Considerations for building or hosting a website on an external provider

There are several factors to consider before you decide to build a website from scratch, or host it on an external provider. While the prospect of saving money or relying on someone you know, such as a student temporary employee, may seem appealing, it is important to weigh the potential risks and drawbacks that come with this approach. Here are some things to consider before you decide to build a site on your own (or work with a temporary employee to build it):

  1. Expertise: Building a website properly requires considerable expertise in web development, design, security, performance, and accessibility. Be sure you or the consultant you are considering hiring have expertise in these areas to avoid future complications and risks.

  2. Time: Building a well-functioning, well-designed website from scratch is time-consuming. This can take away from core tasks and responsibilities, such as managing your organization or conducting regular business operations.

  3. Support: Third-party providers may not provide the same level of support as professional web developers or on-campus solutions.

  4. Security risks: Websites that are built by non-professionals are often more vulnerable to security breaches and attacks. This makes them an easy target for hackers and cybercriminals. You should never store sensitive information on your website without first consulting with your IT provider and ensuring that you have mitigated any risks.

  5. Design and user experience: Visitors may quickly become frustrated and leave your site if good design and user experience principles are not followed. A professional web developer will have the expertise to create a website that is both esthetically pleasing and easy to use.

  6. Accessibility and branding: Ensuring that a website is accessible (see SPG 601.20) and compliant with branding guidelines is crucial for creating a positive user experience and promoting a consistent visual identity. Most on-campus solutions will meet these requirements.

  7. Long-term support and maintenance: A website is not a one-and-done project - it requires ongoing support and maintenance to ensure that it remains functional, secure, and up-to-date. This includes updating software, fixing bugs, and addressing security vulnerabilities.

  8. Technical debt: Technical debt refers to the costs that are incurred when a website is built with shortcuts or quick fixes that may not be sustainable in the long term. These shortcuts can lead to a website that is difficult to maintain or update, making it more costly and time-consuming to make changes or improvements in the future.

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Article ID: 10030
Thu 4/13/23 7:05 AM
Fri 4/14/23 1:34 AM