Every company needs a website. It enhances your reputation, pushes out a great first impression, and reassures customers that you’re a legitimate business.
When you’re trying to win customers, one of the best things you can do is showcase your product or service professionally and cohesively.
Unfortunately, business owners are often unprepared for what comes with website creation and management.
You’re involved in this business because you had a vision that you believed in. But you may not have come from an IT, web design, or marketing background, and that’s what it takes to run a successful website.
If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of developing a website or updating the one you currently have, consider stepping back. Websites are a critical part of a business, and they require adequate time and resources. If you and your current team, aren’t able to fix your website or give it the attention it needs, it’s time to hire an expert.
A website manager handles all aspects of a company’s website, including (but not limited to):
- Functionality and performance
- Hosting and server management
- Development, maintenance, and updating of website content
Whether you’re a small business owner, marketing manager, or human resources director, keep reading for your guide to hiring a website manager for your company.
Do I Need to Hire a Website Manager?
You’re likely in one of three scenarios right now.
- You don’t have a website, but you know you need one despite your lack of bandwidth.
- You have a website that needs revamping, but you need third-party assistance because the role currently responsible for managing the website has too many other obligations.
- You have a website and website manager, but you’re dissatisfied with both due to cost, lack of skills, poor communication, etc.
If any of these apply to you, then you might need to hire a website manager.
Most companies will give the responsibility of website management to one of the following roles:
- Business owner or marketing manager (you may be reading this right now!)
- In-house IT department
- In-house marketing department
- A current website management provider (who you’d like to replace!)
If your website management is currently handled by any of these roles, you’ll want to read more about the benefits and risks of each.
Why Your IT Department Shouldn’t Manage Your Website
At first glance, your IT team may seem like the right fit for all website management tasks. After all, they may already maintain your web servers.
Isn’t this just an extension of that? No, not really.
IT teams aren’t trained to manage and maintain a website effectively. They don’t know the ins and outs of a content management system. They can’t design content. They don’t proactively handle plugin and theme updates.
Mistaking their general knowledge of computers for website knowledge is likely to result in a neglected website. Instead, hire a website manager to fill in these gaps.
Why Your Marketing Department Shouldn’t Manage Your Website
Another department that you may consider for website management is marketing.
Your marketing team handles everything that you hope your website can accomplish. They know how to target an audience and generate interest in your product/service.
Regrettably, your marketing team likely lacks the proper skills, knowledge, or resources for website management.
Error troubleshooting, speed optimization, cloud hosting, website security? These are not responsibility of a marketer.
It’s best to take these tasks off their plate so they can focus on doing a stellar job at marketing.
Why You Should Consider Outsourcing Website Management
Finally, as a business owner or marketing manager, you may have taken on the tasks associated with website management. This is most common for small businesses.
It may be working for you right now, but websites are complex (and typically get more complex over time).
In all likelihood, website management is distracting you from more pressing projects. By outsourcing these tasks to a website manager, you’ll save both time and personal resources so you can prioritize critical tasks that’ll push your company ahead of its competitors.
We encourage you learn more about website management services if this resonates with you.
Types of Website Managers: In-House vs. Freelancer vs. Agency
You’ve officially decided to hire a website manager. Woohoo! Now, where should you start when it comes to hiring?
For most companies, you must decide what type of manager is best suited for your company. Here are the three different types:
|Types of Website Managers|
|Works directly for your company||Engages in contract work, typically on an as-needed basis||Consists of a team of experts from an outside company|
In the next few sections, we’ll discuss each of the advantages and disadvantages of each. There isn’t a right or wrong type of manager to hire. It all depends on your company’s specific needs.
1. In-House Website Manager
If your website requires a lot of daily attention and care, then you may want to consider an in-house website manager. As a full-time position, they can devote their working hours solely to your website.
Depending on the industry you’re in, you may decide you need just a single employee on this job, or you may want a team of employees to tackle mounting tasks related to your website.
However, unless you work in a sector like eCommerce which requires a website to run seamlessly 24/7 (because it’s the crux of your business), having a full in-house website team is often unnecessary and expensive. You must pay each employee individually and manage these employees to ensure the team runs smoothly.
2. Freelance Website Manager
Freelancers are an ideal short-term solution for a company because they can join the team quickly.
That said, freelancers aren’t necessarily sustainable long-term.
Freelancers are often more expensive and give the company less control over their workflow and quality of work. It can also take time to find the right freelancer for the job, so you take a risk whenever you hire someone your company is unfamiliar with.
3. Website Management Agency
If you start with a freelancer, your next step may be to hire an agency.
When you hire a website management agency, you’ll get the most expertise per dollar while encountering the highest degree of professionalism.
Unlike hiring in-house, management companies give you a full team of experts at your disposal at a fraction of what it would normally cost you.
Furthermore, agencies often provide a range of packages to their clients. Because of this, you’ll be able to find an agency that offers the services you need within your budget.
Assuming you’re not locked into a contract (see red flags below!), it’s easy to hire and fire an agency if you’re not satisfied with the service provided.
Hire a U.S.-Based Website Management Agency
Buckley Web Services is an experienced website management agency with a team that is fully based in the United States.
3 Steps to Hire a Website Manager
When you’re ready to start looking for a new website manager, there a few key points that you’ll want to keep in mind.
You want to make the best decision for the long-term, so we recommend taking this process slow. You should consider all of your options and thoroughly assess candidates.
1. Assess Your Needs
You can’t find the right website manager without evaluating your needs.
Take the time to list out everything you need from the person you want to hire.
What tasks do you want them to be responsible for? What qualities and skills must they be able to fulfill?
Here’s a sample list of qualities to look for in a website manager:
- Good understanding of internet technology, hosting, and domain registration
- Able to use the technology required to update and backup the site
- Understanding of search engine optimization
- Good eye for website design
- Knowledgeable about the company’s business goals
- Familiar with online marketing tools, including search engines, social media, newsletters, email campaigns, etc.
This is just a starting list. Be sure to include anything specific to your company or website, so you can hire a website manager most effective for your needs.
2. Find a Skillset That Matches Your Needs
This is a step that often feels overwhelming to small business owners or marketing departments.
Where do you find a high-quality website manager?
You may know what you want, but you have no idea where to look. Once you’ve narrowed down whether you’re seeking an in-house, freelance, or agency website manager, you can look in the following places.
An in-house employee works directly for your company.
Hire this type of website manager just as you would any other kind of employee. Post the job to LinkedIn and other job websites like Indeed. You may also consider asking your current employees to refer anyone they know who may be a good fit for the position.
Once you have a pool of candidates, you’ll be able to hold interviews and decide who is the best fit for your team long-term.
Freelancers are everywhere these days. In 2017, there were about 57.3 million freelancers in the U.S. By 2028, this number is predicted to double.
To hire a freelancer to manage your website, look on popular freelancing sites like Fiverr and Upwork.
These sites will help you delineate the best freelancers through ratings and reviews. Before you hire them, reach out and discuss your needs with them directly. You can ask them about their previous experience working on similar projects and the results they attained. This can give you a better sense of if they’ll be a good fit for your project.
The nice thing about working with a freelancer is that you can disconnect with them at any point you want to. You aren’t locked into anything.
While hiring an agency is a promising option for most companies, it can be difficult to know how to select one when there are so many out there.
You can find dozens via Google search. How do you decide which one to go with?
Do research on the company and read unbiased testimonials and reviews of the company. You should also consider reaching out to any companies that have worked with agency to hear their feedback. Hearing about another company’s positive (or negative) experience will give you some direction about who to trust.
3. Watch For These Red Flags
Hiring someone to take tasks off your plate can be incredibly freeing. However, some issues can arise if you don’t hire the right person or agency for the job.
How do you determine is someone is a good choice for the long-term?
The following red flags can help you evaluate a solid fit for your company.
When you talk to a freelancer or an agency, you get to know them, their skills, their brand, and how they do things. They sell you on who they are and how they can help you.
Unfortunately, some agencies and freelancers outsource their clients’ work to foreign workers. If you hire them, they won’t be the ones working on your website (despite what they say).
This can lead to poor communication, low-quality work, or dissatisfaction with the final product because you only have access to the middleman.
This is done so they can take advantage of cheap labor in foreign countries. If they are hiding this information from you, then this is a major red flag.
Poor communication is frustrating as a customer. You’re paying for a service, and if you’re not able to get in contact with the person providing that service, then your satisfaction drops. What are you paying for at that point?
Look out for poor communication during initial conversations. If it’s present when you’re sending those initial emails and phone calls, then it’ll only get worse.
Unfortunately, this trait is extremely common among freelancers and agencies.
Big management agencies can seem appealing because they have lots of experience. They’ve done it before, and they can guide you through the process.
Unfortunately, many agencies often require you to sign a contract for months (if not years) of service. Because they’ve got you on the hook, they become lax about the quality of service they provide you.
If you’re not going anywhere, what is their incentive to do great work? There isn’t one.
Try to find a provider who works on a month-to-month basis. They will be invested in your success!
Lack of Control
Hiring a website manager shouldn’t force you to cede any control. After all, it’s still your website.
If you begin to feel as though you’re no longer in control of website access, or you aren’t able to separate from your website manager, then that’s a red flag.
For example, some website management companies require you to switch your hosting or domain name to their accounts. While this is disguised as a matter of convenience, it can also feel as though they’re holding you hostage. You must take extra steps and jump through hoops to fire them as your provider if you want to switch.
We’ve personal helped many businesses escape from abusive website management agencies. Unfortunately, it is far too common.
To avoid this, look for any requirements like this in the onboarding process, so you can maintain as much control as possible.
Over or Under-qualification
You should be most aware of this when hiring in-house employees because you may be pulling from another department.
Your goal should be to hire someone who is equipped with the skills to do the job well while also selecting someone who will stay in the position long-term.
If you choose someone who is underqualified, you may find that they aren’t skilled enough for the work demanded by the position. If you hire someone overqualified, then they may feel bored or dissatisfied with the position.
Both scenarios mean you could find yourself re-hiring for the role soon.
Hidden Fees or High Rates
You get what you pay for!
While you don’t want to select a website manager based solely on their pricing, it’s certainly a factor when it comes to who you hire.
Some agencies charge high rates for simple work or hit you with “hidden” fees that were never mentioned.
To avoid this, ask how they charge for their work.Will they bill you in increments of 15 minutes or 5 hours? Understanding this upfront can help you avoid getting charged 5 hours for a task that only took 15 minutes (yes, we’ve seen it happen).
How Much Does a Website Manager Cost?
Hiring a website manager is an additional expense for a company.
In most cases, it’s worth it because it helps to reallocate duties that were either falling through the cracks or overwhelming current staff.
Here’s what you can expect from a cost perspective — a critical factor in the decision-making process.
- In-house employee: $50,000 to $200,000 annually per employee, depending on skills required
- Freelancer: $30 to $200 per hour depending on the freelancer’s expertise
- Agency: $100 to $25,000 per month depending on your needs
Of course, keep in mind that these are simply price ranges. You should discuss rates directly with the individual or agency you’re hiring for the role.