How to Keep Your Website from Lapsing During the Summer

summer-update-websiteA website must be up-to-date to be effective.

That can be a big challenge for a lot of organizations. In fact, that may be a big challenge for you right now.

It’s frustrating if you’re the only person who can update the website and you’re forced to choose between updating the site while on vacation or letting it lag.

It’s also frustrating if you need an important update to be made to the website, and the one person who is able to make that change is on a vacation or a missions trip.

Here’s a 4-step strategy to ensure your website is always up to date

1) Build your website using an online content management system (CSM)

If you’re website is built using HTML or website software like Dreamweaver, the website files are saved on the developer’s computer and can only be updated by that person on that computer. But when your site is created using an online CMS like WordPress or our NE1 Web Builder, the website files are online and it can be updated by multiple people anywhere in the world. If you’re ready to move to an online, CMS-based site, OurChurch.Com can help with that.

2) Document instructions for updating the website

The goal is to make it possible for more than one person to update your website. So, after you have a site that makes that possible, the next step is to have instructions/training everyone on your web team can use. We’ve written more extensively on documenting and delegating in previous posts.

3) Build a web team

Once you have a site that can be updated by multiple people and instructions that can be used by multiple people, it’s time to empower other people to update your site. Many people who lead ministries or departments would jump at the chance to be able to update their part of the website themselves rather than always going through the web guy. Many churches and nonprofits have lots of people who cringe at serving because they don’t want to lead or be in front of people, but they would love the opportunity to serve behind the scenes.

4) Become the backup

Many communicators stop at this point and continue to do most of the website updates themselves, only asking for help when they are unavailable. But I believe a better way is to empower others to do as many of the regular web updates as possible, and make yourself the backup. This not only will save you time, but gets more people more engaged in your ministry or business.

Tell us about your organization…

Does your organization’s website laps in the summer? Or do you have a plan in place that includes multiple web administrators?  Post a comment and tell us about it.

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

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