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Monthly Maintenance vs Ad Hoc Updates

Recently, I had a client approach me and their checkout system was not working. For an online shop, this is a disaster! You are essentially closed for business and that means no income, poor user-experience and lost trust of the brand. This client is not on a maintenance package and prefers to just do the basics from time to time.

For the most part, that will be fine. They don’t see the importance of a website maintenance plan and sometimes a client will not have the budget for it either. It’s understandable…BUT…let me share with you why a maintenance plan is so very important for your business website, especially if you are using it for online purchases.

When you are on a maintenance plan, and let me say one of our maintenance plans because not all maintenance plans are the same, you receive so much more than a few updates a month and this could actually save you money in the long run!

What you actually Get

When you sign up for a maintenance plan you may think that you are just paying for a few changes in a month at a reduced cost and, while you are paying for this, there are other things that you are also getting:

  • Peace of Mind – If something goes wrong or you have a question, you can easily call up / email your web designer. You will feel comfortable doing this as often as you feel you need to without the worry of a huge consultation bill at the end of the month.
  • Behind the Scenes Updates – Any critical updates, changes or information that you need will be worked on to ensure the smooth running of your site. If we notice a common error or a change required we will do this to all websites on our maintenance plan. It’s all those “behind the scenes” support that prevents a huge invoice to repair things later.
  • Plugin and Platform Updates – We ensure that your site is updated often and if you update it yourself and run into issues you can contact your web designer to assist you before your customers are faced with the dreaded 500 error.
  • Stats and Analytics – For our specific maintenance packages, we also monitor your stats and check where you can improve and we have recently added 2 Biannual progress consultations so that we can make changes and adjust your plan to ensure your success.

Remember, your involvement is critical for your success!

What you are actually Paying

If you stick to just ad hoc updates and changes, you may feel like you are saving money but are you really? Here are two scenarios, one with a Startup maintenance package and one without any package.

A Startup package allows for around 2 hours of work each month for general website updates alone but also covers the stats review, general advice, peace of mind and some behind the scenes updates. If you had to pay for these items separately you would be spending, on average, double the price each month.

Costs without a Maintenance Package

Costs with a Maintenance Package

MaintenanceRepairMaintenanceRepair
Quarter 105 0002 2500
Quarter 240002 2500
Quarter 320002 2500
Quarter 405 5002 2500
Total Costs11 1009 000

In Quarter 2 and 3 without a maintenance package you only pay R600 vs R5500 on a maintenance package but over the year, you pay R2100 more.

This table doesn’t even take into consideration the increased activity and conversion of clients that occurs on our maintenance packages where the client is involved in the process and working towards success. This just covers the mechanics and we know that there is so much more to a website than if it functions, it is also important HOW it functions! If it functions correctly you will have increased conversion and your turnover will increase.

There a few instances when we may feel a maintenance package is not required but these are few and far between. Assess your business and decide what is right for you!

Do you have a question? Feel free to email us – hello@webassistant.co.za – or drop a comment below.

About Denise van der Merwe

Online Strategist and Web Designer passionate about user-friendly design, responsive websites, small businesses, startups and her family.

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