Whether you’re adding content to your website or trying to find ways to monetize it, you should try things on a small scale before you go all out. This article gets into the details of that approach.
When building and maintaining websites, you will eventually come to the realization that you should dip your toe in the water before you jump in. The idea is to learn this early on, so that you could avoid unnecessary headaches and a lot of work. Allow me to elaborate on this point:
Now, after discovering this, I had to remove the code from a bunch of pages. Admittedly, I had only tested the pages in Firefox and had neglected to test them in Internet Explorer. That’s a big enough mistake on its own and was a rare oversight on my part because I usually make a point of trying out my pages in different browsers to test their functionality. I had actually discovered after two days of the pages being online that they weren’t working in Internet explorer. I then had to remove the code from a bunch of pages. If I had only loaded the code into a few pages to test them out, I could have avoided a lot of work. First I could have avoided putting the code in a bunch of pages and then the additional work of removing it.
Another reason to put the code int only a few pages at first is to wait and see what your revenues will be. You could put the code for one company’s pop-up ads into some pages and the code for another company’s into a few others. Some companies will have a lot of server down time and others won’t. When the server goes down for some of the companies, the pages on your site with their code inserted into them won’t load. I found that out the hard way. Once I found that out, I removed the code from all of the pages they were on. I was luck in that case because by then I had learned to only test these things out on a few pages first. So I only had to take the code out of three pages and it literally was less than ten minutes of work.
You won’t just run into this problem with advertising code. You can also run into similar problems regarding widgets that are provided by other sites. I had a problem with a Digg.com button that I had put on some of my pages. They worked in Firefox but not in, you guessed it, Internet explorer. I tested that one before I put it into a lot of pages, so I caught that one. Had I not done so and inserted the code into a number of pages, it would have been a bigger deal.
The same approach is applicable to other things on the Internet as well. Like trying out small scale advertising campaigns first to monitor the effectiveness. Or trying out the free version of some services before going to the paid version. There are a number of paid services that you could use for your website that are great but some offer free, lower scale, versions. You could always try them first to see how well they will work out for you. If they work out well, then you can bet that the paid version is usually much better. It’s like the old saying “You get what you pay for.”
I use Google Analytics on my sites and I am able to compile a lot of information on my websites’ traffic. When I offer a new feature, I wait a while to see what kind of traffic it pulls in before I decide to take it to a larger scale. With Goggle Analytics, I can see where the traffic comes from and what search strings pull people in. If it pulls in no traffic, I don’t add more to that feature or that section of the website. If I see certain search strings pull in more traffic than others, I will sometimes try to expand on the subject matter related to that search string. So, I’ll basically add content, see how it does, then decide if I want to add more. The idea there is to add to what is drawing traffic and stop wasting time on the things that don’t. It takes time to determine that but it’s worth the wait if you avoid doing a lot of work that doesn’t pay off. That’s one of the many reasons why you should dip your toe in the water before you jump in.