Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce gains insight on crucial website updates in Monday presentation
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Jonathan Safir, left, and Nathan Malmgren talk with Gail Rodgers of the American Association of University Women at Monday’s meeting of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. — Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Many business with websites don’t keep them up to date and lose their competitive edge as a result, according to a presentation given to the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce on Monday.

Web developers Jonathan Safir of ItsYourWork.com and Nathan Malmgren of Socialarter.com addressed about 50 people about the importance of keeping website information up to date and making that process manageable by the business owner.

“A lot of people say they haven’t added anything to their website for a couple of years because it’s too difficult,” Safir said.

“They need to add information to the website, but they can’t track down their designer or they have an access code but don’t know what it does.”

Safir and Malgrem said that each website needs design, content and execution to be effective, with the content most economically managed through an open source system, which does not require licensing fees.

These software packages make customizing easier and less expensive and can fit the needs of most small businesses, they said.

They all require a content management system (CMS) that is user friendly and does not require a great deal of technical skill.

“Everyone knows how to send an email, updating your website should be as easy,” Malgrem said.

Another important aspect is to optimize the website for use on mobile devices.

The best of these systems can determine the phone and browser in use, making automatic adjustments in type and button size to best accommodate that combination.

“Nobody carries phone books with them, when they want a number they will check their phones,” Safir said.

“This is important for people who depend on tourist businesses, because when people come to town they need to be able to use their phone in order to find you.”

Malgrem said that many businesses have let their websites languish because they have established a Facebook presence, but a combination of the two outlets is needed in order to get the message across to customers.

“People use their Facebook page as an excuse to not update their websites,” he said.

“Facebook is a great free marketing tool, but business also need a current website, and they should use them to drive customers from one to the other.”

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsu
dailynews.com.

Last modified: January 13. 2014 6:37PM
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