Something that we frequently run into is clients who don’t expect a recurring cost with their website. After all, they spent a lot of money on building the site to begin with, and hearing that your brand spanking new website will need maintenance costs can be a shock. Today we have some tips to help you keep those costs to a bare minimum.
Update Your Own Content
This is one of the biggest recurring items that we run into. We build websites on WordPress – one of the most powerful and easy-to-use content management systems on the web. If you have used Microsoft Word before, you can change almost all of the content on your website in a breeze. However, if we do it we have to charge at least 15 minutes of time, no matter how small the change, due to the lost productivity of switching tasks (it takes an average of 20 minutes to get back to a task after changing to another).
This simple item will save you hundreds of dollars over the life of your website.
Anticipate your Needs Thoroughly Beforehand
This seems like a no-brainer, but it makes a big difference to the overall maintenance cost. It is far cheaper for us to build in a new post type or a login system to begin with than to do it later down the road. This is because we can architect the site with those needs ahead of time and we’re already in building the site. It’s a lot easier for your electrician to wire up an in-built sound entertainment system while you’re building the house – the drywall hasn’t even been put up so he has to spend a lot less time and that means less money out of your pocket.
Likewise, if we have to do it afterwards we have to put it into the production schedule, and then we have to re-evaluate the code that we wrote a year ago, (code standards change drastically in a short amount of time) and then we can get started. This means extra costs for you.
Only Use Quality Plugins
I’ve written before on the dangers & costs of using free plugins so I won’t get into too many details here. Just know that while there are amazing plugins out there for free, 99.9% of free plugins will cost you significantly in both time and money to properly configure and get setup. We recommend using Tidy Repo to narrow down your choices.
Adhere to Secure Logins & Procedures
Getting hacked is no fun for anyone. You don’t have access to your website, Google will penalize you severally, and worst of all your prospects and customers can’t view your site. Taking simple precautions such as ensuring that you have a solid password and using normal security measures will save a lot of costs from paying someone to restore your website. We recommend using iThemes Security as your main security plugin and if you have constant issues with attacks use Login Security Solution + Google Authenticator for WordPress for a highly secure setup.
With WordPress, you can do amazing things – and do them with no cost at all. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be able to keep your maintenance costs to almost nothing!