New website launchWe consider the launch of any new website as a huge responsibility on our part.  Once the site is launched we also provide a training session for the website owner of any CMS design. If the site is CMS platform (Content Managed System) the owner will be able to change any content on any page. How much time the site owner is willing to set aside each month for updates will determine their role.  Many larger sites such as government entities, etc., tend to hire us for day-to-day company changes. If the site is a custom HTML site, the site owner may access only the blog pages. Other changes will be accomplished by the design team.

What is the most cost-effective option?

The most cost-effective option of course is a CMS site where the site owner is ale to manage all page content. Layout and concept changes such as adding pages, adding imagery, advanced functions, etc. should still be done by the design team.

How far can the client go with changes to the site?

website compromisedDesigners who give clients complete administrative privileges are taking a big risk. Admin rights allows the client to access all areas of the site and they could actually compromise the custom programming and design they paid for. Changes to the design layout can corrupt the entire site. Reply/response forms (contact forms) on the site are created using php programming. This programming cannot be altered by adding or deleting form fields. Contact the design team to make any changes to the contact forms. Unless the site is an E-Commerce site which requires daily changes, we offer the client only editorial rights. Editorial access allows the client to make content changes but does not allow access to more vulnerable areas of the site. This will insure that the site’s integrity is honored. When a client has us design and optimize a CMS site, they should be aware of the fact that they can change only the content.
A CMS site is just as it implies, content management. Contact your design team before attempting any other changes to your site to keep it consistent and looking great for visitors. Search engines also grade your site on page to page consistency. Your website is an investment which you should protect.  Honor the integrity of your professionally designed website to get the best results.

Blogging:

There are plenty of good tutorials online to guide you with good blogging techniques. Since SEO (Search Engine Optimization) changes, it is important to stay current with new methods.. Blogging is still the top method to promote your website. You should also consider a guest blogger or a professional to take over this service if your time does not allow for blogging chores.  We blog about every 7 to 10 days, but the more the better.  Longer blogs are great, but the quality of the material posted should be well thought out and interesting to attract followers to your website. The blog is also a great place to offer company specials and to make important announcements.

Blog tips:

No duplicate copy from any outside source
No duplicate content from page to page
No copying and pasting  from outside sources
No plagiarizing content
No keyword stuffing allowed
No underlining content (unless it leads to a link)
Other blogging rules are available from online tutorials (all subject to change as new rules are introduced).

Website security (our responsibility) during the design phase:

Before the site is launched, our design team loads several types of security software to protect the site from hacking attempts.  Although we can never promise that your site will never be compromised, there are several steps we take to cover our bases. The first is of course to make a clean copy of your site to keep in our files (our archives). We also go one step further and use a backup software to periodically backup the site. This will catch any changes made from the previous backup.

Search engine submission for the new website:

As we launch the site, we also submit the site to search engines.  It is not necessary to submit the site more than once, since search engines are very savvy and see that something new has been added (new content, design, etc.). Going forward however, the client is responsible to continue with all marketing efforts. During the design phase, the programmer has paid careful attention to the site source code and has added the right optimization and meta language which will prepare the site for search engine visits. Going forward, after the site submission, the client must follow-up with promoting the site by keeping new content flowing to the site and keeping all pages updated with current content.  The site page content should be updated at least once each year.  The blog posts should be populated with trending news articles about the specific industry. We suggest that a blogging pattern should be created and new articles added on a timely and regular basis.  Once in a while it is a good idea to hire an outside “guest blogger” to get a fresh perspective.

How hackers damage websites:

Hackers spend their time coming up with new software constantly to corrupt websites. They send out this “corrupt” software to millions of user websites at once, hoping to compromise as many sites as possible.  Each time a FIX is created by security folks to combat this onslaught, they quickly re-group and create another one.  You can see how all of us deal with this constantly. If you discover that your site has been hacked, you should call your designer immediately to re-load a “clean” copy of your website.  You should ask about this service at the time your site is launched.  Staying pro-active with your design team will protect your investment and bring you peace of mind.
Stay tuned this year for more news and views from the Design Wizards at Inside Design Orlando.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!
Staff blogger, Jean Holland-Rose
Chief Creative Officer and SEO Professional.