New Year's To-Do: Fix Your Aging Web Site

Last Updated Dec 24, 2009 9:05 AM EST

New sales, and thus new profits, are usually produced by, well, new stuff. But businesses often get distracted thinking up the Next Big Thing, to the point that they lose sight of (or interest in) the core of what they already have.

David Armano delivers a wise message in this regard. Instead of figuring out the next Zhu Zhu Pets, spend time cleaning up your aging Web site, sharpening and increasing your blogging, and making your Intranet deliver what it should be delivering.

Here is Armano on Web sites:

"Websites haven't been bright and shiny for years now; they're more de rigeur. But is yours really as good as it could be? Do search engines find it effortlessly? Is it usable? Does it even serve a purpose (is it useful)? Can you rapidly re-design it without it causing major upheaval within the departments of your organization? After reading how American Airlines struggles with the all too common problem of "design by committee" (which exists within many large organizations), I have to conclude that getting your website to completely satisfy business, brand and user goals is still elusive for many companies."
Taking stock of the assets you already use and figuring out ways to make them better is a great project to start 2010. For more ideas, read Armano's post, Stop Looking for the Next Twitter.

What have you neglected that could use a little polish?

(Oh, and one other thing. Have a merry Christmas, happy holidays and a great new year!)

(Contemplating Man image by joelogon, CC 2.0)

  • Sean Silverthorne

    Sean Silverthorne is the editor of HBS Working Knowledge, which provides a first look at the research and ideas of Harvard Business School faculty. Working Knowledge, which won a Webby award in 2007, currently records 4 million unique visitors a year. He has been with HBS since 2001.

    Silverthorne has 28 years experience in print and online journalism. Before arriving at HBS, he was a senior editor at CNET and executive editor of ZDNET News. While at At Ziff-Davis, Silverthorne also worked on the daily technology TV show The Site, and was a senior editor at PC Week Inside, which chronicled the business of the technology industry. He has held several reporting and editing roles on a variety of newspapers, and was Investor Business Daily's first journalist based in Silicon Valley.