"Penny Wise and Dollar Foolish" Choices when Building and Maintaining Your Website
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"Penny Wise and Dollar Foolish" Choices when Building and Maintaining Your Website
Kate Gingold
/ Categories: The Sprocket Report

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"Penny Wise and Dollar Foolish" Choices when Building and Maintaining Your Website

On making good decisions!

Whether you’re willing to pay for the best money can buy or are just shopping around for the lowest price, we don’t judge. Just be sure you weigh the non-dollar costs as well. 

Sprocket Websites has been building websites an awfully long time now, so we’ve been rejected a time or two because of price. We totally get it. Start-ups and not-for-profits have notoriously teeny budgets and we offer a do-it-yourself option at our SprocketStore for exactly that reason. 

But being too frugal can be costly in the long run, so be sure you know what you’re paying for and what you’re risking by choosing not to pay. Here are options when considering what services to buy and what the risks are:

Monitoring Service

Uptime monitoring keeps an eye on your website twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Monitors send a notification if your site goes down so that whatever is broken can be fixed in a timely fashion. 

Since business owners spend way less time on their own websites than their customers do, they are often the last to notice a problem. Monitoring services are watching even when you aren’t, which is especially important if your site gets hacked. Quick response to unusual activity can prevent ongoing damage.

CMS Updating Service

Most websites are built using Content Management Systems such as WordPress or DNN. Periodically, new features are added to the CMS platform that make it more powerful or easier to use, features that you’ll want to take advantage of. 

On the flip side, older versions reveal previously unforeseen issues and hackers get more time to look for vulnerabilities. Platform architects apply patches and plug up holes in the next version, so you’ll want to keep up with the latest one.

Module/Plug-in Updating Services

While it is super important to keep your website’s platform updated, sometimes the newest version breaks part of the site. Websites these days are like Lego blocks. You choose the functions you want and snap them together. Unfortunately, not all the function “blocks” are updated on the same schedule as the platform and when the update happens, they stop talking to one another. 

Plug-in updating services make sure all your “blocks” are working together properly using the latest versions. If a plug-in is broken, updating services can swap it out for another or advise you on what to do next.

Backup Service

A website can go down for a number of reasons ranging from malicious intent to accidental operator error. If you make frequent additions and changes to the information on your website, it can be devastating to lose all that activity. Backup services preserve a snapshot of your site so that you aren’t starting from scratch if your site goes down. Just think through your usage to decide on the most helpful frequency of your backups.

The days of the simple, static brochure-type of website are gone and organizations are doing more and more of their business online. Protecting your digital assets is important, so before you say “no” to extra website services, think it through to make the right decision for you. If you want to learn more about Sprocket’s maintenance services, just give us a call. We’re happy to discuss it with you.

Coins-Pennies, CC0 Public Domain, via Max Pixel 

This article is an update to “Why We Hate Losing a Client over Price” dated 7/7/2014.

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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