Last updated: June 13, 2019
Originally published: May 17, 2017
Clients large and small often struggle with website scalability.
“Scalability” is the ability to easily expand your website as needed. Simply put it is the capacity of your site to keep new information organized in such a way as readers are able to easily find what they are looking for.
How do you organize a growing body of website content over months and years? That is the fundamental question of how scalable your website is.
How To Approach Content Organization
Whether you work for a large medical center with highly technical articles or a small beauty salon with elegant pictures of hairstyles, the question to ask yourself is not “What is the information”? The question should be “How should the information be organized in a way that is sustainable?”
We try to avoid thinking about the medium and focus on the message. For example, let’s use the small hair salon as an example. Let’s say they have the following content to add to their website:
- a video of the grand opening
- a photo gallery of updos
- several articles about hair care
- a press release about a new stylist joining the team
How these get added to the website should not be dependent upon the medium; it doesn’t matter if its a video, a photo or an article.
Focus instead on the message; what is it about? These four items can be sorted into three basic categories:
- news about the salon
- style ideas
- helpful information
Once you understand the categories of information, the content itself can be anything. For example, you might add a video of a stylist working with a new client on an updo and post that to Style Ideas. Another example might be adding a photo gallery for a special fundraising event the salon is hosting with a nonprofit partner that gets posted as News About The Salon.
The last thing you want to do after spending time, energy and money redoing your website is to treat it like Grandma’s attic, tossing up stuff willy-nilly where ever it will fit.
Creating a Strategy To Ensure Website Scalability
Here are 5 questions we ask clients when developing a content development strategy.
- Is the subject matter timely only for a short period, a press release for example?
- Will the category grow over time, like a resource center?
- Does the topic need to be searchable, like an archive?
- Can information be grouped together, like red widgets vs blue widgets vs green widgets?
- Will information, such as a case study, be added as a new page versus replacing content as you might do with an updated staff list?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, using a blog and categories can ensure that your website can grow easily and remain well organized.
The word “blog” makes many people want to curl into the fetal position but it shouldn’t. A blog is just another way of organizing your content – the content you’re already creating! Articles sorted into categories and identified with tags allow readers to easily find the content they’re looking for and let’s staff know exactly where to place new information on the website.
A solid content development strategy outlined early will ensure your website is well organized now and into the future.
Not sure how to get started? Give us a call. We’re happy to help!