I'm a newbie to the web development field, and being as such I've got plenty of questions. I'm sure you guys will be instrumental in my progress.
Currently I'm having trouble figuring out how to handle site maintenance. I've only built simple sights so far so it hasn't been an issue, but I'm curious why is it that most sites end up requiring maintenance? I've built in basic cms processes into my sites to enable my clients to alter content, but I'm sure there are reasons other than content updates which demand maintenance and want to be prepared when discussing proposals in the future.
What types sites typically require what level of maintenance? How do you determine how frequently a site will need to be updated? When should I charge upfront, monthly or as needed? In general what have you found to be the best practices for handling site maintenance?
This topic is the biggest thing keeping me from soliciting more complex business. Any insights you may have would be greatly appreciated and I'd love to hear as many opinions as possible as I'm sure you all have different methods.
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This all things very imporatnce for maintain your website.
Thanks for the response Sonya, those are all important things to keep in mind.
Although I was already aware of these key aspects it's always good to be reminded.
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my original post. All of the sites that I've done thusfar and all those I plan to do in the future have CMS built into their design so that each client is able to update the content of their site at will. Here haven't been any issues to speak of to this point with my customers having diffuculty in doing so, and therefore I have been comfortable with not proposing a recurring maintenance charge.
So I guess my question is, what sort of circumstances will likely lead to needed maintenance in this situation. Clearly any CMS will have limitations; however I'm fairly confident that unless a complete redesign is requested(which I don't categorize as maintenance), the CMS that have been provided should suffice.
Are code standards updated so frequently that most sites will require maintenance to keep them working properly? If so, what kind of processes will these changes most likely to affect? Are there any key functions to be prepared for changes to take place in?
How often do browser updates affect the functionality of specific languages?
Do particular types of sites, such as Ecommerce sites, social networking sites require enough regular coding maintenance to warrant a monthly charge?
I realize that some customers will potentially prefer to not have to be burdened with updating their content, however I am concerned that committing to such regular maintenance would be more time-consuming than it's worth. Would you advise contracting help to maintain content on some of the sites I develop, and if so what sort of website would you feel comfortable with outsourcing such responsibility to? Could any of you possibly recommend places that are dependable for contracting such work through?
Many people I've talked to suggest that often maintenance charges are infrequently acted upon by the customer and therefore are simply a way of driving more revenue than anything else. What sites will likely require a significant amount of maintenance and what sites will require very little?
Obviously I understand that talking actual dollars is forbidden, however I'd like to get an idea of the hierarchy of required maintenance based on the type of site.
Any further perspective would be greatly appreciated.