Here at Breaking Even, we offer website maintenance to our clients, whether we built the site or not. And here is when we give people choices: monthly fee or as needed.
Most clients seem to understand ‘as needed’ help. When they notice something extremely messed up on their website, they can give us a call. We can unhack the site or fix the major error.
The maintenance is a much harder sell but would really save some of these folks a lot of money (and possibly emotional distress) in the long run.
Here’s the thing: You can compare a website to anything that’s been built that you use in your daily life: your car, your house, your computer. All of those items require maintenance, most of it smaller tweaks to prevent larger problems in the future. You get the oil changed on your car regularly so it gives you better gas mileage and prolongs your engine life. You fix that crack in your foundation so it doesn’t get bigger and compromise the structural integrity of the house. You run software updates and regularly clean out files on your computer so it runs faster and you can keep it for five years instead of two.
You have to do the same thing on a website, and either you need to learn how to do it yourself or let someone do it for you.
Here are the kinds of smaller things that need to be regularly taken care of on a website:
- Add new content (delete old employees, change prices, add Pinterest icon to your social media bar, etc.)
- Figure out/fix weirdo issues that tend to crop up over time (weird spacing around your images, archive links not working, etc.)
- Update software of your website (if WordPress do this quarterly, if you have Joomla do so around the software update schedule)
- Update plugins/extra installed programs so they continue to function
You may not care about how your website performs but consider these scenarios which all actually happened to people I know:
- Someone hacks into the server because your website software is out of date and that infects 100 other websites that share the same server.
- A potential customer emails the contact form on your site for a price quote for a huge job and you never get receive it because you didn’t realize the form wasn’t working.
- An employee who died over a year ago is still on your site, making some site visitors uncomfortable when they visit.
In other words, your lack of maintenance could not only make you lose money but could effect your customers and even people you don’t even know in a negative way.
So make sure your website is up to date on a monthly basis, whether you log in yourself and do it or pay someone like us to do it. By fixing issues when they are small, it prevents them from becoming larger. In websites and in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.