Determining the best level of manpower for your budding web team is never the easiest thing to accomplish. It is a tricky prospect that best, and plenty of organizations tend to underestimate their workforce needs in order to make sure their website continues to operate smoothly.
In fact, many business owners look at their website from a “set it and forget it” mentality. They think that once it’s up and running, the website will look after itself. This is magic thinking at best. Without the proper staff, your website will stagnate, or even worse, it will deteriorate if you continue to ignore it.
Thankfully, business owners aren’t going to face an insurmountable challenge when it comes time to determine the number of people needed for their web team. We’ll use a concept known as “website scale” to come up with the best answer for each individual business owner.
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A Proper Definition of Website Scale
To properly define the process known as website scale, we need to look at two specific parameters for the sake of clarity. The parameters include the following:
- Website activity levels
- The size of the website
Most online ventures can benefit from this process. It’s very useful because it creates a way to practically estimate the number of people needed to carry out website maintenance activities. Included in the website scale assessment our technical maintenance, content publishing, general quality assurance, time tracking, and feedback monitoring.
To put it simply, the bigger the website, the more people are necessary to properly maintain it. But how do we measure size?
The simplest way to calculate the size of the website is to add up the total amount of man-hours necessary to create and maintain the content being shared on the website. We can then use the estimated hours to determine the number of people necessary to handle quality assurance, content publishing, support, and more.
How to Calculate Man-Hours
We’ll tackle this topic by looking at an example.
Let’s assume that it will take roughly 2 hours to write and publish an article that is 500 words in length. For accuracy’s sake, since statistics are ever-changing in our example industry, you need to review this content every six months. It would take about 30 minutes to review the piece. For this article, you’ll need to spend 2.5 hours to thoroughly create and maintain the article.
If you plan on creating 100 similar pieces of content for your website, you’ll need to set aside 250 man-hours to produce, review, and maintain this content. On average, an estimate of man-hours per person each year is in the neighborhood of 1750 hours. Example: 1750-250 = 1500.
Based on the information above, one person could successfully create and maintain all 100 articles with plenty of available man-hours to spare. In general, if you plan on creating more website content then our example above, you’ll need to have a bigger staff to create, review, and maintain it all.
An Estimate of Staffing Level Needs to be Based on Man-Hours and Website Size
If you intend to build a small website that only requires 1500 to 4000 hours per year, 1 to 2 people could successfully manage content creation and maintenance.
When building a medium-sized website requiring 4000 to 10,000 man-hours per year, a solid estimate is that 2 to 4 people will be needed to maintain and create the content.
If a large website is in the cards, requiring 10,000 hours or more per year, 5 or more people will be needed to create the content and maintain the website.
As you can see, it’s easier to plan manpower on a website team than you may have originally thought. Use these estimates to begin and adjust your needs accordingly as time progresses.