A good website will grow over time. You will therefore need a maintenance strategy as well as a budget and a staff resource.
Websites which contain broken links or outdated content are particularly frustrating to users. To aid maintenance you could separate reference material from more time-sensitive content such as news items, and you should check regularly for broken links.
Other things to think about include:
- How often will you need to update the site?
- What is the content strategy? What new content is needed and who will provide it?
- What is the editorial strategy? Who in your team is allowed to publish content?
- What extra functionality do you want to add, and by when?
- When should you refresh the 'look and feel' of the site?
- Are there any software licences you need to renew or new ones you need to buy?
- Is the budget and staff resource enough?
- Is the budget and staff resource centrally managed, or under your control? If not, how do you ensure you get what you need?
- What technical support do you need, and where will it come from?
- How will you monitor usage statistics?
- How will you keep on top of what users want from the site?
- How will you market the website and ensure it is fully integrated into all of your communications?
- Are there any big publications or events coming up? How can the website push information and help promote their success?
You must ensure that your website is properly managed and maintained. Keeping your site fresh, interesting and up-to-date will help to attract return visitors.
- ensure that all features and functionality continue to work effectively (eg navigation, tools and search)
- check that all links work and remain relevant
- ensure that all content is up-to-date
- update your site on a regular basis, in particular for blogs and news items
- allocate adequate resources for building and maintaining the site - including time, hardware, software and staff
- make a good impression with your home page – keep it clear, with direct links to the most popular pages