Originally Posted by Tamrow
Many small businesses underestimate the time and cost of maintaining a website. They are interested in getting an online presence to promote their company so they hire a company to build them a website. The problem is they might not be web savvy enough to maintain it themselves. It's not unusual for the website developer to sell them all the bells and whistles which makes it even more onerous to maintain without hiring someone or devoting a lot of time; especially if there is a web store included. A good simple alternative to begin to promote a small business is something like a business Facebook page. It's Easy to post to and share your business contact and event info on.
That's a good alternative and so it building a site that's easy to update. Every web host has tools that make it easy to add a blog and use it to post updates. Wordpress and other blogs are easy to update. You're right about web developers and you can still have the bells and whistles but have a structure that it's easy to post new pictures and type in boxes. Even having internal web developers in a larger business, they can make maintenance easy or very time consuming.
When I built my first site years ago, I tried to read about what made a good web site. I don't know how many of you remember the yahoo website at that time, but simple, white background, no flash, just text mostly. Even now their front page is rather simple. The KISS principle still applies.
The other thing some developers do too much is total redesigns. People like familiarity. Make subtle changes. I went on a website recently that I frequently go to. It took me ten minutes to find what had always taken 5 seconds.