Thinking of adding interactivity to your web site? Depending on the use, Interactive elements in a web site can be great additions. Examples include, photo galleries, event calendars, web blogs, information request forms, and many more.
However, adding interactivity can also be a detriment to your web site if not managed properly. The key questions to ask yourself before considering adding these components are:
1) Who is going to be the champion in your organization who will update this information on a regular basis? Nothing is worse than visiting a site with an Event Calendar and the last entry was June 1999.
2) What value does this added functionality bring to your organizations, your existing customers or prospects. If you cannot clearly define at the beginning the reasons why you are adding functions to your web site, maybe you should not be.
3) How easy is it to switch your hosting, upgrade the component piece or extract the data. In terms of switching hosting providers, I recommend to clients to stay away from software or scripts that are not compatible with .php, ASP or ASP.net. The reason is simple, if you go with a proprietary solution running on a server and want to switch later, you could end up paying hugh dollars down the road.
With respect to upgrading the software, just make sure you find what the process is for updating and the typical costs. The last component is the extraction of data. I usually recommend that any components you install should be database driven. This will allow you easy access to extract the data into an Excel file for usage later.