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Website Maintenance

Website MaintenanceIs your website per­forming as well as it should? Probably not — unless you have a pro­fes­sional web designer doing regular website main­tenance.

Web­sites aren’t “fire-and-forget” pro­jects. Those treated as such invariably fail. They are mar­keting vehicles in an ongoing race against  your com­pet­itors. So, they won’t get you far without the right fuel (great content), good driving (digital mar­keting) and skilled regular main­tenance.

Some designers don’t offer ongoing website main­tenance, though. Many others only support sites they’ve built. Amateur and cheap designers often dis­appear too, leaving clients high and dry.

If that has happened to you, let me know. I have saved many third-party pro­jects over the years.

Why Do Websites Need Maintenance?

The fast-changing web can  break any site. So without main­tenance, web­sites develop problems with:

  • Mobile-friend­liness — mobile web use is the norm, so you’re losing sales if your site fails Google’s mobile-friend­liness test
  • Security — site security is good for SEO, and vital if you’re selling online or pro­cessing visitor data
  • Out­dated Software — old systems are easy targets for hackers, and can stop you from adding other new fea­tures, too
  • Speed — vis­itors won’t wait for slow sites. Perfect scores on speed tests like GTmetrix are rarely pos­sible, but worth trying for
  • Con­version Rates — all the above can stop vis­itors becoming cus­tomers. So can poor site layout, usab­ility and content. “Con­version Rate Optim­isation” (CRO) boosts your bottom line

…or you may just want to fix errors or add fea­tures to your site, or feel it’s time for a redesign. Updating non-editable (“static”) sites also requires coding skills, so you may need help with that, too.

Website Maintenance Plans

Security Update Maintenance

Security updates are essential for editable sites. So my “Pro Hosting Plus” and “Business Hosting Plus” packages include them as standard. If you want to use a dif­ferent host, I can offer similar daily mon­it­oring and security updates for Word­Press-based sites for just £45 per month. Please contact me if that interests you.

Basic Maintenance Plan

Looking for simple ongoing support? My Basic Main­tenance Plan provides up to an hour of fixes, content edits or phone/email con­sultation each month, for just £45 per month. Unused time expires after 30 days.

The Basic Main­tenance Plan has a three month minimum con­tract, then renews monthly.

Other Site Support: Troubleshooting, Edits & Advice

Most tasks involve dia­gnosis, design (for content, layout or code solu­tions), imple­ment­ation, testing and feedback from you. These can rarely be pre­dicted pre­cisely, so prepaid Credits sim­plify billing.

Each Credit nor­mally covers an hour of work. Credits are non-refundable, but stay on your account until used (up to 100 Credits — any­thing beyond that must be used within a month).

Credit Blocks

You can buy Credits singly, or more cost-effective blocks, as needed:

Block£90 (£90/credit)
£300 (£75/credit)
£480 (£60/credit)

Website Care Plans

Saving up Credits on a Care Plan can be a great way to spread the cost of future work. Sites often look dated after just a couple of years, but saving one credit a month over that time is likely to cover most redesigns.

So that’s what my website main­tenance “Care Plans” let you do. They also limit the price of any “top up” Credits, if those are needed, and provide up to one free hour of con­sultation each month. That’s in addition to the Credits, but these hours don’t accu­mulate.

Monthly Credits12510
Care Plan (Monthly)£75 (£75/credit) Buy now£150 (£75/credit) Buy now£300 (£60/credit) Buy now£500 (£50/credit) Buy now

Care Plans have a three month minimum con­tract, then renew monthly. I don’t cur­rently charge VAT.

Site Maintenance FAQS

Can a Website Care Plan Boost My Sales?

Yes — because Credits can be used to pay for most of my ser­vices*, from web design and con­sultation to content mar­keting and my “SEO Plus” plans — which include a wide range of digital mar­keting options. The SEO Plus plans are really just Care Plans that default to building links instead of accu­mu­lating unused Credits. * Just not Loc­al­Crowd or my social posting and done-for-you social media mar­keting ser­vices, sorry.

How can I help to keep costs down?

Beyond buying Credits in bulk, here are a few more ways to keep your website main­tenance cost-effi­cient:
  • Provide as much info as pos­sible up-front. This includes content, details of the problem, and (if it’s the first time I’m working on your site) the fol­lowing login details:
    • An admin login for your CMS, if applicable
    • An (S)FTP account login (including the server name and any other rel­evant details)
  • Book early. My time is in demand. If you have a deadline, don’t leave it until the last minute — or even the last day, week or month! If I have to work overtime to meet your deadline, every two hours (or) part of that overtime will cost an extra credit.
  • Batch small edits — as long as that doesn’t cause a big delay. It’s more effi­cient to address several small jobs in one go than sep­ar­ately.
  • Details really matter — including precise URLs and error mes­sages for troubleshooting. Please try to list the steps needed to reproduce the problem — it’s hard to fix stuff unless I can see it hap­pening.
  • Be ready to provide prompt feedback, espe­cially for work on dead­lines (or let me know when you will be available for this). Devel­oping solu­tions involves testing them, getting your feedback, and reworking them as necessary. Unex­pected delays in responses make scheduling harder and repeating requests for info takes time.
  • Trust my exper­ience. Nat­urally, I’ll outline what you really need to know from a business per­spective and answer a few ques­tions, but detailed dis­cus­sions do take bil­lable time.
  • Use a password manager and secure pass­words. Really. They save time and reduce hacking. I recommend KeePass because it’s free and multi-platform, but some paid ones may be a little more user-friendly.

What if my credits run out before my work is complete?

I’ll let you know in advance if this seems likely, so that you can pur­chase more. If you are on a Care Plan, these “top up” hours will be at the effective hourly rate shown for your current plan. Oth­erwise, the Block rates will apply.

What platforms do you work with?

I’ve worked with many dif­ferent tech­no­logies, but these days, mostly:
  • HTML, CSS — the most basic “markup lan­guages” of the web, used to con­struct and style page layouts
  • JavaS­cript, jQuery — these make pages do more than just dis­playing text, links, images and forms
  • Word­Press, Woo­Com­merce, OpenCart, PrestaShop — among the most popular “open source” CMS and e‑commerce systems. Word­Press alone runs over 25% of all web­sites. I do occa­sionally work with other “LAMP stack” systems though (including bespoke-coded web applic­a­tions), so feel free to ask

It’s worth noting that I’m unlikely to be able to help with:

  • Sites built on cheap DIY plat­forms like Wix, as those have built in lim­it­a­tions
  • Sites whose pages end in “.asp”, “.aspx” or “.jsp”. These use ASP/.NET (Microsoft) and Java tech­no­logies that are often pro­pri­etary and/or encrypted
Need help choosing a website main­tenance plan?

Get in touch today!