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Why Website Maintenance Matters

    At the most basic level, you need an annual maintenance plan for your website to protect your investment.

    From a more sophisticated viewpoint, ongoing development of your website allows you to supercharge it so that your results continue to improve.

    Imagine that your website stops forwarding enquiry form data to your database? What if your product catalogue or menus are no longer loading but nobody has told you

    The basics of site updates

    Hackerstarget small and large organisations alike. If you do not have a system whereby security patches and code updates are being applied in a timely manner, your website is becoming an easy target.

    Operator error.This is when someone on your team makes a mistake when changing your website content, which leads to an error. It can as simple as uploading a photo incorrectly so that displays in an oversized fashion and renders the image nonsensical.   

    Browser incompatibility.Chrome, Safari, Firefox – the many different browsers all need to update to stay relevant, fix bugs and tighten security. Sometimes that causes a conflict with your website. Pages don’t display properly, forms stop working … you get the picture.

    Your plugins stop working.Just as web browsers are updated and become incompatabile with your website, the same is true of third party software and plug-ins. If you don’t update your plugins, they may stop working. Forms, membership areas, visual managers like CSS hero, ecommerce, live chat … the list is endless.

    Bug Fix Period

    If you are developing a new website or app, or adding new functionality to your site, you should insist on a period in which “bugs” can be rectified.

    A software bug is an error, flaw, failure or fault in a computer program or system that causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways.

    Generally, the websites we develop enjoy a warranty period of 30 days from the date we go live. We will provide fixes for defects in any features or functions that are clearly identified in an approved product scope but don’t function as specified.

    Sophisticated Web Maintenance

    Boylen’s Maintenance Agreement allows us to provide ongoing care and maintenance for your website and hosting solution. This is required to ensure that your website continues to operate securely and effectively.

    To this end, we:

    • Apply major software updates to the platform as required. In this context a major software update is considered to be when the WordPress version number increments, for instance from WordPress 5 to WordPress 6 when it is released.
    • Apply all minor, critical security updates and patches as required to the CMS and associated plug-ins. A critical security update is an update that is required to maintain the site’s security. (Be aware that sometimes a third party vendor will charge for a patches and updates.)
    • Run a monthly broken link check.
    • Run a monthly security audit.
    • Secure the site with anti-spam and bot software.
    • Produce a monthly report on the items above:
      • Broken links.
      • Security concerns, if relevant within the time period.
      • Time spent on Maintenance activities.

    When Things Go wrong, They Can really Go Wrong!

    What do other people use support services for? The list is endless but here are some examples:

    • A team member has created a new page that looks good on desktop but is awful on mobile.
    • The alignment of text on a page is wrong but you can’t tell if it’s a CSS or HTML issue, and you don’t know how to fix it anyway.
    • You want to reconfigure Google Analytics but don’t know how.
    • A pop-up is displaying incorrectly.
    • It’s time to renew your SSL security certificate.

    Or as happened late last year, a client with high level access deleted their website by mistake!

    Every website will need support at some time. Like IT companies, Boylen has a system whereby clients with pre-paid support packages receive priority action, and they also receive discounted rates.

    Our aim is to ensure that your site continues to operate to its original specification. Our main support person is Sheelah Hensler . You’ll meet Sheelah when you first arrive at our office and she is backed up by our locally-based Support team.

    Our Support process has a dedicated phone number, as well direct email access and our customer support portal.

    How Fast Are Response Times

    For clients who have a pre-paid support agreement, Boylen guarantees support response times based on criticality of issue.

    For example, a Critical level incident is where your site is off-line, or a vital site feature is unusable and is impairing the day-to-day business of the client. If we can’t respond instantly – and usually we can – then the initial response will occur within 30 minutes and we aim to resolve the issue within two hours.

    Sometimes the problem can’t be solved within two hours but we’ll communicate every step of the way and get you back online asap.

    Beyond Support: The Pursuit Of Excellence

    However, if you seek growth – and if you realise the connection between digital and that growth – then it is necessary to adopt a mindset of continuous improvement to sustain a high-performing website.

    That will be a topic in a future blog.

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