Many start-ups and freelance developers struggle with the issue of maintenance charges and creating appropriate contracts for clients.
In this article, we’ll go through the process of creating a website maintenance plan and contract.
Table of Content
- Your time and the client
- Identify the requirements
- Charge genuinely
- Charge with the extra
- Your market size
5 Essential tips for website maintenance
Many well-known and big companies make this common mistake of avoiding the upgrading of digital platforms.
Website maintenance is a hectic job and doesn’t end with a single click of the launch button. Several companies go months without updating information on their websites. Given below are the five essential tips for maintaining a website. It’s important to let your clients know about these services in the contract.
1. Routine website check-ups and server maintenance
Maintaining a website from the core is substantial maintenance. Regular website visits and fixing technical problems is the primary requirement. For any content management systems like WordPress, frequent updates, and security upgrades are in high demand.
2. Digital marketing (Optimizing sites for search engines)
You can hire agencies and digital marketers for updating website copy, handling social media platforms, and launching sensational campaigns to increase leads and digital growth. Digital marketing keeps the website alive by making constant visits to it.
3. Website analysis and reporting
You might have heard of Google analytics. It is a platform that generates website analytics data. It gives the stats on the daily user interactions on the website, duration of the website stays, details on visited pages, and much more. The constant analysis helps in increasing the reach among the customers.
4. Continuous efforts for improvement
Imagine cooking for the first time and the last time you cooked the same dish. You must have observed a difference, that how overtime you have mastered the recipe. Similarly, websites become better and efficient with updates. Keeping it up-to-date and fixing errors will help to boost the market for your business.
5. Backup plan and more
The website is nothing but an enormous database of relevant information. Any server glitches can corrupt the website. In such a situation where data and online mechanisms are commanded, a backup plan is obliged. You should always have a Plan B while providing 24/7 services.
To avail of all these services, you might need a developer or a team of IT experts. If you are an expert, then keep these tips in your mind while you work for a firm or company. Read the upcoming section to know about the methods for the expected charge with your work as a developer or maintainer of a website.
What you might be forgetting
There might be several services that you offer to your clients. However, some of the services that you offer might be uncharged:
- Maintenance charge with a custom software subscription
- Media storage (extra space provided by you)
- Banking fees (transfer of funds)
- Miscellaneous fees for travel expenses (fare, tolls & food)
- Expediting work to meet the deadlines
- Mark up for sales rep commission
This list includes very noteworthy jobs that you might be getting underpaid for or being unpaid. There is also a notion among people that the cheaper you offer services at more clients will jump onto your services, and it is advantages. However, it is not truthful. The more the facilities are billed for, the more is the value and prestige.
Time is money, right?
Most of the budding start-ups and freelancers work overtime to make sure that they meet up to the deadlines and deliver the maintenance services for the site. Is this operating extra worth it? Are you feeling compensated for the extra hours that you put in? Try to find the answer to this, and you will know what you have been doing so far. Keep a check on your time. Time management is very important. Giving extra time means getting paid extra money too.
What should be the maintenance charges?
Now comes the most crucial part of this article. To realize what is the worth of your work and how much you should be paid for the efforts you put in is paramount. There are a lot of factors that decide how much you should be charging for website maintenance.
1. Your time and the client
Ask yourself a very fundamental question. Is the client worth the pain you take to fulfill the task? If the answer is yes, then you are fortunate to go on. But if you feel a little uncomfortable with the answer, then inevitably, there is some problem. If you are too much into work all the time and cutting down the time on your personal life, then you need to reconsider your choices. Now you should assume that how much time you are dedicating to clients. If the demand is more and compensation is less, then it is absolutely fine to let the client go. It is undoubtedly right to say that money is not everything. However, it is something but still not everything. You can design some maintenance packages and assign different rates to the work package the client chooses. Add separate plans and prices for services like website security, backups, SCO, email maintenance, and so on. Be honest with what your life demands in both personal and professional aspects. If Saturday and Sunday are what you want to be as off, go for it or if you start to work on holidays then get extra paid for it.
2. Identify the requirements
Analyze your experiences and awareness if you could fulfill the customer’s ongoing requests? Take a deep breath and be honest with yourself. Your skills could range from providing website security services, core update audits, backup deployments, and much more. Calculate the time you need to execute these tasks. If you could quickly perform those tasks, then charge accordingly. However, if you feel the need to learn new tools for working for a client website, then probably you should charge genuinely. If the client demands quicker results, then, of course, priority deadlines mean priority charges.
3. Be honest
The market is huge. There are thousands of website maintainers and freelancers working in this area. However, the charges of each provider vary greatly. Now you might wonder why there is such a huge difference. Some people charge less, and some charge over the top. It doesn’t mean at all that the one who charges more is providing the best services on vice versa. You need to anticipate the requirements of a client and what you can provide to them. If you believe that your services are up-to-date and can serve more than the expectations, then you should charge up a little high. If you’re already charging between $30-$50 per month for general sustenance, then the addition of $15 should not be bothersome. So keep your expectations high and also your prices. But only when you are pro in your job.
If you wish to calculate the charges, go and visit this online calculator. It will help you in estimating the prices. You can access other similar tools to identify the expected payments.
4. Charge extra
Now when you have designed your pricing plans, keep it for the primary and general services. The extra time and efforts that you put in for researching technologies and other resources should be paid for and compensated well. As the more number of projects Allow you to polish your skills, the more flexibility you can have on the price. In a few years, your market value would potentially increase with higher charges.
Now suppose if you are an SEO consultant with an annual charge of $250,000, Then your expertise would charge around $2500 per day to $250per hour for maintenance and management services. The idea here is to remain sustainable.
Read our guide on What are WordPress tags? How do they help with SEO?
5. Your market size
Always remember your current position and your expected growth in the coming years. If you are an extensive agency with several clients to work for, then it is robust to have a costly plan and charges. But if the size of your business is small, say, just a bunch of people or groups, then probably you should reconsider your plan charges. There are numerous developers present in the market who are ready to work at very cheap rates and even overtime without compensation. Hence, to sustain in such situations, it is critical to genuinely charge with the services while maintaining a fair amount of money.
In this article, we have briefly discussed the methods to create website maintenance plans and contracts. This is a rough discussion on how one can grow in business while making small changes in strategies.
The tips that we have included here are to manage your time and the client’s requirements. Understand what you require. Analyze your market size and your expectations from the clients and vice-versa.
Always remember that you should work for those clients who know your value, appreciate your skills, time, and of course, the rates of your plans.
Do not let the client choose you always, but be the one to pick the right clients for yourself. Do not let anyone interfere with your market value. Some may suggest you charge high and some may propose going a little low on prices. Do not pay much heed to any of them. Analyze your skill sets and your working hours, understand the valuations of maintainers in the market, and then set up a strategy for making sufficient money.
Most important of all, learn to say “No”. Think over and realize if a harmless “no” can solve all your problems. Prioritize your work and personal space well.