will go through five tips that can help you get it done with minimal stress. Let’s begin.
Learn the principles of SEO
Simply creating a good website isn’t enough to achieve success because people don’t just guess random URLs to find new sites: they click on links in ads, regular content, or — as is most common — search results. You might have various pages that you frequently visit, but when you want or need something else, you’ll probably head to Google. Even those who despise how it dominates the world of the search will grudgingly accept that it’s the best option.
Part of managing a website is ensuring that it’s found on Google. If you don’t manage that, then you’ll end up steadily refining something that no one will ever see. And while you can use PPC advertising to get some easy views, the most economical way to get visits, in the long run, is to earn some decent search rankings — but how do you do that? SEO is the answer.
There are various things you need to do to make your content optimized for search, and the sooner you learn about them, the sooner you can not only implement them but also make it a habit that you don’t really need to think about. For example, knowing how SEO works and, in particular, on-page and off-page SEO. When you can write search-friendly content without thinking about it, everything will get easier.
Something beneficial for this is remembering one key point: search-friendly content is just good content in general. This wasn’t the case from the beginning, of course. In the early days of the internet, competing in the SERPs was all about cramming keywords into your meta keywords field (and using them rather too liberally in your on-page content). This led to a major disconnect between what was good for search crawlers and what was good for visitors.
Over time, though, Google markedly improved its ranking process, introducing vastly superior natural language processing that essentially rendered keyword-stuffing obsolete. Not only will it not help a page rank well, but it will also put it in danger of being penalized. So while you still need to include vital keywords, they should come naturally in the content if you’re making it optimally relevant to the intended audience.
Join relevant online communities
The internet is full of great communities, full of people who’ll happily help you out whenever you encounter a problem you can’t solve or a topic you’re not familiar with. Managing a project of any kind is invariably easier if you have some assistance from time to time, and this is no different. So what communities should you check out?
Well, Reddit is always a great choice. It’s full of subreddits dedicated to specific topics, and it’s both accessible and entirely free to use. I suggest checking out r/web_design and r/web dev: if you’re a total novice in web design and development, don’t be afraid to ask basic questions. Everyone has to start somewhere, and you won’t be judged.
You can also look for other forums dedicated to any (or all) tools you use to manage your website. If you run your site on WordPress, for instance, you can choose from a huge range of relevant support resources (here’s a list of solid options). Take to Google and look up “[tool name] community” or “[tool name] forum”: there’s a great chance you’ll find something handy.
The great thing about being a member of an online community is that your role will naturally change over time, conferring different benefits. As your knowledge develops, you’ll be able to assume more of a coaching role — and in addition to being quite personally rewarding, this will grant you further opportunities to promote your website and personal brand. Professional networking has always been beneficial: well, these days, it happens online.
Upgrade your home office
A bad builder indeed blames their tools, but it’s also true that having the right tools makes any task considerably easier. You could fully manage your website from a smartphone, for instance, but it would be exceptionally frustrating to use the phone keyboard for everything. Taking the time to spruce up your home office, then, will really pay off over time.
Are you using a single display? Get a second, and maybe even a third — if you have the space to expand your view, you might as well do so (it can be advantageous to have a monitor in portrait orientation). Figure out what your computer can support and go from there: be very careful if you’re using a laptop because some ports can be unclear if you’re not tech-savvy (per StarTech.com, the similarity of mini DisplayPort vs. thunderbolt can fool a lot of people). Do your research before you commit resources, and you’ll avoid expensive slip-ups.
And what about your peripherals? It would help if you had a mouse that you’re comfortable using and a keyboard that places minimal stress on your hands and fingers (while they’re not for everyone, ergonomic keyboards might be right for you). If you’re going to be regularly producing content for your blog, then you have many thousands of words ahead of you: the last thing you want to do is develop a repetitive strain injury.
Lastly, something that often goes overlooked is office lighting. Having even lighting that doesn’t get overly bright is essential during the winter months because low light levels will affect your alertness and make it significantly harder for you to concentrate. Think about the best offices you’ve ever worked in and what you liked about them, then seek to replicate those benefits.
Create a content calendar
I just mentioned the regular production of content, and that’s something you need to think very carefully about because it can cause a lot of stress. Many people with blogs update them on an ad-hoc basis: they let the weeks go by, panic about not posting anything, and scramble to get some suitable pieces written. This makes everything so much harder.
It also reduces the impact of every piece, which is a real waste. Imagine that you enjoyed a webcomic with a set release schedule: a new comic every Monday and Friday. You’d get into the habit of checking the site every Monday and Friday, knowing that you’d have something new to enjoy, and you’d stay loyal even if the quality dipped because it would be part of your routine.
Now imagine being a webcomic fan with no set release schedule and new content whenever it’s ready ethos. If the quality were exceptional, you’d keep visiting the site for quite a while despite finding no updates — but not indefinitely. Your visits would become fewer and more infrequent. Eventually, you’d stop bothering at all, even with occasional success, because the experience would be too deflating: it would annoy you slightly more every time you got your hopes up only to find nothing new.
This can easily happen to your blog. You can build up an enthusiastic audience through an initial spell of consistent content production, only to slowly lose that audience because you fail to sustain that output rate. You need to be smarter about things, and the first step is creating a content calendar that stretches months into the future: perhaps even a year.
Take the time to ideate enough ideas to cover the full calendar, setting out when you need each piece drafted and when you’ll ultimately post it. Simply having that plan will make the execution significantly less anxiety-inducing and allow you to space everything out, so you achieve an even pace that allows your blog to become part of people’s regular routines.
Use convenient plugins
Creating a website is made a lot easier by setup wizards. Managing a website is made easier by useful plugins. Every mainstream CMS (but particularly WordPress due to its remarkable flexibility, open-source design, and worldwide popularity) has a strong range of plugins allowing you to do everything from automatically optimizing drafted posts for SEO (Yoast SEO, for instance) to compressing all your images to minimize page load time.
You won’t get any credit for doing everything manually, so don’t even try. Provided you don’t overload your website with plugins such that they overlap and slow everything down, you can always find something new to make your regular workload easier. And yes, it might take some time to get things configured, but remember that you’re investing in your future: the more time and effort you invest now, the easier your life will be in a year.
If you’re willing to dig significantly deeper, you can look into broader automation options through integration-rich systems like Zapier. You could, for instance, set up a sequence to automatically send out a social media update whenever you set a new post live on your website. Each time might save you a minute or two, and that would add up quickly, leaving you with more time and energy to put towards creative ideation, marketing, and anything else in your life.
You should always give website management your full attention, but that doesn’t mean it should be some arduous task. Use the tips we’ve set out here to make it as comfortable and efficient as possible, saving you time that you can put towards other things.
First published https://visualwebz.com/new-website-tips/