Saturday, 29 October 2011

Website maintenance issues

Website maintenance is yet another area that has developed into a business segment of its own in the iMedia industry in the last few years. We used to remind you to check with your clients how and when they might want maintenance done, so that you could cost it into the deal for the initial project, but maintenance issues have grown as businesses have recognised the value of regularly updating their content and services because their users expect this.

It used to be recommended that companies take notice of their websites more seriously for updates on look and feel factors every 6 months. However, as web access has become the first point of interaction with a company, the onus on updating has increased too. Therefore, maintenance means more time, more costs, and more resources.

What then does website maintenance cover? If you are offering a maintenance service you would have considered this carefully. It might well cover the following:
  • Editorial updates for content
  • Changes to services/products offered
  • Advice to users in the form of newsletters, blogs, announcements, offers, calendar of events etc
  • Seasonal promotions etc
  • Redesign of look and feel
  • Changing images to give update appeal
  • Review of search engine optimisation
  • Checking on submission terms/timings
  • Analysis of web logs and recommendations
How many people will be involved? Well, that depends on the site, of course and the type of activity needed and how often, but, you'll find this resource from Shane Dillily useful; an abridged Chapter 2 from his book, The Website Manager's Handbook 2006, called Website Maintenance, very useful in answering that type of query.

Have you researched how your competitors are offering their maintenance services? You need to keep an eye on what's being offered and how much it costs. The Websiteaday company have split their maintenance offers into three: Pay-as-you-go, Basic, and Advanced packages.

This might make you think how you are offering maintenance services. Do you give an SLA (Service Level Agreement) to your clients detailing what you will and won't provide for the money? Do they ask for one? These are recommended at Small Business Website Maintenance so you may well get asked for them.

It is hard keeping on top of everything in this business but to survive you do need to charge fairly and offer the type of service the clients want. Lots of food for thought then...

17 comments:

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