Guide to Website Maintenance

by Sarah Dopp

There's no getting around website maintenance. Whether it’s daily news updates or periodic changes in contact info, you’ll need to update your site at some point.

Cost

Varies by option.

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You have options for this. Here's a breakdown of the most popular:

1. Hire a Webmaster. If your time is valuable to you, hire someone to take care of content updates. Medium to large companies with frequent maintenance needs will hire employees for this at around $65,000/year. Small businesses often hire web development firms to handle their periodic website maintenance. These firms often charge at rates of $30-$70 per hour.

2. Use a Content Management System (CMS). If you're running a news site, blog, forum, online store, or other web site that requires constant updates, you may be able to use a Content Management System. This usually involves a webpage-based administration panel where you can add/change content without dealing with code. This is the easiest and least expensive method for maintenance, but it may cost more to initially create. It also doesn't work for every site. With any CMS site, you must decide in advance on the system you will use.

3. Take Control. With a little bit of ambition, you can learn the programs or code necessary to update a website yourself. Possibly the easiest and safest approach would be to purchase Macromedia Contribute (about $150). This software is designed to let you edit a webpage similarly to how you'd edit a Microsoft Word document. You may be able to work with your web developer to designate areas in the site for you to update easily.

Choose your maintenance option based on your resources and needs. Always remember: keeping your site up to date is vital to your success on the web.