Most companies and organizations today find it difficult to handle making changes to their website themselves for a few reasons. First, there’s no time to do it. Second, it’s not the easiest thing to do (things can easily get messed up). Third, there’s no time to do it. This is why people are on the search for good website development maintenance services.
As you look for a website developer that does website maintenance, you should think about a few things to make sure you make the right decision. Full disclosure… these are things we’ve recognized and built into our business but they make sense and they are not things that every firm out there can deliver.
What to Look for With Website Development Maintenance
Not all web maintenance companies are the same. The biggest complaint we hear about other companies that they either don’t respond or take too long or both.
- Make sure they communicate well.
They need to respond to you once you submit your request and say that they received it. They need to tell you when it will be done (and stick to it as best as possible). They need to update you on progress every day or every other day for sure.
- Do they use a ticket system?
A ticket system is usually email based and it puts your request into a system so that requests are not lost. They help insure that nothing falls through the cracks.
- You need a quote before work begins.
Before they get going on a task, you should know how much it’s going to cost you so that there are no surprises later. At the least, you need a range of time.
- Do they offer flexible payment plans?
The way they bill has to make sense and has to be efficient so that it doesn’t encourage them to take longer than necessary on your project or list of tasks.
- Are there backups being stored?
If a page or code is being changed, what happens if it needs to be switched back? Is that possible?
- Is testing done?
Do they test their work in the latest web browsers? Is the work being tested by someone who didn’t do the work (a Testing Department)?
- Do you get a full report of what work was done?
You should get a nice, easy to read report when work was done. It should have URLs in it, showing where to see the work. You should see what is left to do and when it will be done. They should also keep a log of work that was done so that the next person that has to do work on your website sees a history of website maintenance work on your website. This will help cut down on errors in the future.
- Do they offer suggestions of what can be fixed or improved?
Since a website is really never finished, it really helps to get free advice/consulting from experts who see which tools and marketing techniques work well across a wide variety of industries. Taking their expert advice could increase leads, improve conversions and lead to more in sales and revenue.
This sounds simple, but you’d be amazed at how many companies out there do not provide all of this. What happens when they don’t do all of this is that your request either gets lost, you run into errors on your website or you get billed way too much.
Most of all, getting maintenance done on your website should be easy. It should not be a hassle. You should not feel nervous or scared when submitting a new maintenance request and wonder if it’ll get done. You don’t want to micromanage or babysit the work. You don’t want a million questions either, so choose a company with experience and expertise.
It Takes Smart People
One thing to understand about this kind of work is that it takes smart, intelligent people to do it. It’s not like normal, website development work – not at all. Having a dedicated Website Maintenance Department is difficult. Those people have to jump from project to project. They have to diagnose errors and fix them. They have to work with many kinds of website back-end systems. They have to be experts at a variety of web technologies, too. Plus, it’s always rush hour there.
It’s kind of like the busy time at a restaurant where everyone coming in is ordering off the menu.
Imagine that! They have to work on things and deliver things that they’ve maybe never seen before and they have to do it well, up to standards, and then move on to the next thing. You don’t want to trust this kind of work to amateurs – no way.
The thing about hiring a company to do website development maintenance is that you don’t want to choose the wrong one. If you do, you could end up with a website that’s broken or doesn’t work well… and the thing is, you might not find out it’s messed up for a while. Choose a company that treats every request with care and one that does testing and offers suggestions.