A successful website is made out of two things: great content and great technology. You can’t let either one fall short if you want to bring in regular visitors. Marketing agencies understand content, and they can make your site sparkle. When it comes to the tech, though, that just isn’t their specialty. You need both a marketing agency and a tech company working for you if you want to stand out.
Beyond the content
A user visiting a website sees the text, images, videos, and so on. But if the tech behind them isn’t up to snuff, users could have problems seeing it. Maintaining the site could be difficult. Full-service marketing agencies without a specialty in technology will deliver great visuals, but they aren’t up to addressing all the issues.
Marketers have their own perspective. They value innovation, uniqueness, and eye-catching material. These are good things, but too much of them can create problems in a website. Many customers have come to us because a full-service marketing agency created their sites and they experienced a lot of problems.
A lack of technical expertise can create problems like:
- Software that behaves erratically
- Excessive bandwidth consumption, slowing down the site
- Difficulties in maintaining and upgrading the site
- Security risks
You can create an acceptable site with off-the-shelf software and an attractive theme. This doesn’t eliminate the need for technical expertise, though. You’re going to want some plugins and perhaps even custom code. All the pieces need to work together. Get one component that doesn’t behave well, and it could ruin the site.
A marketer’s natural inclinations will fill pages up with lots of goodies. Cumulatively, they increase the time that the page takes to load and display. When that happens on a mobile phone with a less than great connection, it can seriously drag performance down. Mobile users are important. They often account for more than half a site’s traffic. They need to see reasonably quick page loads, or they’ll wander off.
Most sites require some degree of integration with outside services. Social media links, payment processing, and form data collection are a few of the areas where a third-party service is likely to be the best choice. Getting the integrations to deliver the best performance takes some technical expertise.
Software needs to be reliable, and it has to come from a reliable channel. You need to have expert guidance so you don’t get your software from dangerous sources. The software you want may have an excellent reputation, but if you get it through a channel that hasn’t been vouched for, you don’t know what you’re really getting.
Websites need maintenance. Without periodic checking, they can develop problems that gradually drag them down.
Installing software isn’t just a one-time chore. It needs regular updates. Older versions have known bugs, possibly including ones that endanger security. Having the latest software gives users the most reliable and enjoyable experience.
Performance tracking will show where the bottlenecks are. The sticking points may change as the site grows and traffic increases. Databases may fill up under heavy use and slow everything down.
Nobody likes to think about it, but a site can fail catastrophically. It might be because of nasty activity such as ransomware. It might be because of a hardware failure or a fire. It’s important to have contingency plans for getting the site back up quickly.
Someone with the necessary knowledge needs to keep an eye on all these maintenance issues, so your site keeps running smoothly.
Network and hosting issues
Lots of options are available for hosting a site. You need to decide which ones will give you the best performance at the most reasonable cost. Marketing companies certainly have experience with hosting, but they aren’t the best source of expertise. Technology keeps evolving, and it takes a specialist to keep up.
Cloud hosting has become very popular. It saves on up-front costs, eliminates most single points of failure, and provides excellent uptime. It’s not always the best choice, though, and there are many options within the cloud market.
A CDN (content delivery network) brings cached content closer to the user and gives them multiple access points. It requires a little extra work and money, but it can pay for itself if your market is geographically diverse.
A failover server is good insurance. If your primary server fails, you can switch to the failover and have hardly any downtime.
Which of these options make sense for your business? You’ll get the best answers if you work with experts in IT.
Everyone needs to worry about data security. There’s no such thing as a site that’s too unimportant to attack. Automated probes scan the whole Internet, searching for any weakness. A website needs strong security measures if it’s going to stand a chance.
For marketers, ease of use is the most important thing, but it can come at the price of security. IT people understand the need to keep the bad guys out. You need to strike the right balance between user-friendliness and safety.
It’s a complicated issue. Things that seem harmless can make a site less safe. Website security is one area where you absolutely need technical expertise.
The question isn’t whether your site will be penetrated but when, and how much damage it will do. If you have a good security team on your side, the events will be rare, and you’ll be able to plug the holes before much damage happens.
The right combination
None of this is to say you should do without a top-quality marketing agency. But the technology is an equally important part of any website, and you need expert support to make your site work. You need marketing experts for your strategy, branding, and user experience. You need a technology company to implement the front and back end, provide integrations, and keep the site running smoothly and securely. When marketing and tech work together, you have the ingredients for a winning site. Get in touch with us to learn how we can help you make it all happen.