Why I Don’t do “Monthly Maintenance Reports” - OGAL Web Design

Why I Don’t do “Monthly Maintenance Reports”

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The entire purpose of the Continued Success Program (CSP) is to give you EVERYTHING you need to have, maintain, and grow a successful website without the hassle and headache of doing it yourself.

Just like you don’t likely change the oil in your car yourself, you probably don’t want to bother with the routine maintenance of a website either.

But just like your car— your website will deteriorate quickly if you do not upkeep it properly.

While you might not want to perform (or even fully understand) all of the tasks required to keep your website online & healthy— but it’s important you at least know what they are.

It’s common for website developers to send out monthly reports of all the tasks performed on your site each month. But, I’m going to be honest…

Those reports are boring and unlikely to really tell you anything of value.

Typically they are a long list (or “log”) of all the software updates, security scans, backup completions, and server monitoring of your site. Most website owners take one good look at that and realize quickly that it means absolutely nothing to them.

In order for me to prepare these unusable reports for you, I’d have to take away time I could otherwise be productive to do mindless administrative tasks. Besides— providing “a good report” and “doing a good job” are two different things— and often I’d be doing you a disservice by trying to do things for the “grade” not the “goal”.

So— I don’t do reports.

Our relationship is 100% built on trust. You’ve hired me to build and take care of your website.

That is exactly what I intend to do.

If you need me to provide you with an itemized list of each and every task I complete each month— that’s not wrong… we’re probably just not a great fit to work together.

Instead— my services are performed on a month-to-month basis. You’re not “locked in” to me, and I don’t want you to be.

I’m confident (and certain) that I will do such a great job caring for your website and that you’ll have so few (if any!) issues that paying for it each month is a no-brainer for you.

If you come to find you don’t feel that way, we can make arrangements for you to get setup with someone else or do it yourself— no hard feelings.

I’m just one of 10,000 people who have the ability to do these things. If you hire me, it’s because you have trust that I, personally, will take good care of you. If you want to look at some other options, check out MaintainPress, or GoWP, both who do a fantastic job and I highly recommend as an alterantive.

Below is a list of the things I take care of for you. Some months items on this list might not require my attention at all. Some days I’ll work until 11 at night, over the weekend, or even on vacation (to my family’s dismay) to ensure everything is working properly for you. Instead of nickel and diming you for each and every little thing— it’s all covered at one flat monthly rate.

I’ve created (and often add things to) this list through years of experience with the upkeep of my own and countless client websites. These are the things I know it will take to ensure your website and online presence is working for you in an effort to grow your business.

Uptime & Server Reliability

Frequency: Monitored 24 hours a day

Uptime: Uptime refers to the time your site is online and accessible to visitors.  It’s not uncommon for sites to have temporary, brief moments of “downtime” (when it’s unavailable), but anything below 99% uptime is unacceptable in my view.

I’m monitoring your site’s uptime 24/7. Any time your site goes down (even if for a second) I am altered. Most often I get a second notification within seconds telling me the site is back online. However, if I don’t get that immediate “everything’s okay” email, I will investigate the issue and work on it until it is completely resolved.

Server Reliability: Unlike the majority of small web development agencies, I host your site on a set of servers dedicated for my use. My personal websites are on the same servers. I receive  automatic alerts that are sent via anytime a resource is getting low, or if there is abnormal activity on my server. Those alerts are prioritized accordingly when received.

Security

Frequency: Monitored 24 hours a day

Just like any piece of software that lives online, your website can be susceptible to malicious attacks. You might be surprised, but most sites online are targeted multiple times a day. Yes, even yours.

Beyond the standard measures I put in place to prevent these attacks from being successful in the first place (in multiple layers), I have setup software that detects any attacks of concern and alerts me to them.

In the rare case something makes it past all of my security measures I know almost immediately— and naturally deploying a fix to this issue is my top priority and move directly to the top of my to-do list.

SSL Certificate

Frequency: Monitored 24 hours a day

I’ve installed a SSL Certificate on your site that certifies that the information transferred over your site (over submission forms or ecommerce) are encrypted and secure.  To ensure the reliability of your certificate I renew the policy every three months.

If for any reason (though I haven’t had this happen yet) your SSL breaks or loses certification I am notified immediately and would prioritize my response to that matter.

Backups

Frequency: Daily + Intermittent schedule based upon your individual needs

One of the most crucial aspects to the reliability of your website is keeping proper backups in place. If your website were to get infected, the server have issue, or an update cause an unintended error, backups are the quickest and most reliable way to get your website back in working order immediately.

You have 2 systems of backups being performed on your website: offsite backups and sever-level backups.

Offsite Backups: I’ve evaluated the needs of your website (by looking at how frequently it’s updated, the activity level, and several other factors) and deteremed an appropriate backup schedule for your website. These happen automatically and I am notified of both successful and failed backups. This type of backup is stored off-site in a completely different system to ensure their independent reliability.

Server Backups: As a secondary level of precaution, I take a backup of every single site across all my servers every night on the server level.

Software Updates

Frequency: Every 7 days and as needed

Your website is actually made up of lots of different pieces of software all performing different functionalities and tasks.  Just like any software, it goes through almost constant updates to improve the functionality, reliability, security, and more.

It’s important to stay on top of updates to ensure reliability of your website. However, it is unwise to blindly update software without research and understanding of what is new in the update.

On a weekly basis (Monday mornings if you’re curious!) I review all available updates for your site, research the changes that come with the update, determine the compatibility with other software, update, then test to make sure the software update didn’t disrupt anything negatively on your site.

There are times when I update software more often— typically for security reasons or when one update doesn’t play well with another. There are also times I delay the update of software until I can ensure it’s reliability.

Software Licenses

Frequency: As needed

While a good amount of the software on your site doesn’t come with any additional cost, there are several pieces of software that require a monthly or yearly fee to use. In most cases I purchase a developer’s license which allows me to use the software on multiple sites that I maintain. These licenses have to be paid for and renewed on schedule or the software will not continue to operate properly.

I evaluate each piece of software and renew licenses weeks in advance whenever a renewal is required.

WordPress Core Updates

Frequency: As needed

WordPress, the overarching software that makes your site possible, also frequently updates. These updates are typically more drastic, less scheduled, and take more research & understanding to implement properly.

I stay up to date with upcoming releases so that I can prepare and ensure that the changes will work fine with the software on your site. Typically I do not update this software the day it comes out, but will test it several days later. I am part of many communities that discuss these updates and can ensure a more safe updating schedule by communicating with the community and understanding the problems and advantages of each update.

Continuing Education

Frequency: Daily

If you haven’t noticed already, I’m pretty obsessed with my work. In my time away from my desk, I’m usually on my phone learning about new tricks, tools, strategies, and techniques to make me better at my job.

This is actually one of the most crucial aspects of maintaining and growing a website.

Technology changes quickly— and if you aren’t prepared to invest heavily in continual education you can find yourself behind very quickly.

I’ll always be looking for ways I can implement new tools and techniques to help you be successful as if they were for myself.

Traffic and Analytics

Frequency: Minimum of monthly, typically more frequently. 24 hour access

If you are part of my Continued Success Program I have connected your website to Google Analytics to measure all kinds of data about the traffic to your site. Some websites require more analysis each month than others. At the bare minimum I review your traffic each month and compare it to the previous months traffic.  This allows me to have an understanding of how your website is being used and look for trends that might trigger me to suggest changes to your site.

If you’d like access to your Google Analytics so you can monitor this information yourself, just shoot me an email ([email protected])

Search Console

Frequency: Monitored 24 hours a day

Google Search Console is used to improve and optimize your website. It provides information on who is linking to your site, if there are technical errors on your site, and intel to keyword queries.

If an error is found, I get an email alert about the error and can investigate it to find the proper solution.

These tasks are crucial in ensuring that Google favors your site, gives and keeps it in high regard. The more trust Google has in the reliability of your site, the more likely they are to suggest it to people using their search engine.

Updates, Strategy, & Consultation

Frequency: As requested

One of the most important parts of your enrollment in my Continued Success Program is your access to a web developer to update your website, help you with strategy, and provide you with ongoing consultation— me!

Like you, most of my customers do not want to be website developers. Whenever you need updates to your site (like changes to text, new photos, etc.) all you have to do is ask.

Included in your enrollment is three “30-minute tasks” per month. This simply means you can ask me to do just about anything on your site 3 times per month, so long as it is a task that takes less than 30 minutes to complete.

In the 3+ years of offering this plan, I’ve found that most requests don’t take me anywhere close to 30 minutes, and I’m usually pre laxed when it comes to the limit of 3 (within reason).

The benefit to you is that you don’t have to worry about your website content becoming out of date, or having to learn how to edit your website— you just simply send me an email or call me up and it’s taken care of.

Wrapping up…

My only goal is to make sure that your website is online and working towards your goals— and that YOU don’t have to worry about it, not for one second.

If you have any questions, or need clarification on anything, don’t hesitate to ask.

 

kvd elem
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kyle Van Deusen

For the past 15 years I have helped businesses like yours increase their online presence through powerful websites, strategic marketing strategies, and recognizable brands. I want to partner with your business to help you succeed.

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