If you’re looking for a website maintenance service, it’s important to do your research before hiring one. Use this guide from Graticle Design as a starting point and be sure to ask the right questions during the initial consultation. Knowing what to look for will help ensure that you make an informed decision about which company is best suited for your needs.
A website is a significant investment for any company. It’s often the first impression of a business, and there are many reasons why your site might need updates on a regular basis. Perhaps you want to add new features or sections to your site. Or maybe you want more control over what you do on social media without having an expensive team on payroll. If you want to continue expanding your online presence, it’s essential to find a website maintenance service.
Graticle Design is here with some tips on what you need to know before hiring a website maintenance service.
What Does Website Maintenance Entail?
You can’t expect your site to stay up-to-date without proper care and attention. Even if you have a well-built site, it still needs to be updated from time to time. Whether you need hourly updates or just want your website refreshed periodically, here are some of the common tasks that a website maintenance service provider can provide for your business:
Design changes – The design and layout of your site is crucial to its success. Many of your clients will judge you based on what they see online, especially if it’s their first impression of your business. Your site should be clear and easy to read, with enough text to answer any questions a client might have before making a purchase.
If you need help updating the design or layout of your website, it’s best to hire a professional for this job. Editing website code can be especially complex if you don’t have the necessary skills.
SEO services – If your site is not receiving organic traffic through Google or another search engine, then it’s probably time to hire some SEO professionals. Not only will they identify what you need to do differently, but they can help increase your visibility and even suggest other strategies that will help you stay competitive.
Security and maintenance – Even the best websites need some updates from time to time. If your website is hacked, contains malware or acquires a poor online reputation, it can damage your business and deter clients and prospects from doing business with you.
If you want to keep your site secure and perform regular maintenance, contact a website maintenance service provider who has an in-house team. Some providers rely entirely on freelance web designers, which can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous for your business.
What Should You Consider Before Hiring One?
Making the decision to hire a website maintenance service is only part of the process. There are several factors that you need to consider before choosing a provider, including your budget, the amount of work you want to do on your own and what you need help with.
Here are some additional questions that you should ask before signing a contract:
Can I afford this? – Hiring a website maintenance service is an ongoing expense that could cost more than you expect. Some providers have hidden costs or charge higher prices for longer projects. Others will claim to be the best in the industry, but they come with a much higher price tag than other providers.
Who does the work? – A website maintenance service provider might not always have an in-house team of web designers and developers. This can be a problem if you need help updating your site on a regular basis. You don’t want to risk hiring someone who can’t even maintain their own website.
What are your long-term goals? – Ask the provider how often they update sites like your business and what strategies they use to keep clients satisfied. If you want hourly updates during the day, make sure the company is equipped to work on your site with this level of access.
What happens if I need to stop services? – You might not be able to maintain your website forever, especially if you have a realtor website that stops selling homes after just a few months. Make sure you ask what happens if you want to cancel service before the contract is up. Some providers have hefty fees for early termination, while others will allow you to end the service without penalty.
How is their response time? – It’s not uncommon to have a question while you’re working on your site. If the website maintenance service provider has an in-house team, they should be able to provide support immediately when you need help. Otherwise, find out how long it takes for them to respond and what types of issues can affect their response time.
Do I need any special skills to maintain my site? – Since you’re paying for these services, you should be able to do as much as possible on your own. If the provider offers training and there’s a limit on the amount of work that they can do without your instruction, you might not receive the best value.
What types of updates should I expect? – Not every website needs to be updated on a regular basis. Some providers might push for more changes than you want, which can become overwhelming and cut into your budget. Others might not offer enough support or provide updates that are too basic.
What is included in the package? – Different website maintenance service providers offer different packages, so it’s important to find out exactly what each option includes. Also, some providers will charge more for additional services after the initial contract is signed, while others include all of these changes in their base price.
What are your own website maintenance service provider’s policies? – When you’re looking for a website maintenance service company, make sure to ask questions about what they are doing on their own website as well as what they recommend for their clients. This should help you find a provider that comes up with solutions based on your questions and requests.
What do you need help with? – If you want to learn how to maintain your website so that you can work on it throughout the year, a website maintenance service provider might not be the best option. However, if you need assistance with content management or want someone to help you update your website regularly, look for a provider that can meet your needs without charging an arm and leg.
What are the payment options? – Some website maintenance service providers only accept cash payments while others might take credit cards or checks. You should also find out if there are any other fees, such as a percentage of your website’s overall cost.
Do you provide training? – In order to make sure that you can maintain the site on your own, look for a provider that offers webinars or online tutorials. These could include video instructions that show you how to best use your website and what changes should be avoided.
What will you do if I’m not satisfied? – This might seem like an obvious question, but it’s important to find out what happens if you want to end the website maintenance service relationship early or if there are problems with the work they provide. A good provider should stick with you through any issues and come up with a solution that satisfies your needs.
Is there a warranty? – You might not want to think about having a problem with your website, but it’s always good to know what would happen if something went wrong. If the provider offers a warranty on their work and services, they should be more than willing to fix all errors for some set period of time.
What is your company’s expertise? – Some website maintenance service providers offer the bare minimum, giving you updates on your site without providing extensive assistance. Look for someone who is prepared to offer solutions for more complex problems related to your specific business type.
Who handles website hosting? – If you already have a webmaster for your site, ask them if they are willing to work with your website maintenance service provider to make sure everything is compatible. You should also see if the provider has an account manager or someone who can handle this aspect of the project.
Choosing the right company to take care of your website maintenance is important. You want someone who understands how to repair code, updates plugins and themes, installs security patches, monitors traffic on a regular basis for any potential issues that might arise from cyber attacks or spam bots, etc. Make sure you ask them what they provide at their initial consultation so you can make an informed decision about which company would be best suited for your needs. Graticle Design specializes in this type of work and we’re happy to help! Contact us today (360) 450-3711 if you have any questions about our services or are ready to schedule an appointment with us now. We look forward to hearing from you soon!