Website aftercare

Charlotte Duff

I don’t just create a website and then run away, but I stick around and can be contacted anytime you need me. So if you need some updates or additions, a website refresh, or even a complete re-brand, you simply need to get in touch and we can talk about the best way to go about it.

Existing clients will know that when they request a very minor update, I often do it as soon as I read the email. In fact a client of mine once said that she was sure I had done it before she had actually pressed SEND!

As well as your own requests for content change, there are often “bigger picture” changes or additions and improvements required, and for this reason it is good to have a web designer on-hand, much like it is nice to know a good electrician or plumber.

But .. you should always be aware that just because I am available and checking your site regularly, it does not guarantee that your website will always be error free and completely secure. Two good analogies are having your car regularly serviced and fitting your house with door locks and alarms. Both of these are things you can do as much or as little as you like of, and both of these are things that cannot guarantee anything, even though the more you do, the better position you will be in. Luck always plays a part .. but you can do the best you can for the business that you have and the budget you can afford.

Of course, if your business relies heavily on your website being up and running 24/7,  you probably need a support contract with a larger company, or a dedicated member of staff, rather than someone you can contact now and again for help, especially as I am a one woman band.

Regular Checks

When I put a WordPress site live, I will agree with you the frequency with which I will check your website. Most people choose checks every 2 months and over the years I have found this seems to work very well.

Why do I check your website?

The quick answer:

It is a bit like cleaning your teeth or having your car serviced. I’m simply having a quick (15-min) look once every 2 months to check all looks OK and do any essential maintenance. I have taken on WordPress websites that have been unattended for years – even though they might look OK from the front end, they are normally hanging by a thread behind scenes. I am transparent about my charges for this service and it isn’t compulsory. But I believe it is well worth it.

The longer answer if you’re interested:

The following is a list of the sorts of checks I do when I log into your site:

Security check
Your site is being monitored continually for injected malware and unauthorised logins. This is being done in different ways depending on your hosting company and what software we have installed on the site. I check this is all OK and respond to anything important.

Update the WordPress software and the plugins and themes
WordPress sites are created using lots of different themes and plugins, all of which are open source software, and all of which are being developed all the time to be better and more secure (ie less vulnerable to hacking). It is essential that they are updated to the latest version to ensure that are secure and working correctly. This is also true for WordPress software itself and php, the language WordPress has been created in.

Check backups
All sites are set-up with regular automatic backups – either at your host company or from within the site. I check that the within site backup processes are working OK.

Other advantages
Of course I also always have a quick look at the pages to check nothing weird has happened, and if it has I deal with it. For example, sometimes Instagram feeds disconnect and need reconnecting.. and it has also happened that clients have not paid their hosting bills and whole websites have disappeared without them noticing! Finally, every site gets the benefit of my increasing WordPress knowledge over the years .. by this I mean that if I fix or improve something on someone’s site, I can then go round and fix or improve it on other sites on my next visit. Plus by regularly logging into multiple sites I can often see the bigger picture .. for example something seeming to happen on all the sites at a particular host or with a particular plugin installed.

One last note about regular website checks
There are 2 circumstances in which I prefer not to do this – either when clients are logging in as administrators and doing theme/plugin installations themselves or when the website is not being kept up to date.

Email and host problems

See my help and advice page

Support prices

All requests for help are charged at my usual hourly rate with a minimum block of 10 minutes for existing clients, 30 mins for new customers.

WordPress site checks take 15 mins. This is a fixed charge based on average timings, of course in practice sometimes they take me a bit longer and sometimes a bit shorter.

Can I move to another web designer?

Absolutely yes!

Sometimes I get new clients who are in the unfortunate position of having “lost” their web designer and have no access to their domain or hosting and cannot access their websites. I will never leave you in that position.

The domain name will always be registered to you personally, and I usually put the hosting account in your own name in your own account. This means that you will have all that you need so that another designer can take over where I left off.

I only ask one thing.. and that is that you let me know. It is very important that you don’t have 2 different people working on the site at once in case we overwrite each other’s work or duplicate effort.