Developing a website is always fun experience. After creating your beautiful business website, it is not all done and dusted. There is still work ahead to ensure that you keep the site up and running without any glitches. With any project, you must have a maintenance plan in place to achieve this all important objective.
Why Maintenance Plan
It is essential for every website owner to have a maintenance plan immediately after it is installed on a production server. Implementing a maintenance plan will have the primary benefit of keeping your website running and free from embarrassing situations even before visitors take notice of them.
In extreme scenarios, you can forget about being embarrassed and worry about losing your business and investments. The web is field with people who have made it their full-time job of tearing down the sites of competitor businesses. We are all at risk! You could wake up one day to find your website unavailable because someone has managed to gain access and corrupted the configuration files or even deleting the entire site.
In other situations, the hosting company may have upgraded their servers and may require you to make code changes, upgrade your development framework, plugins and themes. Failure to implement such changes will have serious implications such as triggering server errors or some components not working properly.
The process of putting together a maintenance plan will help you think through all the possible problems that could arise in the future and mitigate them. You will be able to categorize the problems in terms of their priority and frequency of implementation. For example, creating backups for your site is considered a high priority area and can be scheduled daily, weekly or monthly.
There are two main options available to all website owners; decide to do it yourself and contract the services of a third party to handle everything at a cost.
If you are more of the techie type and have enough time on your hands, handling your own maintenance tasks could be a way to go. However, making adequate time for it and still running a business can be a difficult task for many business owners.
The other option is using the services of another company. Contracting the services of a third party will help free a lot of your time and energy to focus on your core business. For those without any knowledge and skill to carry out website maintenance plan, using a third party services will be the only practical solution.
The company charged with such responsibility will manage everything from general administration, security, performance monitoring, website and database backups (local or cloud), framework core updates, component updates, theme updates, content updates, migration, among other issues.
The Cost of Maintenance Plan
The cost of maintaining a website will vary depending on the extent of the plan. Again, using the backup example, the frequency of the backup will impact on cost. Additionally, whether it is a local or cloud backup or both will also impact cost.
Some companies will allow for specific number of support tickets from the client. Again, the allowable number of support tickets will influence the level cost as well. For example, you can find something in the region of 5 tickets per month to unlimited tickets per month.
Before deciding on which maintenance plan to choose, look at your budget and the needs of your business.