All websites require maintenance to ensure they do not fall out of date, stay online and represent your business professionally on an on going basis. A good analogy is to think of your website as a magazine and not a book. It’s not something that you publish and then leave to slowly degrade over time. It’s an ongoing project and by spending little and often will bring greater rewards than the boom and bust cycle of spending a lot in a lump once every few years!

This article covers all you need to know about website maintenance. It’s been broken down into the following areas.

1. Website Upgrades
2. Website Support
3. Website Hosting

1. Website Upgrades

Technology is ever evolving – we all know that. Your website needs to move with it. Browsers, servers and coding practises are forever changing and your website needs regular tweaks to ensure it continues to operate properly online. It’s important you upgrade your CMS solution when a new version becomes available for the following reasons:-

· Keep your website accessible with the latest browsers
· Ensure you websites still functions properly
· Make sure your CMS tools continue to work
· Make the most of the latest tools available
· Be sure that you benefit from any bug fixes and performance improvements
· Have a web solution that never falls out of date

Unfortunately though sometimes clients experience issues when upgrading. This can sometimes cause problems that may result in the website ‘breaking’ after you perform the upgrade. We can manage the process for you to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Our upgrade process includes:-

· Plan the upgrade
· Have a regression plan should the worst happen
· Check the website and the database are backed up
· Ensure there is a clear process to restore the sit?
Perform the upgrade on an offline environment
· If any breaking changes have been introduced to the application then identify and correct them.
Verify the upgrade and test the application
· Apply upgraded site to the live environment
Verify the application upgrade was successful on the live environment

There are generally 2 major upgrades available each year.

Commercial CMS license renewals
With some commercial CMS solutions (such as Sitefinity) you may need to renew your CMS license prior to upgrading. If this is done early, before the license expires then this is relatively inexpensive. However if it’s left to expire then you will be required to pay the full amount that you originally paid for the license. We will notify you via email to try and avoid this happening as early renewal is only 20% of the original cost.

2. Website Support

Incident support
We also want to make ourselves available to you should anything go wrong. Technology has a habit of of doing unpredictable things. You might need help updating your website content or not be getting the result you expected from your CMS or notice that something is simply not working as expected. We want to provide you priority support to fix any issues promptly and effectively.

We have dedicated support staff that can be contacted via telephone and email support. We also have a professionally manned support desk where you can submit and track issues 24 hours a day

Out of hours support
Our approach to out of hours support is straight forward. We are not really geared up to offer this around the clock 24/7/365. We can and do offer this for relatively short periods of time but providing it on an ongoing basis is not something we feel we can offer. However if you have a support contract then we do provide out of hours support on a ‘best endeavour’ basis. On many occasions we’ve received calls in the evenings or at weekends and if someone on the team is available and in a position to resolve your issue then they will do so – we just don’t want to sign a piece of paper that states that we will provide out of hours support on an ongoing basis.
Out of hours support (24/7) can be provided on a short term contract for those critical occasions, or on a best endeavors basis for clients on a support and maintenance contract. If you have a specific support requirement you would like to discuss please contact us.

Development days at a reduced cost
You can save money on development work by agreeing to a contract. We include x hours of development as part of a standard contract

Website Health Checks
We perform an annual health check on your website for free. We check the following:-

– Cross browser checks
– Page Speed tests
– Check for broken links
– SEO, check for meaningful tags and content
– Malware check

We deliver a report that’s written in plain english giving recommendations on areas that can be improved.

3. Website Hosting

Every website in the world lives on a server somewhere. This server should be in a properly managed data centre provided by a trusted and reliable hosting company. The services supplied should include server space, managed back-ups, anti-virus and engineers on hand to communicate with should issues occur at the data centre.

Our hosting solutions are delivered through our partnership with Rackspace, industry leaders with data centres around the globe. We consider your solution, required SLA and risk to clearly understand how business critical your website solution is and then recommend a solution that fits your needs.

Hosting solution range from dedicated servers, cloud servers or low volume shared solutions. Solutions hosted with us are based in London data centres.

If you are interested in benefiting from our a maintenance agreement then please get in touch and we can work together to make sure your website provides the best possible experience – all the time!