Once you've decided to make your changes, the next choice is how to go about doing that. There are two steps involved in maintaining your site:

First, decide whether you prefer to edit your content on paper or on your computer.

This can be done in a couple of ways. You can start by printing the pages that have outdated information and then updating that information on paper first. Or, you can copy and paste the outdated content from your website into a word processing program such as Microsoft Word and then edit that file on your computer.

After you have updated your text content you can choose either to make the changes yourself or to hire a web designer to make the changes.

There are several tools that you can use to make text changes to your site yourself. We recommend an easy-to-use tool called Macromedia Contribute. It's fairly inexpensive, its simple to set up and learn, and it allows you to back up to older versions of your site if you make mistakes.

We suggest that you use this tool to make only simple text changes. More complicated changes—for example, to the overall design or navigation—are more difficult to make, and having a professional make those changes will save you energy and frustration.

If you don't have the time, patience, software, or know-how to make website updates yourself, then I recommend hiring a web designer to make your text changes.

How to make more complicated changes

If you need to change your navigation, or make new images for your site, I recommend hiring a designer. They’ll have the tools and the know-how to make those changes quickly and to get everything up online without any fuss or hassle. Things that you need to watch out for here:

  • Make sure that the graphics they create for your navigation match the other items in your navigation exactly.
  • Make sure that any new images – photos, graphics – match the other graphics and photos on your site
  • Make sure that the colors in new graphics coordinate with your brand’s colors
  • Be sure that your new graphics and pieces add to your website – that they contribute meaning and help you to communicate with your clients.