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How to support a web site correctly. Some ideas.

How to support a web site correctly. Some ideas.

MAINTENANCE

Nowadays almost all companies promote their products or services through the Web. This gives them a faster and more direct relationship with potential customers.

In addition, Web sites give the user easy access to company information without the need to contact the company directly.

That is why the development of Web sites implies dedication, knowledge and effort, including the adequate technology for the good handling of the data and of course the security in the transmission of the same ones.

However, when the developer believes that it has finished, begins the stage that will consume the most effort and time: maintenance.

DEFINITION OF SUPPORT.

The Support usually involves the continuous control of the proper functioning of the files and directory structures of our Web site.

The maintenance to a small site can be of two or three hours per week. On a large site, maintenance can be a full-time job. Be sure to include maintenance costs in your budget during the planning phase so they don’t take you by surprise.

If you are planning a large and ambitious site or want to gradually add more content and complexity, working with an expert programmer or designer from the beginning can save you a lot of time and trouble later.

Starting with a well-designed site is the most effective way to avoid expensive updates and maintenance.

 Expert web developers charge an average of $75 per hour. It may sound like a lot, but the cost is worth it if you want to include advanced features like online animations, formats or search tools.

There is an unwritten rule in the net that establishes to assemble a budget similar to the one used for the creation of the site, and to dedicate it to the annual maintenance of the same one. For example, if we need $100 for the initial design of the website, we will leave another $100 to use for the rest of the year in maintenance and web hosting.

PRIORITY SUPPORT SITES.

Website Support is an ongoing process that starts after a website is launched and ends when it is removed. If we have launched the site the next question we must ask ourselves is: What parts of my site require ongoing maintenance?

A. Link support.

As HTML documents and their related graphic components are linked in a specific way, any changes or addictions to existing documents or directories can affect the relationship between them. The most common result is that links are broken, images are mixed, or pages are not loaded properly.
User feedback, usually by email, can be an important part of identifying such problems so that they can be resolved in a timely manner.

B. Content checking.

Updating the site involves changing the content. This can be as easy as checking links to other sites to make sure they are valid, or as complex as adding new functions to the formats. The resources and costs to maintain a modern, well-maintained site depend on the size and complexity of the site and how often it needs to be updated.

Remember that adding new content does not necessarily mean removing old content. Some old material such as press releases, program updates, articles and transcripts of speeches can be useful to users and should be archived. Make sure archived information is easily accessible.

Another simple way to inform users who have updated your site, or some pages, is to add a notation.

c. Software support.

It is important to review Web-based systems and applications periodically with respect to information management, potential security risks, system performance, and usage models (analyzing Web logs), and take appropriate steps to fix shortcom-ings and weaknesses, either.

The HTTP protocol, used on the Web for data transfer over the network, is not secure enough to transmit sensitive or personal data, such as document numbers or credit card numbers of a particular or certain business files of a company.

For this reason, a couple of new protocols have been developed to fill this gap. These are SET, developed by credit card issuers, and SHTTP/SSL, which was taken care of by Netscape (the famous browser).

The SHTTP/SSL is today the most accepted of the two because, although it is less secure than SET, it fulfills its task efficiently and is much easier to implement. You will notice that you are using a secure protocol when you see a closed lock.

D. Design check

A company must maintain an image in front of the public. Fresh and modern designs, to show that we are at the forefront and in constant search of the current. A design that does not show what the company is or this composed of unattractive or old elements could show the company as old-fashioned or irrelevant.

Generally, a business image must be changed every two years, depending on the type of company. It is logical to imagine that the Web site must contain elements obtained from the corporate image of the company such as the logo, corporate colors, etc.. However, the design itself can be changed for another more innovative or eye-catching.

“First, everything goes through the eyes” and no matter how much our site contains well-structured information, perfect links and high quality data security, if it does not have an aesthetic design, balanced and easy to understand users simply pass it by for not understanding or not finding the touch that catches their attention.

It is necessary to achieve that the website obtains consistency and a distinctive image, through the use of backgrounds, graphics and logos, uniform colors in the text and the links, navigation bars in the same place, etc.

 

Jose Limardo

Jose Limardo

Written by

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