When Your Website Goes on Vacation!07/30/2014
Does your website ever go on vacation? One of the benefits of having a website is the fact that it is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But if the person managing your website goes on vacation, your website may appear to take a vacation as well.
Planning for vacation time is a common task that most managers don't look forward to. Juggling schedules, maintaining work flow, and assigning tasks to others who may be less prepared or qualified to fulfill them are just a few of the struggles management faces during a scheduled vacation. Imagine the impact of a family emergency, an employee cannot clock in and management has had no time to arrange for others to cover their duties.
The impact of planned vacations or unplanned leaves of absence can be doubled if the person missing manages your website. Emails may go unanswered, updates aren't completed, schedules and calendars are not kept up to date. All of these things may make your website appear either out of date or at worst abandoned. An outdated or unresponsive website can harm your business image, cost you leads and diminish income.
Plan ahead and your website will never appear to go on vacation again. Train an alternate employee to take over the basic tasks involved in managing the website, forward website email to someone who can respond in a timely fashion. Fully update your website before a planned vacation and keep in mind whether or not the information will still be current when the site can be updated again. With careful planning very minor updates can keep your site fresh and appealing for visitors. If training an additional employee is not an option, contact the designer of your site and see if they can update your site while an employee is unavailable.
One of the number one complaints on the internet is unanswered emails; a prompt response can win over visitors and display your professionalism. Auto responders can be helpful if they are handled correctly. Forget to change your auto responder and one of your visitors may receive an "I am out of the office until July 31" message in the middle of January. Create contingency plans for when an emergency occurs; treat your website like you would a bricks and mortar store or office. You wouldn’t consider closing your store or office unless a catastrophe struck, your website should be treated the same way.
Vacations, leaves of absence and unplanned illnesses can all pose a threat to the image you have worked so hard to create. People see your website as a reflection of your business. Take the time to plan ahead and your website will keep on working even while you are on vacation.