What is website maintenance and why might you need it?

 

Your potential customers are getting more and more internet savvy.  They want exact information and they want it fast.  Search engines are getting harder to please too.  For a website to perform well it needs to satisfy its visitors and the search engines, in particular Google.

To achieve this, you need to be taking care of these background functions and more:

  • Website files and database backups
  • WordPress core and additional software updates
  • Security monitoring and remedial action
  • Up-time monitoring and remedial action
  • Spam monitoring and remedial action
  • Website loading speed
  • Website Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to improve ranking
  • Adding fresh, good quality, relevant content

If you have not got the time and skills to do all of this yourself, then you definitely need someone else to be doing your WordPress website maintenance for you.  This is why we created AfterCare, which is designed to give you total peace-of-mind for running your website successfully.

 

How much does website maintenance cost?

 

Our AfterCare WordPress website maintenance package is built into our web design packages, eCommerce website design and custom web design project pricing.  You can view the monthly fees on our Website Design Cost Page.

Similarly our mobile app maintenance package is built into our app packages.  You can view the monthly fees on our Mobile App Development Cost page.

About Aftercare

 

As web designers we believe that leaving a client to fend for themselves once a website is built is not good practice.  Most business are doing what they need to do to manage and operate the business itself.  And let’s face it, last century that was all that was needed.  And then came the Internet…  To begin with the majority of businesses, both large and small, ignored it.  Then it became apparent that having a web presence was desirable.  All kinds of awful websites appeared, and some are even still with us today!

Fast forward to today and a website is no longer what you need, you now need a good website.  One that can rank highly on search engines, that gives your customers the user experience they now expect and one that can evolve and adapt as your business does.  Yet, you are still managing and operating the business itself.  How do you make time for looking after your online presence?  All of a sudden a simple website has become a ‘necessary evil’.  You know you need run it well, but how do you do that?  Do you have the right staff to do it for you?  Are you willing to learn or train someone in the new skills that are required?

A good website, correctly used can enhance your business, sales and reputation.  Whilst a website that is badly run or totally ignored can do the complete opposite.  You cannot afford to get it wrong any more.  To that end we offer a great service that we call ‘AfterCare’. 

AfterCare is designed to give you complete peace-of-mind for running a successful website.  There are plenty of things to consider behind the scenes.  Small jobs and functionality requirements that need to be taken care of to keep a website up to date, secure and restorable should something go wrong.  AfterCare also includes resources we have created to help you use your website to its best effect.

Our AfterCare package gives you total peace of mind!

We take care of things behind the scenes so that you do not need to worry about them at all.

We also take care of the things that search engines look for when making their ranking decisions.

For more details please take a look at our AfterCare Services List and FAQs below. 

We are also protected by:

    • Breach Response Insurance (Cyber Insurance)
    • Professional Indemnity Insurance
    • Public & Products Liability Insurance

Aftercare Services

 

As AfterCare is designed to give you complete peace-of-mind for running a successful website and/or mobile app, there are plenty of things to consider behind the scenes. 

Small jobs and functionality requirements that need to be taken care of to keep a website up to date, secure and restorable should something go wrong.  AfterCare also includes resources we have created to help you use your website to its best effect.

 

Terminology

We used several specific terms throughout this and other relevant documents.

    • Services refers to the professional services described in your Client Agreement.
    • Website refers to a single site on a specific domain. If there are sites on further domains or on sub domains, they are separate websites.
    • Mobile App refers to an application built to be downloaded onto a mobile device from either a website or App store.
    • AfterCare refers to our ongoing support packages designed to give you complete peace of mind with your website and/or mobile app and all its associated tasks and functions.
    • Hosting refers to the process of storing a website or other data on a server so that it can be accessed over the Internet or on a mobile device.
    • Knowledge Base refers to our help portal that contains published information on how to perform tasks in the services and also aims to provide answers to frequently asked questions.
    • Support System refers to an online board that we supply for our clients’ use to report support issues, set us tasks and vice versa, communicate and also store the content for future reference if necessary.
    • Support Card refers to a request sent via the support system to Web Design UK/Farmgear Marketing etc. by a client, or vice versa, e.g. to report a problem and request a solution to it.
    • Extras refers to the additional services and functions we offer to enhance your website, mobile app and other areas of your business.
    • Terms and Conditions refer to the document and/or page that details all the T&Cs for all our services.

Client Support

 

Your AfterCare Package includes the following support features:

    • Support system for technical support
    • Free minor changes to your website, subject to ‘fair usage’.
    • Knowledge Base articles
    • Personal advice on business aspects we can help you with, such as marketing.
    • Automatic renewal of your free domain names.
    • Reminders for when any of your additional domains need renewing.
    • If you have purchased an Extra, then support for that extra comes as standard.
    • Custom and eCommerce/Gold website package customers also receive eCommerce Support as standard.

 

Website Maintenance

 

Your AfterCare Package includes the following to maintain your website:

    • Automatic backups of both the site files and the databases.  Backup intervals will depend on your website package.  See our ‘Service Level Agreement’ (SLA) 
    • Daily security checks on your website and real-time monitoring of your website for malicious attacks, plus remedial action if necessary.
    • Real-time uptime monitoring of your website.
    • Spam monitoring and remedial action.
    • Automatic updates for WordPress core files.
    • Automatic updates for any additional website software

 

Website Features

 

Your AfterCare Package includes the following website features:

    • Fast hosting on a dedicated server that is physically here in the UK.  No shared hosting is used.
    • Free Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate, which gives your site the green padlock.
    • Content Management Systems (CMS) that comes with an inbuilt online User Manual, including how-to videos.
    • Basic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) elements are built in.
    • Webmail facility, which means you can log in and access your emails from anywhere in the world where you have internet access.

 

Mobile Apps

 

Your AfterCare Package includes the following for your mobile apps:

    • Mobile App hosting.
    • Free Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate.
    • Incremental daily backups with a full backup carried out weekly.
    • Real-time daily security checks.
    • Real-time uptime monitoring.
    • Regular upgrades to the software and CMS.
    • Free minor changes to your app, subject to ‘fair usage’.
    • Specialist Content Management Systems (CMS) for managing push notifications, events etc.
    • Inbuilt online user guides, including how-to videos.
    • Set-up and management of your Apple & Google developer accounts.

Other Service Enhancements

 

We believe in giving our clients the best service that we can.  We aim to continue to improve on our services and systems as much as can.  Here are some other features we believe demonstrate our commitment to quality of service:

 

    • A growing range of Extras, for your website and for other aspects of your business
    • Training website for you to practice in without fear of breaking your own site
    • High levels of Breach Response Insurance (Cyber Insurance), Professional Indemnity Insurance and Public & Products Liability Insurance
    • Our GDPR Policy
    • Our Information Security Policy
    • Our Service Level Agreement (SLA)
    • Catalyst Platinum integrations
    • Khaos Cloud integrations

AfterCare FAQs

Q. How do I renew my domain registration(s)?

A. We will automatically renew any of your free domain names, and we will also remind you when any of your additional domains need renewing. It is vital that we ensure your domain name(s) always remains under your ownership.

Q. What happens if my website gets hacked?

A. Our system does daily security checks on your website and monitors your website for malicious attacks. And alerts us if necessary so that we can tackle the problem straight away.  Which we will do and, if necessary, we may contact you to let you know.  If you receive spam emails saying you have been hacked please accept these as spam.

Q. How will I know if my website goes down?

A. We use real-time uptime monitoring of your website, which alerts us if anything is wrong and your website is down.

Q. How do I deal with spam on my website?

A. We all hate spam, so our spam monitoring function keeps it under control. And if we are alerted to any spam comments we can clean them up for you.

Q. Will I lose everything if there is a serious problem with my website?

A. Our clients’ websites are backed up automatically at intervals defined in our Service Level Agreement (SLA), both the site files and the databases. So if the worst were to happen, we can easily roll back to the previous back up.

Q. How do I deal with all the software involved?

A. You may well have heard that out of date software is a good way for hackers to get in. Do not worry, your website core files and and any additional software are automatically updated to the latest version. This ensures that everything works correctly and any potential ‘holes’ in the previous version have been fixed by the software developers.

Q. Even though I've had training, what happens if I forget how to update my site?

A. All our website Content Management Systems (CMS) are powered by WordPress. And they all come with an inbuilt User Manual. There are documents to read, if you like learning that way, and how-to videos that cover the main actions you would be taking on your website. The User Manual is always updated to make sure it is compatible with the latest version of WordPress.

Q. How much does it cost for me to have an update to my site?

A. Your monthly AfterCare fee allows for minor changes to your site. For example you may wish to change a main image, alter your opening hours or add a banner with special Christmas opening hours. Changes are subject to a fair usage policy but most will be covered.

Q. How do I get help if I need it?

A. If you have a problem that requires our help, or need something explaining better, you will be reassured to know that we are here when you need us. We operate a support card system for technical support and for emergencies you can always call us.*

Q. How do I get help with the Extras I have purchased?

A. If you have purchased an Extra, then support for that Extra comes as standard.

Q. How do I check email when I am out of the office?

A. AfterCare includes a Webmail facility, which means you can log in and access your emails from anywhere in the world where you have internet access.

Q. What if I want my website to do something different?

A. Take a look at our increasing range of Extras to see what other services and features we can offer you to add functionality and help you engage more effectively with your website visitors.

Q. Will my my website fast enough?

A. We only use fast hosting on a dedicated server that is physically here in the UK. A dedicated server also means that only our clients’ websites are on the server. Unlike cheap ‘shared hosting’ our data is all kept together and not subject to possible problems that happen when thousands of websites are on one server. Dedicated hosting also provides website stability, faster page load speeds and a better Google ranking.

Q. How do my site visitors know my website is secure?

A. With all our website packages you receive a free Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate.  An SSL certificate is used to establish an encrypted link between a website’s server and the browser the site visitor is using.  An SSL certificate gives trust to your visitors and will help boost your Google ranking at the same time.  Google are down-ranking sites without the green padlock now.

Q. Will anyone find us on Google?

A. All of our websites come with a basic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) element built in.  We also offer a range of Extras that includes different levels of enhanced SEO.

Q. What is involved with running an eCommerce website?

A. Gold website package customers also receive eCommerce Support as standard. We also offer Knowledge Base articles and personal advice on what to consider and how to set up an online shop for best results.

Support exceptions:

  • Time spent on actual support will be subject to ‘fair usage’
  • Support does not include teaching basic IT skills
  • Support does not include help with email problems caused by your device(s)
  • Support does not include help with virus/malware removal if you have failed to install professional security software
  • Support does not include help with a hacked site if you have failed to use secure, individual passwords
  • Items not included in the package will be charged for by the minute at our current hourly rate