Make Your Life Easier; Let your Website Work For You (part 2)
As Mark wrote last week, one of the most common complaints we hear from people is…
“I don’t have time to manage our website.”
But what if you could remove yourself from the website updating process?
Yes, it is possible.
To that end, Mark wrote about five steps to eliminate the stress of a website from your life.
In this post, we’re going to go even more in depth on #5
Document & Delegate
People who are bogged down with the management of their website usually have one major problem – they are the only one who knows how to update their organization’s website. If you are one of these people, this is bad for you and bad for your organization.
If you are the leader of your organization or the communications director, you are really doing yourself and your organization a disservice. This administrative work is taking away from the time you should be spending on leadership tasks that only you can do. It is also preventing someone else from being empowered to serve in a meaningful way.
Here are 7 tips for documenting the website updating process
1) Use Google Docs – Google Docs are stored “in the cloud,” so you can share them with your new website administrator(s) instantly. Google Docs also enable you (or your administrator(s)) to update the instructions any time and not have to worry about somebody using an old version of the instructions.
2) Be extremely detailed – Write your instructions as if you were explaining them to a 10 year old.
3) Include links – Instead of writing something like “Go to the website admin,” include the link to the website admin in the instructions.
4) Use exact quotes – Instead of writing something like, “Edit XYZ page,” be more specific… “In the navigation menu on the left side of the page, click ‘Pages,’ then ‘All Pages,’ then click ‘About us’ to edit the ‘About us’ page.”
5) Use Jing to create screen-capture videos – May people are visual learners and find it easier to learn by watching a video tutorial. Using Jing, you can quickly and easily create screen capture videos for free. With one click you can upload the video to your free Jing account. Then a link to the video can included in instructions for anyone who needs them.
6) Check your admin’s work – As with delegating any task or responsibility, you want to check the work of the person doing the task until they’re doing it as you expect. If you find the person you delegated the task to isn’t doing the work correctly, it could be because your instructions are inaccurate or unclear. This is a good opportunity to make your instructions better.
7) Give admins the ability to suggest improvements – If you’re a control freak, prepare for a jump on your anxiety meter. I recommend you give the people you delegate website updates to the ability to not just view docs, but also edit them… provided 2 clear instructions are given. 1) They have to highlight proposed changes to the instructions, and 2) They have to email me to review their proposed changes. The end result is instructions that are clearer than you could have written on your own, and sometimes admins come up with better or more efficient ways to do certain tasks. (By the way, if you’re afraid someone might mess up your instructions, Google Docs automatically saves previous versions of a doc, so you can always restore back to a previous copy.)
Comment and Discuss
Do you need to take the plunge and document and delegate routine website updates? If so, do you have any questions or comments about it?
If you are already documenting and delegating website updates, do you have any other tips?