Are We There Yet?

Have you ever been asked this question?

It’s natural in anything we do to seek an end point, a goal so you know when a jobs done .  Eventually I pick up my car from the shop and it’s fixed. Eventually the contractor  finishes and gives you a final bill. What about your website though? Is a website ever really finished? After calling for additions to their new site, (adding new products, text and upcoming events) my client asked me

“When will my website be done?”

They realized it was becoming a regular expense to make all of these additions. It’s natural to want to look for a definitive answer. We have a beginning, middle and end to most everything we do on a daily basis; so it’s understandable that a client paying for a website to be built would ask when it is going to be done. The answer I give is, “your website is never really done.” Yes, sure there is a “go live” date when the developer pushes your site live and says it’s done (hopefully after a lot of testing ) but that’s just the start of the relationship with your website.

A website is like a car. When you go to the dealer and buy a car it’s unlikely that you would ask,

“When am I going to be done adding gas and oil to this car so that it just runs forever?”

It’s just not going to happen. You put miles on your car and then you change the oil. You get a flat tire and you replace the tire.  You park under a mango tree after a car wash… you go back and get another car wash. It’s true that you can build a website and never make a change to it the same way you could buy a car and never fix the flats, change the oil or wash it, but both your site and your car will eventually break down and become useless.

Yes, the bad news is your site is never really done, but if you take care to keep it current it with small changes and update your content regularly you can get a long life out of your website before it’s time for a redesign. The practice of making small updates is known as “Incremental Change” in the web community, but I like to think of it as a part of regular maintenance.

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