A website is not a book!

There is a tendency, even today, for people to think of websites like a static publication, like a book for example. They hire a web designer, are shown a jpeg mock-up, approve it and expect that that image will be simply published onto the web and made interactive. With this view, why would their website then need “maintaining”? Sure, the website might need some content updating but maintenance? Surely not. If it needs maintenance then well, the web developers can’t have done their job correctly, right?

garden

Without an understanding of the functionality of a website, of the various elements that are brought together to make it work, this conclusion is all to easy to come to. In fact, there are still plenty of web designers out there that haven’t deviated far from this view themselves. These are often designers trained in graphic design who assume they don’t need to know anything to ply their trade to websites so how can clients be expected to know the difference?

It’s our job to help our clients realise that websites are much more like gardens than they are like books. They need tending to. Browsers and the internet evolves and your website needs to evolve with it. Plugins and content management systems need updating. Servers need tweaking. Spam needs blocking. Databases need backing up. Sometimes, code needs tweaking to keep your site running quickly, or perhaps to account for the new iPad version 3.4.2.1.2.x (the one with the 8 megapixel camera instead of 7). That leaves you, the client, to update content seamlessly and keep on building your web presence without hassle.