Note: This is the final part of a three-part series about ongoing support contracts. Each post can stand alone, but we recommend reading the post explaining what ongoing support contracts are and why they matter in general, before diving into this one.
Ready, set, launch! You wouldn’t abandon a space shuttle after launch, so why do so many people think it’s ok to abandon their website after it launches? Once your site is live, it’s time to start the real mission: promoting your brand. To successfully do that, you need to make sure that your site is always growing with the times — and with your business. If a potential customer visits your site and finds it glitchy or outdated, what will that tell them about your brand? Save yourself from lost opportunities, maintenance hassles, and expensive patch-job fixes by getting an ongoing support contract with your web development team.
Why do ongoing support contracts matter?
If you’ve read part one in this blog series, you can safely skip to the next section. If not, there are a few things you need to know first. An ongoing support contract (or support retainer) is a contract with your web development team to maintain and upgrade your website as needed. You pay for a set number of hours per month, and they take care of all the little tweaks and updates required to keep your site performing at its best.
Because a support retainer is a relationship between you and your web development partner, everyone is familiar with your brand and how everything should look, feel, and function. You don’t have to waste time (or money) to get someone up to speed and learn how your site works every time you need something fixed or modified. Need a landing page for a marketing campaign? Your web development team will handle it. Want to know if you’re reaching your target audience or why your views aren’t turning into sales? Your web development team has that covered. Without an ongoing support contract, you’ll be left to muddle through on your own — or be stuck hiring someone to do everything, piece by piece.
Benefits of support retainers for web
Routine website maintenance and updating
You don’t want to worry about the day-to-day work of keeping your website fresh and functional. A support retainer with your web development team handles all of these nitty-gritty details, so you don’t have to.
Emergency support “on call” when you need it
Server down? Broken link? Mysterious glitch not letting anyone view their shopping cart? These kinds of emergency situations are all handled in-house by your web development team, so you know it’ll be fixed fast and correctly.
From time to time plugins need changes or upgrades to continue working as they should. New operating systems, new hardware, or different web browsers can all affect plugin operation — not something you want to handle by hiring someone each time an issue arises.
KPI tracking, reporting, and data analysis
Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) is the only way to know if your website is working as it should. Any decent ongoing support contract will include performance statistics and data analysis so you can make educated decisions. Some “full-stack” developers – like Iversoft – can even take those results and use it to reach your target audience through in-house digital marketing teams.
A/B testing and conversion optimization
Do your customers prefer a particular product display style over another? Your web development team can use A/B testing to find out and then apply that knowledge to optimize the conversion rate among site viewers.
Create landing pages as needed
Landing pages are a vital part of any professional digital marketing strategy. Using some of the hours in your support contract, your web development team can design and build brand-consistent landing pages for every new marketing stream. Never wonder if that Facebook ad was worth the investment or not again.
Search engine optimization (SEO) & content strategy
SEO is a pretty common buzzword for website design and content, but it’s often underused. Your website support retainer can help you rank high in the search results for relevant search terms. Help the right people find your site by using SEO to make it easy for them.
Content Management System (CMS)
Every website has some kind CMS. WordPress is the most common one out there, but there are lots of others that are often better suited to your needs. A good website support team can assist with editing it for you and/or training you to do it yourself.
Improved user experience (UX)
Web development teams have lots of experience in designing, building, and maintaining websites. We’re experts in what works, what doesn’t, and how to provide the best possible UX. With an ongoing support contract, you get to know all the best practices — not just during site construction, but throughout the lifespan of your site.
Privacy & security
Privacy and security are critical to the success of a website. Google prioritizes search results in favour of secure websites. Certain browsers block unsecured websites. Data breaches are a constant threat. Keeping your web development team beyond the launch ensures that your website is maintained with the highest security and updated to meet the latest requirements.
It may feel like the hard work is behind you when your site launches, but it’s only the beginning. An ongoing support contract with your web development team covers all the ongoing maintenance, emergency support, user experience upgrades, security concerns, and everything else that keeps your website top-notch. Nothing beats a full-stack development agency like Iversoft when it comes to website support.
Do you have a support retainer for your website? What do you love the most about it? What kept you from signing up?
As a full-stack development and digital agency, we can offer you all of this, plus access to our digital marketing and design teams. Contact us for more information on how we can help you reach your goals.