with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Website Development – Make a Schedule and Calendar

Wait! We’re Not Done! Make a Schedule!

Yes, there is still MORE to do to fine-tune your website into a precision working machine. Part of keeping a viable website is to keep it current and updated. Another task is to monitor your web site to keep it visible to the search engines. Set up a calendar to schedule times for:

Checking Your Web Page Statistics
Who is visiting, where they are visiting from, which pages are the most visited, and so on, to find out how to check and modify your pages to meet the needs of your users. Also check where your users are coming from. This will help you target the search engines which give you the most or the least business. You should check your site statistics at least monthly.
Check Your Linkability
Using the various link checking tools, look up who is linking to you. This should be done monthly, or at least four times a year. If you don’t see a rise in your link popularity, then it is time to take some action.
Check for Dead Links
You should check for broken links about two to four times a year, unless your external links are critical to the success of your Website. The more important the external links are to your pages, the more frequently they need to be checked and updated.
Add and Update Pages
Set a schedule for deadlines on adding new pages, or changing the old, on your site. Each site should have a schedule unique to its user’s needs and your business. A static Website that doesn’t change is fine for a single store front and a small business with limited resources and information. If you don’t do mail orders, then you should provide the contact information and a map to find your location at the least and let the page sit. But if you are actively seeking clients and want people to return to your site frequently, consider adding and updating content on a regular basis. Once a day or week might be too much, but once a month or a quarter could be enough to keep your web page fresh and invite people to return for more.
Review and Update Description, Title and Site
At least once a year you should review your website description and title. The goal is to make your site work for your users, not for you. Ours used to be “VanFossen Productions” but we found using our business name was useless for helping people find us. So we changed it to “Taking Your Camera on the Road”, which is the name of one of our upcoming books. It works well with the content, so we changed it. We also took more time to review and update our subject matter. It makes a difference in your search engine rankings to fine-tune this information at least once a year. Twice would be better.
Submit Your Site
Just because you have submitted to the major search engines doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again. Don’t just submit your entire site or index page, try for specific pages and sections of your site. If you have an educational or informative section about your product or service, submit the address to target people with an educational interest in your topic, not just those who are buying. Who knows, they might just buy from you. Also, why limit yourself to only the top search engines. Google was once a tiny player in the search engine market. Check with Searchenginewatch and Cyberatlas and others to find out who is up and coming in the search engine market and submit to them before they get crowded. Try the smaller search engines to diversify your market. Schedule time to spread your page around search engines at least every three to six months.
Check for Web Design Updates
HTML, CSS, and other web page coding is changing and evolving over time as browser software becomes more sophisticated. Schedule at least once a year to spend a few days reviewing the new methodology and techniques behind the web page to make sure you are best utilizing the technology. Remember, the more up-to-date and versatile your coding behind the pretty web pages, the more people can browse your pages with ease.

Scheduling the Website’s Calendar of Events

We’ve put together an example of a Website’s calendar of events, scheduling link checks, submissions, and other maintenance required by a Website. The schedule of adding new content is up to you and the Website purpose. Some sites require frequent updates and new content, while others are okay for a year or two without checking. It’s up to you to set up your own schedule, and the following calendar may help your Website planning stradegies.

Calendar for Website Maintenance and Submission
January February March April
• Site Submission
• Check Site Statitics
• Check Link Popularity
• Verify Links
• Check Site Statitics • Site Submission
• Add New Content
May June July August
• Check Site Statitics • Check Link Popularity • Site Submission
• Check Site Statitics
• Verify Links
• Add New Content
September October November December
• Check Site Statitics • Site Submission
• Check Link Popularity
• Add New Content
• Check Site Statitics • Review Web Standards and Update

Here are some of our routine maintenance tasks associated with our Website to help you fill in the calendar and schedule for your Website:

  • Keyword Review and Update
  • Check Link Popularity
  • Review New Technology
  • Review Web Standards and apply
  • Check Site Statistics
  • Add New Content
  • Check Links
  • Validate Code
  • Submit Site to Search Engines
  • Check Web Page Descriptions
  • Check Web Page Titles
  • Review Meta Tag Standards and Update
  • Check Website with Other Browsers
  • Check Website with Other Computers
  • Check Website with Various Screen Resolutions ideas)
  • Review Top Searches from Search Engines (potential new content ideas)

Design – Checklists

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