5 Best Practices for Managing Huge Websites
Your school's website is HUGE! Here are 5 tips to help you keep it running at peak levels.
Higher education websites are HUGE because they serve as a central resource for faculty, students, and staff. Managing all aspects of that properly can be challenging, but effective management is essential for engaging all the audiences your website must serve.
All your departments have blogs, social media posts, and other web content they want to share. At the same time, your web pages must maintain a consistent style, layout, and design. You also want your website to be secure, easy to maintain, and simple for end-users to visit from any location, on any internet-connected device. Furthermore, it must track web traffic, so you can gain insights into who is visiting your site, how often they visit, and other relevant information to manage your web strategy accordingly.
5 Ways to manage a huge website
Ultimately, your website is massive, and managing it can be difficult. Lucky for you, there are several steps you can take to simplify web management across the board.
1. Focus on the code
Consider how your website will grow and develop. If you have a particular layout in mind for your site, you should use that layout from the get-go. That way, you can keep the layout intact as more pages are added to the site.
Keep in mind that how you code your website can have far-flung effects on your ability to maintain it, too. If you want to streamline web management, make your site's design simple to follow. If you prioritize convenience over visual appeal, you can produce a user-friendly site that consistently hits the mark with your target audience. Plus, you should have no trouble maintaining your site, regardless of how big it gets.
2. Establish user groups
Figure out who uses your website, how they leverage it, and how often they visit. Then you can establish user groups and design your site to ensure their needs are met.
Typical user groups include new visitors, authors, and administrators. Each user visits your site for a specific reason, and you should consider ways to help each of them achieve their desired results. You should also identify, evaluate, and resolve pain points for user groups and encourage users to submit feedback. This allows you to continuously find ways to improve your site.
3. Create website goals
Brainstorm goals for your website, so you can develop baselines and metrics to ensure your site is meeting those expectations. Goals can be set up and adjusted as needed based on site performance. Additionally, you can monitor your results and create new goals as old ones are achieved.
Remember, there is always room for improvement, particularly when it comes to web design. As you establish website goals, consider what you want your site to accomplish. You can then build or revamp a site to ensure it is well-equipped to match or exceed those goals. Over time, the web data you collect will provide new feedback to explore and ways to bolster your website’s performance.
4. Stay organized
Organize website files in a way that allows you to easily find them. The sheer volume of scripts, stylesheets, images, and other files associated with your site can be overwhelming. But, with an effective organization system in place, you can keep your web files safe.
It often helps to establish a consistent naming system for all website files. For example, descriptive names will help you identify files based on their purpose or location on your site. You should also organize related files into folders. Don't forget to securely store these files, frequently update them, and back them up.
5. Use a stylesheet
Develop a stylesheet that contains style default elements. This sheet can help you maintain the same fonts and spacing on different web pages.
Finally, review each web page after you insert text into it. Too much text can make a web page appear cluttered, while too little text can lead to excess white space. You want your web page to be readable on desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, so you may need to tweak the content fit in all those places.
It can be tempting to try to build and maintain a large website on your own. However, if you partner with a web design agency that specializes in higher education, they can provide the expertise you need to seamlessly manage your site.
A web design agency understands the needs of colleges and universities and can help you craft an exceptional website from scratch. These agencies also help personalize your site, monitor its performance, and ensure it delivers the intended results now and in the future.
Take your website to the next level with KWALL
KWALL is the premiere web agency for higher education institutions — and for good reason. We have launched more than 200 education websites to date, thanks in part to our comprehensive web design, development, and research and discovery capabilities.
With KWALL’s support, your school can enjoy a site that requires minimal maintenance, drives student enrollment and retention, enhances its reputation, and more. To learn more about how we can provide your school with an outstanding website, contact the KWALL team today.