An explanation of what hosting and maintenance are as well as the benefits of investing in a monthly plan for your website.
What Are Managed Services?In a previous post, we went over what managed services were. The easiest way to understand them is to think of them like an insurance policy for your I.T. needs. A hosting and maintenance plan takes it a step further. It’s like going from liability to full coverage.
What is a hosting and maintenance plan?
A hosting and maintenance plan is a recurring plan put in place by your website host and/or design team. It generally includes things like the cost to host a website on a server, regular plug in updates, site backups, and/or content management. Let’s break it down even further.
Hosting services provide the space on the internet for people to come and visit your website. It is the foundation for which your website is built on. Without a hosting service, there is no site. You may be familiar with some of the larger names in the hosting arena like GoDaddy, WP Engine, Google, Amazon, HostGator, etc. There are also small businesses who provide hosting services either as a reseller through the larger hosting sites or via their own data center and server configurations. We at S. Barnes Designs have partnered with Indy’s IT Department to offer hosting services.
Maintenance services are where the other stuff comes into play; regular backups, plugin updates, etc. If we go back to using our car analogies, maintenance for your website is just like maintenance for your vehicle. You do regular tune-ups, top off the fluids, and all that good stuff to keep your vehicle running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Website maintenance is much the same. Certain plugins are used to enhance the security and performance of a website, there are updates to the themes and backend programs used to patch identified vulnerabilities, and some agencies include content updates as part of their maintenance plans. If you are interested in making sure your website is operating as it should and is an asset (not an as-sore) to your business, a maintenance plan is a necessary investment.
Hosting and Maintenance
COULD you learn how to do the backend maintenance and updates? Absolutely. Most website designers offer training for their clients that wish to do a lot of the updates on their own. But let me ask you this – is it worth your time? Again, back to the car analogy. Oil change, tire rotation, replace a belt or any other maintenance task. Some people may opt to do these things on their own to save a few bucks. But in the immediate money they may save, they lose the time that they could be doing something else. A mechanic specialize in performing these tasks. He/She is an expert in their field which is why we take our vehicles to them for maintenance and when something breaks.
Your web guy/gal is the expert in their field. They are able to accomplish the tasks in a more efficient manner because it’s their “zone of genius”. By hiring out the tasks that are not in YOUR zone of genius, you are giving yourself the time back to continue working ON your business instead of in it. For most business owners, this allows them to focus on the income producing activities (IPA’s) that are going to grow their business.
It has been my experience that when a business is able to consolidate investments and money that is going out, the better it is. Things don’t fall through the cracks. Hosting and maintenance, as mentioned before, is like your full coverage insurance policy for your website. If you collect email addresses, are your leads worth insuring? If you rely on your website to drive traffic to your store front, is that worth making sure everything is functioning as it should be? Is your website optimized for mobile use (more than half of all web traffic comes from people surfing on their phones now a days). Is your website vulnerable to being hacked or infected with malware? Does it comply with basic privacy law guidelines and policies? Do you REALLY want to be worrying about these questions?
Our Hosting and Maintenance PlanS
Yes, planS, plural. We offer a variety of different plans because we understand that small businesses are at different points in their journey. For some the basic Tier 1, where we provide hosting, monthly backups, weekly plugin updates, and up to 30 minutes of included content updates (need to update an address, phone number, team member/employee – quick easy updates), is stretching the budget just a smidge at $70/mo. On the flip side, we have our top end where we include some SEO tracking, updates, and content specific creation is a $313 investment. There are several different options between them.
One of the things that makes us different is that we don’t nickel and dime our clients. Included in our hosting and maintenance plans are three different layers of secure protection, reliable and responsive customer service, an SEO and accessibility focus from the start (that doesn’t incur an extra charge). We choose not to “hook” ya with lowball pricing and then spring all these standard best practices with add-ons that leave you wondering how you went from $20/mo to $90. We want to see you and your business grow and flourish. You’re not just another “trouble ticket” or a number at S.Barnes Designs. You become part of a community, a family. We look forward to giving you peace of mind through our hosting and maintenance plans – if they’re a good fit for where you’re at in your journey.
If you’re interested in learning more, fill out the form under “Work With Us” and/or schedule a 15 minute conversation/Zoom call with Shawna to have your questions answered.