Is your website performing as well as it should? Probably not — unless you have a professional web designer doing regular website maintenance and fixes.
Websites aren’t “fire-and-forget” projects. Those that are treated as such invariably fail. They are marketing vehicles in an ongoing race against your competitors. So, they won’t get you far without proper maintenance, the right fuel (great content) and good driving (digital marketing).
Unfortunately, some designers don’t even offer ongoing website maintenance, whilst many others will only maintain sites they’ve built themselves. Then, of course, there are sites built by amateurs and cheap or inexperienced designers whose own businesses soon fold, leaving clients high and dry.
If something like that has happened to you, you’re in the right place. I do offer fixes for third-party sites. In fact, I’ve saved quite a few third-party projects over the years.
How Can I Help You?
Well, for a start, I can help your site grow with a wide range of services like SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing. Sometimes there are deeper problems though. Many websites under-perform in one or more of these areas:
- Mobile-friendliness — mobile web use is the norm, so you’re leaving money on the table if your site fails Google’s mobile-friendliness test
- Security — “SSL” security (the green padlock displayed in your browser) increases trust, sales and search positioning. It’s vital if you’re selling online or processing visitors personal data (including form inputs) and just plain good sense in any case. Editable sites are also easier to hack than non-editable ones, so they need regular security updates
- Speed — visitors won’t wait for slow sites. It’s rarely possible to get perfect scores on speed tests like GTmetrix, but it’s worth getting the best scores you can
- Conversion Rates — All the elements above affect how likely visitors are to become customers, but so do visual design, usability and content. It’s not just about looking good. Designers and digital marketers study how different layouts and site features impact user behaviour and conversion rates. This “Conversion Rate Optimisation” (CRO) is the science of improving your bottom line
…or you may just want to fix or add features to your site, or feel it’s time for a redesign. The web moves fast, so sites can look dated after just a couple of years.
Website Maintenance Options
I offer several flexible approaches to website maintenance and fixes:
One-off or ‘Ad Hoc’ Website Fixes
Simple site edits can be provided at the rates outlined below. More complex work generally needs to start with a paid “Discovery” phase. In either case, the first time I work on a system, a four-hour time-block is the minimum practical engagement.
Websites are built on many different platforms, using programs written in many languages by millions of coders with their own coding styles. It takes time to diagnose problems, design and implement solutions — and to test them once they’re in place. That’s true even for someone like me, with over 20 years’ experience in building websites and another 20 in computing.
Because troubleshooting can be so unpredictable, I offer my time in pre-paid blocks, with discounts for larger blocks, as noted below. A 4-hour prepaid block is often enough to cover the Discovery phase and to implement a few simple fixes or edits.
Recurring Website Maintenance
Editable websites need regular security updates. These are so important that my “Pro Hosting Plus” package includes these as standard. If you want to use a different host, I can offer similar updates for WordPress-based sites (given full access) for just £40 per month.
Website Care Plans
I also offer two general Care Plans on retainer:
- Standard Care Plan: one hour per month for just £75 per month
- Budget Care Plan: one hour per two months for just £40 per month
These options can be stacked if you need site edits, consultation or troubleshooting more frequently. Hours unused within 6 months are non-refundable, but can accumulate over that time. E.g. if you don’t use the time, after 6 months the Standard Care Plan you will have 6 hours of work available.
What Platforms Do I Work With?
I’ve worked with a lot of different platforms and technologies, but these days, the ones that I usually work with include:
- HTML, CSS — the most basic “markup languages” of the web, used to construct and style page layouts
- WordPress, WooCommerce, Prestashop — some of the most popular “open source” applications for building editable websites and e-commerce systems. WordPress alone runs over 25% of all websites. I do occasionally work with others though — including bespoke-coded systems — so feel free to ask
- The “LAMP stack” — Linux machines, Apache web servers, MySQL databases and PHP for server-side programming, e.g. building editable pages, or processing data and forms. WordPress and the other applications noted above use a LAMP stack
What Can’t I Offer?
It’s worth noting that I’m unlikely to be able to help with:
- Sites for which you are unable to provide an admin-level login. I’ll usually need need “FTP” access, too — but that depends on what you want done
- Sites whose pages end in “.asp”, “.aspx” or “.jsp”. These use ASP/.NET (Microsoft) and Java technologies that are usually proprietary and/or encrypted
- Sites built on cheap DIY platforms like Wix. These have built in limitations; you can’t turn a skateboard into a Ferrari.