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Site Development Guide: Maintenance

Although it will seem like a long time and a lot of work to get a fresh site up and running, the reality is that maintaining the site will represent the bulk of the work that you do over the life of the site. In a club situation, showing activity in the organization requires continuously updating your site: not every day but probably more than once a quarter.  New calendar items, stories, or messages about past events all show a vibrant and active group.  Stale content and outdated posts or links are your enemy when it comes to attracting new members and return visits.  


In order to keep the site updated, you need an ongoing commitment from your team and from additional contributors to keep the site updated.  How much work this requires depends on the nature of your organization.  A moderately active club may only need an update once per month in order to keep the calendar current, post meeting minutes and possibly any relevant news items.  


Make sure you have one primary person assigned to the maintenance of the site.  More is better, but ensuring that someone “owns” the site is very important to keeping it up to date.  Team members from the execution of the project are great choices for maintaining the site, but consider bringing on new team members.  The skills required to update an existing page or calendar are much easier to acquire than what it takes to design and build a site.  Just make sure to publish your guidelines and educate your maintenance team members on standards and guidelines


Analytics

Site analytics are something that is usually a concern for commercial sites interested in how traffic arrives at their site and what numbers of consumers actually purchase something as a result of their visit.  Having some level of analytics at the club level still has value.  You’ll gain insight into the traffic that lands on your site.  Where does it come from?  How many pages do people usually view?  What pages see the most visits?


By utilizing a free tool such as Google Analytics, you can fairly easily track your visitors and understand how visitors utilize your site. If you have content that nobody ever reads, then you will at least know this and can review said content for adjustments with placement and navigation, including whether or not the topic is relevant to your visitors.