The world of websites has become increasingly more involved with customers requiring sites they can update themselves in all manner of ways, an ever increasing threat from hackers, technology evolving at an astonishing rate, the law desperately trying to keep up and regularly imposing new requirements for websites.
Once upon a time websites were all “static”, they had no customer administration area so any updates would have to be sent to the web designer to do. This was seen as an expensive option once CMS systems (such as WordPress) appeared and customers could make most of their own updates. With this power, a whole new bunch of considerations evolved. Because customers could log in this also gave a potential route for hackers, it gave a whole new set of ever evolving skills required to administer the website by the customer (especially as expectations of what a website could do also expanded) and it also put websites at the mercy of the programming language and servers required to make this magic happen so they required regular attention and updates to continue to run smoothly. This has resulted in the money saved on paying the web designer to make updates now being spent on regular website technology updates, defence against hackers and ongoing tuition and consultation provided by the designer to support the customer. I love my analogies and I feel it may help to thing of your website as company car….
I sold you a website as a car dealer sells you a car which becomes your responsibility, mine is only that it was fit for purpose at the time of sale and for 6 months afterwards if anything faulty with the website is found which is my fault.
To keep the car running you put fuel in it, with your website this would be the hosting which keeps it running. This is a small, ongoing cost which we discuss in the initial stages. Just like a car, the more miles you do, the more fuel you use. With a website it’s the more photos and info you want on the site and the more visitors your site attracts, the more the hosting can cost.
You need to know how to drive and if you don’t you would take driving lessons, the same for a self administered website. If you don’t know how to use it you can either teach yourself from the wealth of information available online or book tuition with me. Just like the car salesman, I will run through the basic settings of your website when you acquire it so you know where the buttons are. Full tuition, ongoing tuition, ongoing support and consultation is extra.
Just like a car, the website needs regular servicing. In the case of a car it’s because it wears out. A website doesn’t wear out but technology and the internet is constantly evolving, people’s expectations of what a website can do evolve and the law is periodically changing with regards to websites, this means your website appears older and in some cases may start to have issues functioning within it’s updated environment. Also regular back ups, changing passwords, etc. are good policy against hackers. Some technology which your website uses may even become discontinued and is beyond anybody’s control, the website would then need modifying accordingly.
Now and again a car has to go to the garage for repairs if you have an accident or something just breaks with age. Websites, especially self administered ones, can be broken by the owner if they’re not careful and can also be hacked although it’s quite rare. I would always install quality security software on any site but nothing, website or otherwise, it 100% secure. Even big banks with millions of pounds of security have attempted robberies. Just like it’s not the car salesman at fault if somebody drives in to your car, no is it the fault of the petrol station where you fill the car up, it is not my responsibility if your website is successfully hacked. This is why a good routine of updates and backing up is essential.
Just like a car, the time will come when it is not economical to continue with the regular maintenance and odd repair so it has to be replaced. Websites are no different. The lifespan of a website is generally seen as 5 to 10 years.
Also, just like a car, the keys are your responsibility. With a website this would be your log in password. I won’t keep a copy of your password in the same way you wouldn’t want the car salesman to keep a copy of your key. If you lose the keys then you expect some hassle and expense. Be careful, don’t give the keys to anybody else and always know where they are.
Think of me as the car salesman and the petrol station (the cost of the website and the ongoing hosting). I’m happy to provide the regular servicing, tuition, further consultation and emergency services. The cost of these would be based on the customers requirements, there is no one-size-fits-all.