The maintenance process

As part of the process of continuous improvement in online marketing, it is important to have a clearly defined process for making changes to the content of a web site. This process should be understood by all staff contributing content to the site, with their responsibilities clearly identified in their job descriptions. To understand the process, consider the main stages involved in publishing a page. A simple model of the work involved in maintenance is shown in Figure 9.9. It is assumed that the needs of the users and design features of the site have already been defined when the site was originally

Figure 9.9 A web document review and update process

created, as described in Chapter 7. The model only applies to minor updates to copy, or perhaps updating product or company information. The different tasks involved in the maintenance process are as follows:

1 Write. This stage involves writing the marketing copy and, if necessary, designing the layout of copy and associated images.

2 Review. An independent review of the copy is necessary to check for errors before a document is published. Depending on the size of organisation, review may be necessary by one person or several people covering different aspects of content quality such as corporate image, copy-editing text to identify grammatical errors, marketing copy, branding and legality.

3 Correct. This stage is straightforward, and involves updates necessary as a result of stage 2.

4 Publish (to test environment). The publication stage involves putting the corrected copy on a web page that can be checked further. This will be in a test environment that can only be viewed from inside a company.

5 Test. Before the completed web page is made available over the World Wide Web a final test will be required for technical issues such as whether the page loads successfully on different browsers.

6 Publish (to live environment). Once the material has been reviewed and tested and is signed off as satisfactory it will be published to the main web site and will be accessible by customers.

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