Websites are never "done." Treating them like they are will hurt you.
Back in 2010, I wrote content for and built a small business' website. They did precision manufacturing for a group of small industrial parts. Nice people. Good business setup.
They didn't understand the Web at all. That will come into play in a moment.
I spoke with the founder several times about the website he asked us to make. Explained how, once we got the website up, it would need updating. Maintenance. Upgrades as technology and their business changed. Like one of his machines, I pointed out.
He said he understood, and agreed to consider my suggestion of doing monthly maintenance following launch.
The site launched a few weeks later.
It's still up today.
In the exact same state it was when launched.
Not a single content update took place. No mention of the major team changes that took place in 2014. No product changes.
(Somehow the site still loads. Even though it uses a CMS so old its maker stopped supporting it in 2018.)
Websites Age Too - Don't Forget That
Why did this happen? Because someone at the business decided the website was "done."
The work we did was enough. It looked fine, it worked, it said what they wanted to say. They no longer needed to concern themselves.
My explanation of the need for maintenance? Forgotten right after we pressed "Launch."
I realized this soon the website went live. Several attempts to authorize maintenance or updates went unanswered.
"This will hurt them," I thought. And I was right.
Checking in on them over the years - from other sources, as they still wouldn’t respond to me - confirmed it.
Complaints about & problems with the business started appearing on forums in 2013.
- "Didn't have the product I needed."
- "They lied on their website."
- The company lost a major customer around 2016 (who was not shy about saying so online).
- A competitor started underbidding them from overseas around 2017.
They shuttered in early 2019.
That old out-of-date website? It's still up. They didn't even send a take-down notice. Just abandoned an ancient website to rot in the digital ether. It has broken pages, all sorts of mobile rendering issues, and now-laughable claims in its content.
The website COULD have worked well for them. It could have done its primary job - to connect them with leads, 24/7/365. It did do this in its first year of life.
But after that, since its owners treated it like it was "done," it began to lose its power.
Think of a Website like a Digital Salesperson - On 24/7, But Needs Support
Don't be like these guys with your website. It's never "done." It has a job to do, but like any good employee, it needs support to do it.
- Updates to its content.
- New products added, old ones removed.
- Quick responses to customer requests.
- Technology upgrades to keep it fast & relevant.
- SEO maintenance to keep it in the search engines.
It's a price to pay for keeping a website, yes. But that website will bite you back if you don't pay it.