You’re beautiful new website has been launched, you’re happy, your web design agency is happy, and you’re ready to rock! What comes next? Do you and your web designers and developers part company, each riding off in different directions, into the sunset, or are you expecting them to stick around and deliver ongoing support?
If the latter’s the answer and you’d prefer a close ongoing partnership to a one-off fling, the best website design agencies provide after-care services rather than cutting the cord altogether at launch stage. Most good agencies offer support either as a monthly plan or pay-as-you-go. Our Careplan support services, for example, have been lovingly rolled into a suite of packages to keep your website in tip-top condition, future-proofed and firing on full power.
There are plenty of good reasons why it makes sense to opt for a long term partnership. Here they are.
Maintaining the framework, plugins, security, SEO and more
You can choose whether or not to go for ongoing support with WordPress, security and plug-in updates, site development, hosting and more. It’s entirely up to you. Whatever you decide to do, a good agency will train you in how to create your own blog posts and other new content and edit or update existing content. But there’s much more to website maintenance than fresh content.
The technical side of things involves keeping baddies out, giving visitors the best possible experience as the internet and the way we consume it evolves, maintaining tight security and a ship-shape back-end. It means cleaning up broken links, ensuring the on-site optimisation of content to keep search engines happy, and loads more. Unless you have the expertise in-house, it’s a risky business going it alone.
It’s a design thing
Web design isn’t just making things look pretty. It’s much subtler and cleverer than that, and graphic design has a profound effect on people’s behaviour. Do you have the skills necessary to add new content that looks as good as it sounds, supports easy consumption with the right spacing and sizing, drives visitors to react the way you want them to, all those essential marketing-led things a professional designer’s eye takes into account?
If you’re in it for the long run, your agency will keep an eye on things to make sure the content, layout and functionality stays consistent and appropriately appealing. The same goes for support with re-sizing images, something that isn’t always as simple as it seems when you want to maintain quality while minimising the file size for fast loading speeds.
The practicalities of a post-launch website support partnership
There’s more. A support partner can help with optimising video and graphic content for search engines, maintaining the hosting, the list of essential stuff you need to either do yourself or leave in the capable hands of your agency goes on…
What about the practical side of things? Here are some things you need to know about website design agency post-launch support packages.
- A support package should always be your choice, not something you’re forced into.
- A web agency has no obligation to support you and might even refuse to provide after-care if you don’t stick to their recommended practices or use their recommended host. It’s fair enough, since it’s important for everyone to be on the same page, with the same work ethic and goals, using the same proven protocols.
- A bad agency might make it impossible for your site to run without a support package, so it’s always a good idea to discuss how ongoing support works before you sign a web design and development contract.
- If you don’t want a support package, a good agency will still be happy to pitch in post-launch, but not for free. They’ll charge for pay-as-you-go support. And you might not get the same instant attention you get with a package. You’ll have to take your turn, and the turnaround time will probably be longer.
We’ve created a choice of Careplans, which you can explore here. Clients without a Careplan pay £80 an hour for pay-as-you-go support, which makes a package a sensible financial decision.