When answering surveys that ask – how much time do you spend online each day – I’m one of those sad ones that ticks 5-8 hours. My career choice has forced an addiction to anything new, exciting, different, or out of this world, and that means constant monitoring of what’s online including many many websites. In my daily online travels, there is one thing that really frustrates me that I thought I’d share with you. Websites with empty pages!

News and events sections are the worst culprits. They are either completely empty or worse still, so outdated that it seems the last article was uploaded using an Amstrad! I don’t know whether it’s because the client doesn’t understand how to use their complex website, they have nothing to say (and therefore should have a simpler website) or they are just darn lazy!

Unfortunately, there are so many companies who live under the illusion that once you have a website, that’s all you need to have is an online presence. You upload some content and pictures and leave it to its own devices (to source business from near and far). The truth is that a website is just like a sign. Once you drive past it a few times it just becomes part of the landscape. Websites must be updated! If your website is the same every time someone visits, they won’t come back. Secondly, Search Engines prefer and favour regularly updated websites in their rankings.

Organisations that don’t update their websites also suggests something else to me that is disturbing; that the website is just not suitable for their needs. The business community needs to understand that customised, client controlled (rather than developer controlled) websites are now an affordable reality. Many still work from a template to achieve cost effectiveness, but there is so much flexibility within that template that it’s hardly fair to call it a ‘template’ at all. Content Management Systems are now so user-friendly and accessible that even the most computer illiterate person in the world could operate them (for an example of what I’m talking about, ask us about our Springbox CMS product).

So please, do us regular ‘surfers’ and yourself a favour – turn the empty pages off line (‘coming soon’ or ‘under development’ is only suitable if the page is only weeks away), find some news to write about, update your events section and think about developing a website that better meets your needs that you can control from any internet-connected computer in the world. Show your website a little love and attention!