Websites are out of date the minute they are created. Depressing but true.
With all of the software that is required to run a modern website there are always updates being made to themes, plugins and the core WordPress software. This is needed to keep everything working correctly and securely. Not only that, search engines are always changing their policies. For example, if your website is more then 5 years old you are probably lacking in social and sharing aspects, you won’t be mobile friendly and you wont be using SSL. You might even be using technologies that are now considered old, or obsolete such as flash.
With the prospect of having to keep your website current and secure, you can either take the reactive approach and wait until your website breaks, looks embarrassing or gets hacked, or you can have it kept up-to-date proactively. The trouble with being proactive is that you will need to budget for a full refresh every few years. We can help with that.
We can setup a monthly fund that is ring-fenced for future website developments. This way, whenever there is a change needed for developments due to software becoming obsolete or Google deciding that you need SSL, or something else, you will always have a fund ready and we can keep your website current. This means you don’t run into the situation of your website becoming a fossil without you realising. When this happens you end up having to find a chunk of cash to update it. With the Development Agreement we will make suggestions as time goes by so that your website stays current and does not slip into the trap of growing old and being neglected.
Depending on how many plugins you have or how much functionality your website has, you will typically have 5 or more plugins running your forms, photos, audio, image sliders, shop and more. These will need to be updated periodically and we recommend monthly updates and maintenance should be carried out on plugins and software these days.
We can offer you guidance on this and may be able to help if something is not working correctly, however, with so much being updated so often we now recommend monthly or even weekly updates to websites, plugins and themes. The core software is regularly updated on our hosting and is updated whenever there is a stable version available. This alone means that your theme and plugins need to be updated to keep up with the latest version of WordPress.
With us you have 3 options.
- Start a maintenance agreement with us and we will do it all
- Leave it until something breaks – this may need development and fixing time
- Update plugins and themes yourself
What does it cost?
This varies depending on your website and requirements. However, as a guide this is based on how many plugins your website has and what we think the amount of time will be over 1 year. Your core WordPress software is updated with your hosting package (with us), but plugins and themes are not. You can either have us do this for a regular favourable payment (20% off our ad hoc hourly rate). For example, if we think it will be 10 hours per year, we charge that over a 12 month contract and you pay monthly. We log the time we spend and provide a report of activity and time taken. If the time is less than the amount you have paid over the year, we roll that money over and can adjust your monthly payment accordingly. You can use any rolled over balance to carry out maintenance or make updates to your website.
If we do maintenance at your request, it is typically when something has already gone wrong. Reactive maintenance is usually time intensive because it often requires us to resolve a hacked or broken website due to the software not being updated regularly. As such, we charge hourly for this. Proactive and regular maintenance usually avoids this scenario. The analogy is servicing your car versus not servicing it. The choice is yours. Likewise, if you are competent you can opt to do the maintenance yourself.