Someone wishing to make updates to their website must weigh the initial cost of purchasing an HTML editor, an image editor, and the cost and time to learn these programs with the amount of changes they anticipate making on their website. If a client makes minor updates (changing prices, adding a new paragraph of content) once or twice during the course of the year there might not be an equal balance of cost vs. benefit. However, if substantial changes are projected and one has the time and dedication to devote to frequent maintenance and updates, then the benefit can outweigh these initial costs.
Hiring a professional for website updates takes the onus off the client and frees them to devote time to their business. Many website design & development companies offer competitive maintenance packages and can typically complete project in a more timely manner than a novice. Additionally, the more familiar the web developer is with your online product, the more efficient they are at updating your website.
Novice Web Editing vs. Professional Web Editing
I’m a firm believer in “you get what you pay for”. Novice website maintenance and development can easily fall short of professional work. Are you dedicated to the training that often required to ensure the finished product displays properly or is up to standard? Do you have the time?
Professionals are immersed in the technology and work to keep up-to-date with developments in the industry. Professionals also have experience with layout, content management and have the expertise to ensure the finished product is integrated seamlessly into your website. Visit any large, professional website and you’ll notice that fonts are consistent, layout is consistent, colours, image sizes and buttons are consistent. Often, websites designed and/or maintained by novice website editors lack this consistency. The result is a less polished presence.
It is very empowering for clients to manage and maintain their own website, and with proper training and dedication it’s certainly do-able. The choice to use a professional or to assume client control over a website is a decision that each business needs to make individually. Coming to the proper conclusion should involve consideration of the following: is it a cost-effective decision, are you prepared for the time commitment and are you interested enough to learn how to maintain your site properly?
Lastly, keep in mind that the addition of a new page and creation of new graphics are areas that will almost always require professionals. If you can ensure small changes coincide with larger updates then you really are getting the most for your dollar!