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Site Maintenance

What do you include? What do you charge extra for?

     
7:28 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm just wondering how folks handle site maintenance for their clients. My thinking is that the following should (generally) be included as a certainty and the rest is negotiable and/or at a set hourly rate:

1. Checking links and correcting/deleting/adding as appropriate.
2. Verifying the site is up and running, and getting the site back up if it's down.
3. Minor word/sentence changes/corrections.
4. Checking search engines to ranking and making minor SEO adjustments as needed.
5. Adding/changing/deleting email addresses.
6. Answering client questions (short, easy ones) about the site, search engines, browsers, etc.
7. Correcting broken scripts.
8. Keep an eye on stats.
9. Maintenance regarding security issues (scripts, databases, image/bandwidth theft, etc.)

I'm probably leaving a few things off, but I wanted to have some starting point for folks.

What do the rest of you do? And how do you charge for it (included/hourly)? How much does this vary, depending on the size of the site and/or how "active" a site (e.g. fresh content) it is?

7:42 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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We do most of the same thing, except that SEO is a separate estimate. The nature of that is more from an account management perspective, since in many cases we provided SEO without hosting and vice versa.
8:27 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I do all of that for maintenance, except SEO, but it mostly involves updating the site to keep it current.

I charge a flat rate for monthly maintenance.

8:35 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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That's a pretty inclusive list. There's usually an added page or something here and there. I usually do a gut check on those, if it takes longer to type and send an invoice than it did to add a page I slough it off.

We also charge a flat monthly rate that includes hosting. If I have to walk over to any of the offices for any reason I also expect an after work cocktail as part of my compensation.

9:17 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I don't handle hosting at the moment and I'm not sure I want to. Too many hassles for not enough compensation in my mind. But that attitude may change at some point in the future.

It's starting to sound like the SEO stuff may be a little over the top. I may reconsider that inclusion. But I wasn't thinking major re-writes of pages. Just a small change or two here and there.

JimBeetle - I like the way you think! Cocktails is a wonderful compensation I hadn't even considered!

9:32 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Syren_Song,

You can't nickel and dime them to death (especially if they're acquaintances or friends of friends or referrals) and I think it's pretty fair compensation for the calls that start out "What's this thing called a printer driver?" Well, I know where they're going to be in a couple of hours.

As for the hosting part it's just a reseller package we use for a handful of client sites plus ours. It really helps keep our costs down, gives us a lot more control over things and we deal with basically the same package for each site. Sooner or later we'll actually learn how it all works! It's better for us than using all different hosts.

9:56 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I hadn't thought in terms of nickle'n'diming anyone. That's just looking for trouble. But drinks are pleasant and take the edge off everything for everyone. :)

As for hosting, there is a bit of extra work involved with learning different interfaces of the many hosting companies out there. I guess having several sites with one company would speed a few things up a bit. Hadn't even considered that before. Hmmmm......

10:44 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Depends upon how 'good' a client they are. If they're relatively trouble free and they ask for a 10 minute change or want a piece of information about some software or want to playout a "what if" scenario - no charge.

If they've been stingy and have nickeled and dimed me - then they'll get charged and hourly fee - half hour minimum.

When I'm done with a site I hand over the reigns unless they want to buy a maintenance agreement. In which case I offer 3 levels. Silver, Bronze, and Gold. Divide up what you'd normally do for yourself into these categories and go get paid for the knowledge you've spent years accumulating.

11:06 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>If they've been stingy and have nickeled and dimed me - then they'll get charged and hourly fee - half hour minimum.

Definitely. And then, like any other service contract I'd also through in travel time and expenses if incurred.

My outside clients are basically low maintenance and have all come through the same circle of people and they don't nickel and dime me or I them.

And since I just got back in from helping those folks out with their "What's a printer driver?" problem it's time to close up shop for the day and go meet them for payment.

Sometimes it seems we should all have JOAT's handle.

2:07 am on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>> Sometimes it seems we should all have JOAT's handle.

LOL. How true. Sad. But true.

2:14 am on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I include a contract. I totally disagree with the fact you can't nickel and dime a client, because a client can certainly 10 minute change you to death. If you decide not to charge for a certain incident, that is your decision, but if you have a contract you have the leverage to charge, (even if you don't do it every time). I charge extra for anything not included in the contract.

g

 

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