Maintaining and Evolving Successful Commercial Web Sites

Managing Change, Content, Customer Relationships, and Site Measurement


  • Ashley Friedlein, e-consultancy, London, U.K.

Ashley Friedlein's first book, Web Project Management: Delivering Successful Commercial Web Sites, became a bestseller and an essential reference for Web professionals developing new sites. Maintaining and Evolving Successful Commercial Web Sites addresses the realities of successful sites today, namely the notion that maintaining and evolving a site is actually a bigger commitment than launching it. Management wants to maximize returns and obtain reliable performance data, customers demand better service and insist on sites that are more advanced yet easier to use, and the Web site must increasingly be integrated with the entire business even as the amount of information it handles continues to grow.Maintaining and Evolving Successful Commercial Web Sites focuses more on process, reality, and pragmatism and less on strategic theory. It provides the reader with the knowledge, tools, approaches, and processes to manage key site maintenance and evolution projects, providing answers to the following questions:*How can I better manage changes and updates to the Web site?*How can I scale up to allow more contributions to the site and more content and still maintain quality and control?*What is content management and how do I go about it?*How do I go about personalization or community building?*What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and how do I actually do it online?*How do I measure and report on how well the site is doing?*How do I avoid information overload?*How do I maximize the value the site creates?The book includes case studies to demonstrate candidly how the issues discussed in the book translate into reality.
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People involved with all aspects of managing projects to do with Web site maintenance and evolution.


Book information

  • Published: December 2002
  • ISBN: 978-1-55860-830-6


"If you run a Web site, own a Web site, or are merely responsible for the success of a Web site, this is the book you need. Big picture philosophy and detailed practicality make Maintaining and Evolving Successful Commercial Web Sites the appropriate practicum for progressive Web professionals." —Jim Sterne, Author, Speaker, Consultant, Target Marketing of Santa Barbara "Ashley Friedlein takes four very complex but important subjects and boils them down for you to their essentials. With an abundance of practical examples and a strong feeling for what common sense dictates, he leads you to the heart of what it takes to keep a big site running and improving." —Bob Boiko, Author, The Content Management Bible (Hungry Minds, Inc.) and President, Metatorial Services Inc. "Ashley Friedlein makes a much-needed contribution to the (often neglected) area of Web site management. Using clear language and straightforward case studies, Friedlein masterfully tackles the 'post-launch' phase of Web development. This book will be sought after by all Web site managers." —Hurol Inan, Author, Measuring the Success of Your Website (Longman) and Consultant

Table of Contents

PrefacePart I Change Management1 Reviewing and Reporting Progress 1.1 Management Summary 1.2 Progress Report 1.3 Risks and Issues 2 Procedures for Managing Site Updates 2.1 Documentation 2.1.1 Definition of Terms/Glossary 2.1.2 Site Map 2.1.3 Content and Functional Specifications 2.1.4 Technical Specification 2.1.5 Design and Brand Guidelines 2.1.6 Policies 2.1.7 Publishing Procedures 2.1.8 Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) 2.1.9 Other Contracts and Agreements 2.2 Contact Information 2.3 Categorizing Types of Change 2.3.1 Naming 2.3.2 Grading 2.4 Change Processes 2.4.1 Single Points of Contact 2.4.2 Evolving Stages of Web Site Maintenance 2.4.3 Process Mapping 2.5 Change and Update Requests 2.6 Scheduling Changes Summary Part II Content Management 3 Introducing Content Management 3.1 What Is Content Management? 3.2 Why Is Content Management Needed? 3.3 What Web Content Management Cannot Achieve 4 Content Management in Action: A Practical Example 4.1 The Home Page 4.2 Content Collection, Management, and Publishing 4.3 Workflow 5 Key Concepts and Building Blocks 5.1 Structuring Content 5.2 The Content Model 5.3 Content Objects and Classes 5.4 Content versus Functionality 5.5 Separation of Content and Presentation 5.6 Metadata 5.7 Templates 5.8 Personalization 5.9 XML 5.10 Content Life Cycle 5.11 Workflow 6 Content Management Systems (CMS) 6.1 What Is a Content Management System (CMS)? 6.1.1 Collect 6.1.2 Manage 6.1.3 Publish 6.1.4 Related Systems 6.2 Selecting a CMS 6.2.1 Build versus Buy 6.2.2 Selection Process 6.2.3 Selection Criteria 6.3 Evolving toward a CMS 6.3.1 The Early Webmaster Phase 6.3.2 The Mature Webmaster Phase 6.3.3 The Early Database Phase 6.3.4 The Mature Database Phase 6.3.5 Full CMS 7 Tackling a Content Management Project 7.1 Project Clarification 7.1.1 Project Sponsors 7.1.2 Project Team 7.1.3 Project Mission 7.1.4 Organization Interaction Plan 7.1.5 Audits 7.1.6 Requirements Gathering 7.1.7 Change Management 7.1.8 Risks and Issues 7.1.9 Initial Project Plan and Budget 7.1.10 Deliverables 7.2 Solution Definition 7.2.1 Content Model 7.2.2 User Segments and Personalization Rules 7.2.3 Templates and Page Designs 7.2.4 Content Creation, Migration, and Collection 7.2.5 Workflows 7.2.6 Localization Plan 7.2.7 Reporting and Analysis 7.2.8 Technology 7.2.9 Testing 7.2.10 Deployment and Rollout Plan 7.2.11 Maintenance and Staffing Plan 7.2.12 Project Documentation 7.2.13 Deliverables 7.3 Project Specification 7.3.1 CMS Selection Process 7.3.2 Create the Project Specification 7.3.3 Final Project Plan and Budget 7.3.4 Risks and Issues 7.3.5 Sign-Off and Change Control 7.3.6 Deliverables 7.4 Content 7.4.1 Content Authoring and Capture 7.4.2 Content Conversion and Processing 7.4.3 Content Acquisition and Syndication 7.4.4 Testing and Quality Control 7.4.5 Training 7.4.6 Update Project Documentation 7.4.7 Deliverables 7.5 Design and Construction 7.5.1 Project Management 7.5.2 CMS Installation and Configuration 7.5.3 Content Collection and Migration 7.5.4 Training and Consulting Services 7.5.5 Change Control and Risk Management 7.5.6 Deliverables 7.6 Testing, Launch, and Handover 7.6.1 Testing 7.6.2 Deployment and Rollout 7.6.3 Localization 7.6.4 Documentation 7.6.5 Training 7.6.6 Handover 7.6.7 Internal Communications 7.6.8 Deliverables 7.7 Maintenance 7.7.1 Managing Changes and Updates 7.7.2 Service-Level Agreements 7.7.3 Phase 2 Project Planning 7.7.4 Deliverables 7.8 Review and Evaluation 7.8.1 Project Review 7.8.2 Content Return on Investment 7.8.3 Recommendations 7.8.4 Deliverables Summary Part III Customer Relationship Management 8 A CRM Primer 8.1 What Is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)? 8.2 eCRM: The Digital Opportunity 8.2.1 Build Closer Relationships with Customers 8.2.2 Understand Your Customers Better 8.2.3 Increase Competitive Differentiation 8.2.4 Higher Levels of Accountability 8.2.5 Tactical Strengths 8.2.6 Cost Efficiencies 8.2.7 Improved Testing and Proposition Development 8.3 The Business Case 8.4 Customer Value 8.5 The Single Customer View 9 Understanding Your Users 9.1 Segmentation 9.2 Customer Data 9.2.1 Capturing Customer Data 9.2.2 Permission and Privacy 9.2.3 Managing Customer Data 10 Personalization 10.1 What Personalization Is and What It Promises 10.2 What We've Learned So Far 10.3 How to Personalize 11 Community 11.1 What Community Is and What It Promises 11.2 What We've Learned So Far 12 Customer Service 12.1 What Online Customer Service Is and What It Promises 12.2 What We've Learned So Far Summary Part IV Site Measurement 13 The Promises and Challenges of Web Site Measurement 13.1 Promises 13.1.1 More Effective Marketing 13.1.2 Improved Customer Retention 13.1.3 Increased Sales 13.1.4 Automated Site Performance Management 13.2 Challenges 13.2.1 Information Overload 13.2.2 Data Quality 13.2.3 Few Common Standards or Metrics 13.2.4 Privacy and Security 13.2.5 No Single Customer View 13.2.6 Slow, Error-Prone, or Unavailable Sites 14 The Evolution of E-intelligence 14.1 The Arrival and Development of E-metrics 14.2 Increasing Sophistication and Customer-Centricity 15 Measurement Approaches and Techniques 15.1 Site-Centric Measurement 15.1.1 Metrics 15.1.2 Measurement Techniques 15.2 User-Centric Measurement 15.2.1 Metrics 15.2.2 Measurement Techniques 16 Reporting and Analysis 16.1 Defining a Measurement Framework 16.2 The Importance of Analysis 16.3 Design for Analysis 16.3.1 Information Architecture 16.3.2 Templating 16.3.3 Design Guidelines 16.3.4 Navigation Guidelines 16.3.5 Technology Infrastructure 16.3.6 Metadata and Tagging 16.3.7 URL Policy 16.3.8 Naming Conventions 16.3.9 Logging 16.4 Choosing a Measurement Tool 16.5 Report Scheduling and Distribution 16.6 Example Reports 16.6.1 Traffic 16.6.2 Customer Loyalty 16.6.3 E-commerce 16.6.4 Campaigns 17 How to Improve a Web Site 17.1 Get the Basics Really Right 17.2 A Combined Hard and Soft Approach 17.3 Content Management 17.4 Improving the Moments of Truth 17.4.1 Home Page 17.4.2 Site Entry Page 17.4.3 Registration 17.4.4 Checkout 17.4.5 Search 17.4.6 Contact 17.5 Usability 17.5.1 Usability Techniques and Practices 17.5.2 Navigation 17.6 Viral Marketing Tools 17.6.1 Send to a Friend 17.6.2 Email Forwarding 17.6.3 Print This Page 17.6.4 Save to Disk 17.6.5 Privacy 17.7 E-commerce 17.7.1 Improving Customer Acquisition 17.7.2 Increasing Basket Size and Share of Wallet 18 Tackling a Web Site Measurement Project 18.1 Tactical Initiatives 18.1.1 Planning and Education 18.1.2 Implementation 18.2 Process for Medium to Large Projects 18.3 Project Clarification 18.3.1 Project Sponsors 18.3.2 Project Team 18.3.3 Project Mission 18.3.4 Organization Interaction Plan 18.3.5 Audits 18.3.6 Customer Insight 18.3.7 Requirements Gathering 18.3.8 Education 18.3.9 Risks and Issues 18.3.10 Initial Project Plan and Budget 18.3.11 Deliverables 18.4 Solution Definition 18.4.1 Measurement Framework 18.4.2 Metrics 18.4.3 Data 18.4.4 Reporting 18.4.5 Analysis 18.4.6 Technology 18.4.7 Testing 18.4.8 Deployment and Rollout 18.4.9 Maintenance 18.4.10 Project Documentation 18.4.11 Deliverables 18.5 Project Specification 18.5.1 Create the Project Specification 18.5.2 Buy versus Build 18.5.3 Vendor Selection 18.5.4 Final Project Plan and Budget 18.5.5 Training 18.5.6 Sign-Off and Change Control 18.5.7 Deliverables 18.6 Content 18.6.1 Assemble Test Data 18.6.2 Test Data Processes 18.6.3 Deliverables 18.7 Design and Construction 18.7.1 Project Management 18.7.2 Change Control and Risk Management 18.7.3 Training and Consulting Services 18.7.4 Deliverables 18.8 Testing, Launch, and Handover 18.8.1 Testing 18.8.2 Deployment and Rollout 18.8.3 Internal Marketing 18.8.4 Training 18.8.5 Documentation 18.8.6 Handover 18.8.7 Deliverables 18.9 Maintenance 18.9.1 Maintenance Plan 18.9.2 Prepare for the Next Phase 18.9.3 Change Management 18.9.4 Deliverables 18.10 Review and Evaluation 18.10.1 Project Review 18.10.2 Evaluate Results 18.10.3 Recommendations 18.10.4 Deliverables Summary Resources Companion Site Recommended Reading Recommended Sites Product Vendors Index