Let me ask you this, “Would you even consider cutting your own hair?”
Yes, I know, that seems like a left field question. But it’s in the same ball park for me as the, “Well, what am I paying my designer a maintenance fee every month for?”
Inevitably during every class I teach about building a website, my beginners class, the question comes up about what they are paying their designers a monthly maintenance fee for. They take a look at the process during class and are stunned to find out how simple it is to maintain their WordPress websites. But it’s a matter of, if you’re not willing to learn, or you don’t have time to learn to do it yourself, you need to pay someone to do it.
I don’t mean to tell you that your designer or website builder is not worth the money. They are! Every cent! Every month. Because they have invested in their education and practised their craft. And they know what to do when something goes wrong. I say that because eventually, something will go wrong…an update may break your website, accidentally changing a line of code will create chaos in your design. Your website guru will know exactly what to do though. And that’s worth paying for if you don’t have the time or inclination to educate yourself.
Everything in life and business comes at a cost. The investment of your marketing budget into a maintenance plan for your website might be the right choice for you. But if you’re not willing to invest those marketing dollars, then it’s time to educate yourself and learn how to do it. Oh, and how much is your time worth? That needs to factor into the decision as well.
So, what do your maintenance fees cover?
Well, that’s a difficult question that only your designer can answer. Take a look at your contract or agreement and see what it is that they’re doing for you for that money. Does it cover hosting? Well, that’s an expense straight out of their pocket that as business owners, they need to recoup. A good designer or agency will at very least be providing backups, processing updates, and ensuring that your website doesn’t crash after an update. Your contract may cover SEO techniques, analytic reports, maintaining an offline copy of your website for emergency purposes and testing. You might even have an agreement in place where they upload and edit content for you.
The important thing is knowing what value they provide for you. Each of the things associated with owning and maintaining a website take time and expertise.