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Just like your car, websites need maintenance to keep getting good results.
Commercial Websites Require Ongoing Upkeep
Websites exist in a dynamic environment. Just think about the frequency with which browsers are updated with fixes, new features and security patches. And every application that is part of your website also has similar modifications over time. Not to mention updates to the server on which your site resides. So if you have more than an informational site, without ongoing maintenance, your website will not perform at its peak and, at worst, may even have increased vulnerability to malware exploits. Website maintenance is just good business.
Factors That Drive Website Maintenance
It is likely that your website, no matter how uncomplicated, will need some updates over time. Even simple websites should be checked on a regular basis for compatibility with current versions of the four main browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.
When You Need a Web Maintenance Plan
If your website has complicated elements, you should consider a website maintenance plan. The purpose of these plans is to help keep your site tuned for optimal performance, take backups in case you ever need to restore, and to be an early warning system for potential issues and/or necessary updates.
It is important to realize these plans are not all inclusive of future work you may need on your website. Some of the factors that determine the level of maintenance plan you need include:
- Number of plain HTML pages.
- Number of interactive forms that generate emails or write to a DB.
- Use of advanced programming languages (PHP/ASP/JSP/Others).
- Presence of and types of databases.
- Use of Content Management System (CMS) or Shopping Cart.
- Use of custom, client-specific components.
- Use of subdomains and other structural complexities.
What’s In Scope
Work is done daily, weekly and monthly for websites on maintenance programs. Depending on the characteristics of your site, this effort would generally take anywhere between 20 and 100 hours per month. Website maintenance work includes:
- Website Daily Monitoring
- Form Submissions Testing
- Testing Tuning [Cross Browser Compatibility, Functionality, Performance, Speed]
- Tuning [Documents, Links]
- Database Backup
- Database Optimization
- Website Backup
- Monthly Report: Real time website uptime report, server uptime, root cause analysis on recurring issues and possible solutions, monthly metrics on issues caused by server, system, users, etc., Google Analytics reports
What’s Not In Scope
Although many website maintenance plans do include a limited number of hours spent on content changes and client-requested updates, generally speaking, you can expect changes to your content will be out of scope. As will the addition of new pages, changes to navigation, new CMS templates and the like. Also out of scope would be database schema fixes and changes. Finally, upgrades to software installed on your site would be out of scope, including Joomla, Wordpress, etc. All of these would be items that would be billed separately outside of your website maintenance program, but are indeed necessary to assure a high-performance website.
Choose an Experienced Vendor for Complex Sites
If your website has any complexity, such as custom-built components or databases, you will want to choose an experienced vendor to maintain your website. It is not when the routine work is done that you’ll notice the value of your choice, but it is when things go wrong that you’ll want to rely on the efficiency, quality and speed of service of your vendor. Let us show you how LocalDirective has just the experience you need.
Unlike other website development companies that are skilled in either the design or the programming of websites, LocalDirective combines excellence in the three disciplines necessary for the highest possible return on your investment:
- Exceptional, award-winning graphic design combined with deep knowledge of interactive information architecture and usability.
- A programming team with experience that spans over decades and hundreds of complex projects.
- Exceptional online marketing knowledge, which is the basis for messaging and content development that yields stellar results.
Let the professionals at LocalDirective take a look under the hood to see what the problem is. We can have you up and running in no time, with a site that functions at peak performance.
To get started fill out the quick contact form to the left, or call us toll free at 1.866.925.9524. We’ll gather our experts and begin your website maintenance plan right away.