|Survey says companies sprucing up web sites
|According to JupiterResearch, the improving economy has given many companies the resouces to give their sites a facelft.
Nearly half of the companies responding to a recent survey plan major Web-site development initiatives this year, and almost a quarter expect to spend $1 million or more on site operations, a market-research firm said Thursday.
With profits up in an improving economy, many companies now have the money to give a facelift to their tired Web sites by making major improvements in home pages, navigation, design, search, content management and other functionality, according to JupiterResearch, a division of Jupitermedia Corp.
"The level of spending on Web sites has been subdued over the last couple of years because of the slow economy," JupiterResearch analyst David Schatsky said. "So a lot of companies see 2004 as a time to take care of unfinished business with their web presence."
The research firm's survey of business executives found 24% of the companies they represent plan to spend $1 million or more on Web-site operations this year, up from 20% last year. Forty-nine percent of the companies planned from two to four major development initiatives this year.
To ease the conflicts that often arise among various interests within a business during web site overhauls, JupiterResearch recommends that companies have the buck stop at a single executive. That person should be responsible for finding the right balance in meeting the desires of marketing, customer service and information technology departments.
An example of a conflict would be a sales department that wants toll-free numbers listed on the site, while customer service may prefer directing customers more toward E-mail communications to lower costs, Schatsky said. Marketing, in another example, may want to add capabilities on the site that involve technology the IT staff says is incompatible with the underlying infrastructure.
"Unless a single person is empowered with the authority to settle conflicts, you can end up with decisions that don't conform with the company's overall strategy," Schatsky said.