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Translating Technology Issues for Web Site Owners

For many web site owners, there often doesn’t seem to be an obvious path for information on what they need to know relative to their web site’s operation and future.

For one thing, the information needs are custom, based on content management and audience, applications and hosting and site promotion needs.

Information Overload

It isn’t that the information isn’t out there. It is, competing with information about everything else that ever did or maybe can exist. Google or not, until it is found, it is a tiny bubble in the ocean.

More importantly, there aren’t that many people providing for custom detailing of information for a specific web site owner’s needs. If you look at it as an information “food chain”, it most likely should be who calls the web site owner directly a “client” in terms of the web site is the most likely to provide the information.

For most web site owners, that means either the web development provider, or the hosting company.

Who Can Help Web Clients Sort Through Web Information?

There is more incentive for the development provider than the hosting company in general. So, if a web site owner doesn’t have a web development provider, but just a hosting company, it is likely they get less future web planning information than one that does have a web development provider. After all, that is what a web developer does for a living.

Web site clients should insist on getting some information regularly from their web developer on both their web site’s operation and what will need to be done in the future, preferably both technologically and strategically.

It really seems that MANY web clients are so busy – and the web site is just one hat they wear at work – that they don’t make the time to commit themselves to keeping up, either in the information or the labor. This is why you see so many sites without SSL certificates. This is why you see postage stamp sized web sites still, why you see sites without a mobile version, why you see broken scripts that should have been replaced years ago, it is why you see PayPal listed as the only form of payment on the website.

It is also why you don’t see these sites at all, as search engines eventually punish web sites that aren’t keeping up with standards, and users don’t accept them as useful if they do stumble into them. But they are out there – millions of them. And they aren’t becoming more functional, usually because the client hasn’t been educated successfully into why it is important they evolve.

Most successful web developers today work on a software line rather than a specific client line for revenue at this point. It is about creating an application that will be used by 100,000 web sites, it is not about integrating that application in a functionality and design with 40 other applications to create a custom client web site. Each of those software line developers will share important information about their line with their clients and marketplace.

How Much Information Could Web Clients Get?

  • Every vendor – including plugin providers – is a source of information.
  • Add security issues.
  • Add Google’s multiple issues.
  • Add Social Media’s multiple issues.
  • Add all the new bureaucracy coming in to regulate web sites.
  • Add all the financial institution requirements if you take online payment.
  • Add server software requirements, domain registration, email management, and so on.

Depending on the web site client, this could easily be over 100 messages per month.

But How Much Do Web Clients Need?

A lot of this the web developer needs to know, but the client doesn’t. But there are long term items, and functionality options, that a web site owner needs to know about. It’s part of the web site owner’s responsibility for decision-making – they may need help in making a decision, but they have to get information about it first.

Unfortunately, the problem that the web development industry is running into is that so many web site owners do not understand important technology issues on a timely planning basis. And it becomes pretty evident eventually to even the casual browser about the web site owner. But more resources need to be provided in this direction in ways that are effective for the web site client. It can’t just be information to the web client.  It has to be understanding.

We’ll be writing some about this issue in the months ahead – what web site clients can do proactively to get more information more easily, and what those right next to them on the web’s food chain – web developers – can do to provide greater assistance.

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Kessler Freedman, Inc.