What are Website Care Plans
Website care plans are, as you may surmise, a service to keep your business website safe from the dangers lurking across the internet. It can ensure that a potential problem with your website is corrected, often before you know it, and before it becomes a real fire in your business to fight.
Without this protection, you are just leaving a valuable asset in your business open to any number of threats which beset any website online and one which only comes to light often after its too late and disaster has already struck.
What cost can be placed upon such a thing happening with your company website?
Why Should My Business Have A Care Plan?
As stated above, it’s just a prudent, common-sense move for a business to take in order to mitigate your site from being affected by something outside your control, whether that is intentional or not.
Given how the internet and our digital assets are evermore important tools, a care plan for your website is, therefore, a critical service for any business nowadays. If your site has any commercial transactions, such as lead generation, sales even collecting emails or indeed anything else, it’s such an important part of how any business trades nowadays.
So many businesses take their website for granted and assume it will just work, but the reality is, there is no guarantee that it should 100% of the time. Business leaders often don’t even consider there is a risk of their website breaking and being irreconcilably damaged, but it’s a real danger that happens to websites each and every day.
No matter the size of the company, there is always an inherent risk of downtime through one reason or another.
Is This Just Another Thing You’re Trying To Sell Which Has No Value?
Often you only know the value of something after it has gone, but you have to ask yourself, is it worth the risk to find that out?
As a business owner, you have to make informed decisions and it’s down to you to consider where that risk lies and if you can either live with or manage. By law, if you have to have a publically accessible premises, you have to have public liability insurance just to trade. If you have a vehicle that is driven on the public higways, you need to have insurance to protect against accidents. They are all there to be used in the worst-case scenario and to have some way to protect you or those in your care.
But what about mitigation for other critical parts of your business, you might have a CCTV or security system to protect your property but isn’t a lock on the door sufficient? How secure, therefore, is your website, and what contingencies have you in place if the worst should happen and it was hacked if the only thing that protects it is a password?
The thing is, you can probably never protect your site from being hacked, just as you can’t guarantee your building is never going to broken into, the real question is, if it were hacked, how can you protect the data or your brand from being adversely damaged? Could you say, hand on heart that you have all that information backed up and secure?
You may not be Amazon or Walmart and have their level of online sales, but nevertheless, even if you have modest traffic and the site is used to engage with potential clients, it can be considered a tangible key asset for your business and as such should be protected.
If your website went down and couldn’t be recovered, how would that affect your business? Would it need to be rebuilt, how long would that take, and how much revenue would that be responsible for?
Even if it doesn’t account for tangible sales, it is the place where people find you and is a reflection of your brand and just having your site down for a while, may send the wrong signals, not to mention the hassle and the cost of having to deal with getting the site up and running again, including, perhaps having it redesigned.
When you look at it like that, you can look at a care plan as an insurance policy to protect your digital asset against things going wrong.
What type of Care plan should I be using for my business?
it’s dependant of a lot of variables, but in our opinion, it starts with website hosting. If your site is hosted with another company, that could make things difficult for all involved, so we always recommend changing over to our hosting. It is considered as very high quality as we only use companies who are trusted and have a good reputation for quality and who are financially stable too.
Then you have to consider things such as backups of the site and how frequent you think they should be made. Ideally, this should be every day, or in some instances, every few hours, if the commercial value is business-critical, such as a high volume eCommerce store for instance.
Our process involves backups being made and then copies directed to one or several secure locations in the cloud. This is standard procedure for the disaster recovery process and insures against critical outages due to things like hardware failure, numerous hosting issues or a hacked site. If this happens, we are safe in the knowledge that we always have a clean back up of the site available to redeploy at short notice.
Theme and plugin updates
Then of course there are theme and plugin updates which are critical as outdated plugins are responsible for some 87% of all hacked websites.
So many websites are just left to fend for themselves without any updates been carried out, that over time they become progressively more out of date and susceptle to being hacked, until the inevitable happens, or sites just break because the old software fails.
Once again, depending on the package chosen, will depends on how frequently this is done. With WordPress website care plans, we would recommend at least once per week, but again, for business critical site, this could be each day.
One of the things which we feel differentiates us when talking about care plans for your business website is that in some of the packages we also offer monthly hours, whereby the client can use our in-house expertise to use as they see fit for an alloted time each month.
Most clients use it to have us update the site with new articles or amends they wish to make, while others use it to talk to us about marketing projects they are considering such as social media projects that they want to apply inhouse but use the marketing knowledge of Black and White Boy to generate a few more ideas through having a strategy session during their allotted time.
How Hard Can It Be, Can’t I Do This Myself?
Like anything else, if you have the expertise inhouse, there is nothing to stop you from carrying out all the tasks yourself. The only advise I would give is that you can’t watch a couple of youtube videos and have it cracked, it’s something which has a learning curve, and in many respect its a multi-skilled set of tasks which does have a learning curve.
But with that said, it is definitely possible for someone with the right aptitude. Though if you do it just to save money, well it may just be a false economy, though again it’s dependent on how critical your website is to your business.
One thing we can advise you on is that by managing it yourself, that if something does go wrong, it will probably be more costly for you to get someone to fix it, after the event, than to have a professional oversee it in the background on an agreed careplan.
How Much Does A Careplan cost?
Our care plans come in several levels and we try to adapt it specifically to our clients, and the requirements of your business, but we also try to make them cost-effective so they are a no brainer to many of our clients.
Often it’s considered a no-brainer once a client can truly see the value in what we do for them and when they know it’s all taken care of and it’s one less thing to worry about.
Care Plan Contract, How Do They Work?
Our care plans are really very simple as we try no to over complicate things. They are agreed on with the client when they want to start a care plan for thier website, these are reviewed each year.
Most clients prefer to pay for them by the month, however, there is a discount for those clients who prefer to pay for their care paid upfront, a year in advance, and the saving is greater for those who wish to pay for longer periods of time. These plans are discussed with the client at the time, and is something which is decided at the point of sale.