Website Maintenance: Expectations vs. Reality

Website Maintenance: Expectations vs. Reality

Jul 26, 2021

Many web design and web development agencies cringe when they hear a client ask if they also provide website maintenance. It’s a service that is in high demand and one that could be upsold to the majority of clients, but there are several reasons why many shy away from offering it.

There is the time commitment required to provide a high-quality website maintenance service, the potential liabilities associated with handling the updates and having direct access to the backend and server of a website, among other things.

What if you were able to provide website maintenance as a service and streamline the process through the use of an advanced feature-packed ticketing system? Our solution provides this option and it’s used by some of the largest website development and design agencies in the country.

Let’s review some of the more common website maintenance misconceptions along with the reality of each. While some of the common reasons for not wanting to extend website maintenance as a service are valid, it’s something to consider knowing there is a viable option to help you streamline and manage the entire process. This is an easy way to keep clients happy and signed to long-term contracts.

Time Commitment

The time commitment required to provide adequate upkeep and maintenance is one of the most common website maintenance misconceptions, and one of the main reasons many design and development companies shy away from offering it as a service.

Misconceptions: When a client has a website change request it doesn’t matter how big or small it is – someone from the agency must log in and make the changes within an acceptable amount of time. The manpower required to log in and edit a blog post title is the same time commitment required to log in to the server and update CPanel email MX records.

Also, what if the client has a high number of requests? Many agencies assume that these requests will cause a bottleneck, and pull their team away from more important design and development tasks.

Reality: Yes, it can take a substantial amount of manpower and time to handle all of the website change requests that a client would typically send to you while on a website maintenance plan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a separate division that handles these requests if the service grows in popularity.

Using our ticketing system you can keep track of all inbound website change requests and track the time required to complete each request. This allows you to bill or deduct credits accordingly. When executed correctly this provides your agency with an additional revenue stream.

Offering this as a service leads to increased client satisfaction, as you are able to extend an additional service to them that they desire and one that adds additional revenue to your client retainers month after month.

Workflow

Web design and development agencies rely on smooth workflow and processes to complete projects on time and meet deadlines. Hitting milestones on time means keeping clients satisfied and staying within the budget. Too much time on a particular milestone can lead to increased backend costs which dip into profits and delayed projects, which lead to unhappy clients.

Misconceptions: Many agencies shy away from offering website maintenance because they don’t want to be pulled away from large projects to address small tasks. While they might be small from a technical standpoint, they require time and manpower. This time is better allocated working on the larger projects; ones that are responsible for generating revenue for the agency.

Reality: Your agency can integrate our ticketing system to keep track of all requests, organizing the entire process from initial request to completing the task and the closing of the ticket.

Just as workflow and processes keep your design and development projects on track, having a ticketing solution for website edits and change requests allow you to track everything and stay on top of all inbound requests, and bill accordingly. There is no disruption of workflow as everything is documented and tracked.

Expertise

With so many different aspects of keeping a website running smoothly and online at all times, it’s something most business owners are better off allowing their website design and development agency to handle. This provides them with the peace of mind knowing that any potential issue, as well as updates, will be handled correctly.

Furthermore, the typical business doesn’t have the technical know-how to handle most website maintenance issues, thus calling on their agency to handle anyway.

Misconceptions: Some businesses think they can cut costs by handling their own website maintenance, but they quickly learn that unexpected situations arise, from DDoS attacks happen or there are DNS issues with name servers.

When there is a server-side issue it requires a great deal of expertise to not only identify the root of the problem but to also come up with a fast-acting solution. An offline website means no sales and a poor experience for its users. Many businesses, especially high-traffic volume websites, cannot afford any downtime.

Reality: Thinking upkeep and server updates can be easily performed with little to no technical experience is one of the most common website maintenance misconceptions. While some basic tasks like updating WordPress or its plugins to the latest versions are somewhat straightforward, what happens in the event of a plugin update causing an error and breaking the website, causing it to go down?

When this happens the business needs to contact their web agency to fix the issue. What if it occurs outside of business hours or on the weekend? A website being down for numerous days would be a severe blow to many businesses, taking a lot of time to recover from.

Being on a website maintenance plan and retainer guarantees that all updates and upgrades will be rolled out using best practices and be overseen by a team of experts. In the event of a plugin or app update conflicting with the website, there is a team readily available to make the necessary edits and corrections within the website’s code.

Final Thoughts

The abovementioned website maintenance misconceptions are what typically causes businesses to attempt to handle their own upkeep, only to learn first-hand that it’s best to have an expert handle it.

Website maintenance becomes more advanced and complex as your site increases in size. This can be due to an aggressive content marketing strategy that includes new blog posts being published regularly, or an e-commerce website with thousands of products and an ever-expanding line.

Outsourcing a website’s maintenance to an experiences design and development agency will end up saving a business time and money while allowing them to focus their time and energy on more productive business-growth initiatives.

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