Website maintenance services are generally wrapped up as a package of on-going support that includes various upgrades, security, and administration services.
Website maintenance aims to keep your website up to date, protected from emerging security threats and relevant to your business goals.
The amount of website maintenance you will need depends on the following factors:
Generally speaking the larger your website is, the more that needs to be covered and additionally the more that your brand relies on having a web presence the more important it is to have maintenance to stay online.
Arguably the top priority in maintenance packages is to keep your website secure. This is usually done, by:
Web security is a continuously moving goal post, every day hackers find new ways to exploit systems and every day developers come up with new techniques to prevent this.
Updating to the latest version or changing best practices often creates compatibility issues, this is because newer versions either come with feature-breaking changes or security fixes that require further implementation changes.
Keeping your website up to date includes both updating the required components but also then adapting your website implementation to be compatible.
Maintenance can be thought of more as ongoing development. Developers will continuously work on your website to ensure that the purpose it fulfills evolves alongside with your business, this can be in the form of:
By continuously working on your website it can be constantly aligned to your business goals.
This is in contrast to not using maintenance, allowing your website to slowly fall out of sync with your business goals, becoming exposed to preventable exploits and having an unsuitable solution running until you are forced to engage in a full website redesign & rebuild.
Maintenance done right ensures your website is always the best it can be, delivers maximum results and doesn’t require more than occasional facelifts.
Generally as websites scale their performance degrades, with a maintenance package these sorts of performance degradations are monitored and eventually patched out to improve performance.
This happens because of a software development methodology where developers generally only create features for the purpose and scale which is required at the time to keep to reasonable budgets. Conversely creating highly scalable features would also be highly expensive and for the most part wholly unnecessary.
A maintenance package allows developers to passively work on features as they identify the scaling issues which would eventually slow down or entirely grind the site down to a halt, by capturing it early and often you end up with the most optimum development cost by only ever paying for the features and scale that you actually end up needing.
The best package for website maintenance will depend on the needs of your website.
A website that receives minimal traffic or has fewer pages may need a cheaper website maintenance package. If you have a website that generates a lot of traffic or has a large number of pages, you will likely need a more expensive website maintenance package.
Unfortunately there is no objective cost, because both requirements and the services offered vary so wildly.
A better way to workout cost is to create an impact analysis that answers the following questions for your business:
Once you know the cost impact of not having website maintenance you will have a figure of how much you stand to lose, anything up to that figure is your budget.
The second half is working out if your budget is suitable as website maintenance is performed by developers that command a high salary so they must be suitably compensated and able to profit from the work they will be putting in.
By doing this you will find that either:
Generally your options are agencies or freelancers, often your scale and budget will dictate where you go.
If you have a medium to large scale business you may have too much work for any one freelancer to be able to cope with which puts you in the realm of agencies.
If your website reliance is fairly intermediary then you may find you have a choice to make between freelancers and agencies, where generally freelancers can offer a lower cost, while agencies can provide wider knowledge or expertise.
If you have a minor reliance on your website you may find that a freelancer is your main choice, although if you are heavily constrained by budget you may have to look into outsourcing from cheapers parts of the world.
Bespoke Website Maintenance Solutions
There are a large variety of options available for website maintenance and you will most likely be able to customise your package to suit your needs.
You don’t always have to opt in to all of the services that maintenance packages offer. You could opt to have security updates only if you are looking to avert risk. Alternatively you could choose to have security every month with features, updates only quarterly or every half year etc.
You may however find it difficult to attain a maintenance package that does not include security as this is one of the key projections offered.