So you’ve decided to make a website! Great! You need it in today’s digital world to talk to the people that are looking for all the awesome things you do. But, just a couple of things that may be helpful to know after you’ve had someone build your site for you.
Before reading this list 🙂
These are just helpful F.Y.I.s that you may not know unless someone tells you, so let us be the ones to help fill ya in!
Get to know the digital frontier:
1) I paid for what?
The first piece of the puzzle is to know that your website, the domain and hosting are 3 separate things. The Website is like the new home you just bought – the Hosting is like the land that it’s built on – and the Domain is like the street address… and they each cost something.
That being said, unless the website developer has specifically said that they are paying for the hosting and domain, they are not. Those are paid for separately. The hosting is typically paid monthly – and the domain is paid for yearly. You can just set it to automatically renew through someone like Godaddy.com.
2) Things are a changin!
This is an IMPORTANT one to understand. A lot of times as people are new to having a site they may believe that once a website is built that it will last forever. That’s not true.
It’s weird thinking about something that is digital breaking down over time like a house, but it does. If built-in WordPress for instance, they are consistently making updates to the platform, and as WordPress changes, your site template, plugins and the WordPress platform need to at least be checked monthly to see if there are updates that need to be made.
If your web developer has not stated that they are maintaining these things, you need to make sure you are. It’s probably good to have a friend that is a developer or keep the ones you hired to build your site on retainer.
3) Who done it?
If your developer presented you with a functioning site and you signed off on it – then 6 months later or even just 1 month later something stops working – it’s not the developer’s fault. As explained in # 2, things have to be maintained to function properly – and even if you run updates properly, the theme or plugins may glitch.
Remember, one day it may be functioning and the next it may not be. That isn’t because your developer did something wrong if it was functioning when you signed off on it. Again, that’s why it’s important to have a friend that can jump on it or keep your developer in your back pocket. It’s just part of the digital landscape.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself:
4) Oopsy daisy!
If you’re not a coder, don’t pretend to be! That says it all! But for real, it’s easy to mess things up – then you’ll be making an emergency call to your developer to fix it all.
A lot of times, they can make a change to your code that you need for less than they’ll charge you to fix something that you accidentally broke – not necessarily because they’re being jerks LOL, but because sometimes fixing what you broke actually takes longer than it does to just make the change in the first place.
5) Work it!
In point #2 and #3, I talked about the importance to be running updates to your site – and how ignoring the updates, things will start to break down. You gotta remember to check every month. When we maintain a site, once we run updates we try to check all the major pages to be sure everything is still clicking along well. If running updates makes you nervous, Youtube has several great videos to talk you through it!
6) You got this!
It may sound like a lot to be scared of, but it’s really not. It’s just important things that a lot of people aren’t aware of that need to be communicated! And now, you know! On with the adventure!
If in doubt that you’ll be able to maintain your site, plan with your developer to stay on with them or be able to hire them as you need. Or… give us a call! 🙂