‘A website is for life, not just for Christmas.…’ This should be a mantra all companies adopt when they decide to invest time, energy and money in launching a shiny new website.
However, once your website is launched and gone live, then what? In this article, we discuss the next steps, how to look after your WordPress website post launch and how much time you may need to spend doing this.
At 93digital all web design and development projects come with a 30 day warranty period once the site has launched and gone live (or as we like to call it ‘ELS’ or ‘Early Life Support’). This period allows time for the client to flag any bugs that slipped past in quality assurance and user acceptance testing, and for our WordPress development team to resolve these. But what happens beyond the 30 days? This is really something that all businesses should be considering well before the website is launched.
For a website to remain effective and relevant to users it should be maintained and updated. You may have an in-house team who will update the content on the site, but have you thought beyond refreshing content? To ensure your website stays updated, you should pick a dedicated person in-house who has the appropriate time, technical capability, UX/UI and analytics skills if you need to do something more complex or advanced on your website. If this may not be possible, you should consider investing in an ongoing website support plan/retainer.
Below is a handy list of things to consider and benefits of having a website support retainer.
Do you have all the experience and skills in-house to meet your website goals?
When new features and functionality need to be deployed on your website, such as designing and building a new landing page, a new API integrations or fixing urgent bugs, does your business have all the necessary skills and experience to undertake your requirements? Having a dedicated WordPress development agency on a monthly retainer helps to manage this entire process and ensures that your website stays ahead.
Who will undertake regular WordPress maintenance on your website?
At the very least, your WordPress website needs to be maintained on a monthly basis. WordPress themes, plugins and WordPress itself require updating. WordPress updates help keep your website safe and bug free as well as make sure you have the newest features, better compatibility and a smooth WordPress experience.
As part of an ongoing support retainer with 93digital, we perform monthly maintenance on a website. All themes, plugins & WordPress itself are updated to keep your site in top condition. Sometimes, similar to any programme changes, an update may not play well with others. This could be due to a variety of things such as plugin and theme conflicts or programming errors. So it’s great to find an in-house person or an external agency who can be responsible for performing the regular maintenance.
How many support hours will you need after your website has launched and gone live?
There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to working out how many support hours you might need each month. Typically, at a very minimum – we recommend 2 hours per month in order to undertake any necessary updates to WordPress and plugins. But if you want to allow time for ongoing design and development time within a retainer, it’s worthwhile having an internal discussion first about what kind of support and changes you may need undertaken on your website in the future. Our team can recommend a range of hours initially based on your needs and this can always be reviewed going forward.
An ongoing support retainer builds a strong partnership with your chosen agency
The longer the web development agency is involved with your business, the more it learns about the specifics of your company and operational model, and can become an extended part of your team.
A retained agency will already understand your goals and priorities for the website. This means that when you have work to do on the website, briefing is easy as the team already know your website and can get straight to work. Each time a new agency works on your website, they need to have time to familiarise themselves with the website and understand how it has been built and what code is in the back-end. By having a long term relationship with a dedicated agency this can reduce that costly time spent when a website is initially handed over by the client.
A dedicated agency can provide on-demand, priority support
Rather than reaching out to a WordPress agency as/when a problem arises or a change to your website is needed, having an agency that you partner with means you’ll have a dedicated team you can go to and get priority support.
Being a specialist WordPress agency, 93digital know WordPress inside and out. We have the knowledge and expertise to help get problems fixed quickly and easily. You’ll know who to turn to right away, without having to find a service provider who can help with the site’s specific issues.
Do you have a question about how to best manage your website on an ongoing basis? Get in touch with us to discuss your website needs and how we could help.
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