The website-first advantage

I run nine websites at the moment, for various organisations. I know this without counting, because every time something new and cool comes along, or every time there’s some major CMS or hosting update, I have to do it nine times.

To be honest, some of them don’t get the love and attention that they deserve. But if they’re dong a decent job, and what’s more, if they look up to date, that’s OK.

The problem comes when they look neglected. And one of the big giveaways in this respect is the ‘latest news’ or ‘events’ or ‘press releases’ page which seems to have stopped dead in 2018.

Far too many sites have these. Someone kept the page up to date in a blaze of enthusiasm for 6 months – or even 6 years – after the page first started, then got fed up and didn’t bother updating it any more.

And the result makes us look very bad indeed, especially to first-time website visitors.

So what’s the solution? I’ve found it’s to start everything with the website. Got a press release to put out? Don’t reach for the Microsoft Word template you’ve been using for years. Got an event to promote? Don’t head to your email system. Got some company news? Don’t fire up Twitter.

Instead, create everything in your website CMS, so it goes straight on to the website. Then take the content you’ve written, and repurpose it into that Word document, social media post or whatever else is the primary outlet for the information. As an added benefit, you’ll have something to link to as well.