What is Website Management?
A restaurant offers food. The type, quality and variety of the food you receive depends upon the restaurant you choose. The same can be said for website management. Some companies will offer very little in the way of website management. The most basic services are making sure your website stays online and backed up.
Other management services will offer a menu of services including:
+ Web design
+ Technical support
+ Content uploading
+ On-page marketing
+ Social media marketing
+ Off-page marketing
Website management is not about hosting. If you want a host, then we suggest HostGator. Three of our websites use HostGator and we have never had any complaints. If you want to set up a WordPress website, then consider a company like BlueHost because they have one-click WordPress installs.
What is website management?
Learning how to manage a website is as easy as parenting. A parent puts food in one end of the baby and it comes out the other end, plus there is a bunch of cleaning up.
Managing a website and being good at managing a website is also the same as being a parent. The more effort you put in, the more you learn, the more you do, then the better the end result.
The very limit of what a website manager can do for you is pretty-much the very limit of what you can do for your own website. It is possible to hire a web management company to take over every single task relating to your website. That includes making your website more popular, scaling it up, making money from it, and so forth.
A middle-of-the-road and reasonably priced web management company would offer you help building your website and with your on-page branding. It would offer technical support and help both at first and on an ongoing basis. The company would offer some sort of on-page marketing with the hope of improving the customer experience therefore boosting sales, conversions, or engagement.
Website management examples
The most common example is where a company creates a website based on your ideas and specifications. They get it running, and then they hand control of the website over to you.
In the case of WordPress websites, it is far easier to run one than it is to set one up. This will obviously create problems later down the line when things such as updates are needed, or when security needs tightening, but having somebody else do all the tricky design and install tasks is one of the most common examples of website management.
Another example includes disaster planning and disaster recover. A management company is brought in to create disaster and recovery protocols. In many cases, the management company is brought in because something like a ransomware attack has happened, and the website owner doesn’t want that sort of thing happening again. In many cases, the management company has access to the website, but only deals with things such as backups, recovery, and maybe security tightening and testing.
Full website management can mean many things. In essence it gives the management company full control over your website and they are responsible for keeping it up to date in both technical and content terms. They are often responsible for promotions, planning, and mostly all of the technical details revolving around running a website.
In most cases, this type of full management is only outsourced for things such as ecommerce websites and manufacturer/wholesaler websites where things such as online sales are not handled by the manufacturing/wholesaling/merchant company.
For example, a company making steel may outsource the running of the website and have new leads sent to their sales department where they take over from the website. Alternatively, a wholesaler may do a similar thing where the website sends new clients to the sales department but may also have the web management company handle the online inventory, and any sales are sent from the website to the dispatch department within the wholesaler’s main depot.
What does a website manager do?
What is website management? It is the same as shop management or garage management. It includes a series of tasks that you can do yourself or you can hire a manager to do for you. Why management is important? It is important because there are tasks you may not want to do, and there are tasks that other people may do better.
A website manager may take care of the content side of your website so that your website stays popular and up to date. They may take care of the design and framework of your website to be sure it stays fit for purpose. This is especially important if your website is a dynamic website that operates using “Trending” information.
Keeping the website up to date in technical terms is also something a website manager can do. This will involve testing the website on different devices. They may be able to deal with ad-hoc technical difficulties, such as if extensive web traffic causes your website to glitch on Black Friday.
A website manager may also control every aspect of the website’s marketing. This includes things such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization), affiliate advertising, and social media marketing.
Website redesign vs. website management: Which is it?
Having somebody redesign your website is not a bad idea. Do you remember what websites looked like in 1996? Would you be able to trust a website that looked that way these days? Plus, a redesign may include the addition of new functions, such as an in-website search bar that doesn’t rely on Google. It may also include the addition of new plugins that help with the running of the website.
A redesign may create a website that is more in line with the brand being promoted. It may also help integrate new technology such as responsive design (something all websites should have) and dynamic designs that present different things to different people depending on social media factors, in-website account factors, and the cookies on the device being used. Try to remember that a redesign to fit a brand doesn’t have to fit the nature of the topic. For example, a brand built on funny entertainment can still have a classy brand image, and a funny website doesn’t have to be nutty and off-the-wall with its web design.
Website management may include a redesign. Website management may also include designing the original website. It is up to you if you want your website manager to stop after creating the website, but most people keep the website manager so that the website may be continually developed.
Developing the website is more than redesigning it. It may include all the factors mentioned earlier for a website redesign, such as new features, plugins, etc. But, website management is more about achieving the intermediate-to-long-term goals of the website owner.
In some cases, the solution to your problem may involve either a website redesign or the use of a website management company. For example, there was a ridiculous case against Beyoncé where a blind woman tried to sue her because her website was not easily-accessible. This is a silly example but making a website more disability-friendly is something both a redesign could achieve. It is something a website management company could achieve.
Does website management work for all businesses?
If you recall the earlier section about web management examples, you may remember how it is usually wholesalers, merchants, and manufacturers who have outsource every aspect of their website. Does this mean that most websites should stick with the basics? i.e. should most businesses stick with web design, technical help, and marketing help?
In many cases, the answer is yes, but it is a hard answer to swallow.
For example, if you often dip your toe in the freelance marketplace, you will see a great many advertisements from people who are looking for website management. They are often looking for freelancers to set up their website, and then create a website that earns lots of affiliate money (aka, money from advertising). The massive number of similar requests on freelancer marketplaces suggest that affiliate-monetized websites are perfect for website management companies, but this is simply not the case.
Firstly, if it was so easy for website management companies to build high-affiliate-earning websites, then wouldn’t they simply do that for themselves? Secondly, building a successful website takes a lot of time and money. Even if the website sells products with very low manufacturing costs, the amount of resources required to make the website successful is mind blowing. There are many businesses where full website management is simply not feasible (at least, not in the long term).
With that said, many businesses will benefit from having a website management company create the initial website, set it up, and then help develop it a little bit before turning control over to the website owner. It is true that content management systems such as WordPress have made the whole website-owning/operating process a lot easier, but the setup and getting things moving is still overly tricky.
What types of website tasks can I delegate?
All of the tasks listed in this article can be delegated to your website management team. Nevertheless, here is a short bullet-point list to give you a quick idea of the sorts of tasks you may delegate:
- Administrative and blogging tasks
- File storage and organization tasks
- Email and schedule management tasks
- Email marketing
- Security and data recovery
- Content writing
- SEO / web marketing
- Graphic / web design
- Website design
- Web development
Do I need a big budget for website management?
The uncomfortable answer is, “Yes” you do need a big budget for website management. This idea is lost on most people. The truth is that you need a big budget if you want a successful social media profile and social media is free to use.
Let’s say that you hire somebody to produce written content only because you do not want to write your own articles. Over the course of a year, you would have to pay somebody thousands simply to keep your website relevant and keep traffic flowing organically.
If you were hoping to make a profit using affiliate advertising, then it would be years before a consistent flow of affiliate money would arrive, and even then, there is no guarantee that you will make a profit. However, if you were to sell the website after years of paying a high quality writer, then you could probably make a profit that way.
Let’s say that you have all the content you need, and you can provide it at a steady rate, but you hire a website manager to upload your content, promote it, keep your website up to date and so forth. Even in those circumstances, you need a big budget if you wish to see the project all the way through to a success.
This is especially true when you remember that success can take years. Managing a website doesn’t sound like a lot of work, but the amount of thought, research, monitoring, skill, and expertise it takes to keep a popular website up and running takes a lot of money. Experts do not work cheaply, and many seemingly simple tasks can take a long time when the hours are added up over the year. Even if your manager only spends every other day with your website, and only spends just over an hour on your website, that is 200 hours per year.
Does this mean you should avoid website management? No! There is nothing wrong with spending a lot of money on website management if your goals are clearly defined and you are going to get something usable and profitable out of the website.
Do not fool yourself into thinking that your website will quickly start to pay for itself because it will not.
How does website management fit into my digital marketing strategy?
A website manager enables you to take your hands off the wheel so you can shoot out of the window. A website manager is like your partner-buddy cop in a 90’s movie. Your website is screeching down the sunbaked streets as it chases the shifty drugs gang. Your website manager grabs the wheel so you can take care of important business.
In essence, a website manager can take on most of the grunt work, the repetitive work, and the vigilance work. You may then concentrate more fully on your digital marketing plan.
You can spearhead campaigns more fully without worrying that your website will crash, or that its technology is out of date, or without worrying that your content has started to lose its position on the search engines. Plus, a website manager works on your orders, which means the management team becomes an ally in your digital marketing. They may even be experts in carrying the weight of your digital marketing strategy, which may allow you to experiment a little more.
Conclusion – I’m ready to try website management. Now what?
Contact a website management company and start what many would call a “Discovery Session.” In short, it is a process where you describe your needs and what you wish to gain from the website management experience. Approach different website management companies to see if they can offer the services that suit you. For example, some web managers will not help you build your website, and others will not help you add content, and so forth.
The discovery session should discuss your goals and how you wish to achieve them. If your website has no goals, then maybe you do not need a website manager. Most websites have goals, such as making sales, spreading awareness, selling subscriptions, making money from affiliate links, and so forth. There are even websites out there that are doing nothing more than building their worth so that the owner may sell the website in the future for a handsome profit.