Should I manage my own website?
Disclaimer: part of my income comes from managing websites for clients! But this article isn’t about why you should go to me, instead, I aim to provide a balanced perspective on whether website maintenance is the best option for you.
If you’re looking to invest in a website for your business, one cost to include in your business forecast is ongoing website maintenance.
The cheapest option is definitely managing it yourself, until you start to consider what is involved, and whether your time is better spent working on your own business.
So let’s do the on website care packages
Say, for example, you pay £100 a month, for someone to manage your website for you – that’s likely to include a full package of support including an hour of their time. This includes everything including hosting.
Doing DIY care yourself, per month, may cost:
- £7 hosting
- £1 cloud space for back ups
- £1 anti-spam software
- £8 security software
Plus your own time for:
- Weekly updates
- Technical issues
- Ensuring website speed remains good (image optimisation, etc)
- Content uploads
- Checking analytics
So for sure, £17 is far cheaper than £100.
So should you manage your own website if you have a simple website?
If you have a simple wordpress site, it’s definitely an option, and one I do recommend to potential clients if I don’t think I can offer them value for money.
What do I mean by a simple site?
- Minimal pages
- Limited functionality, e.g. very few additional plugins or features
- No e-commerce element
- Your business does not depend on the site being live and speedy
- You make minimal changes to your website
In this case, managing your own website is a definite option, as the time required is pretty minimal.
Wait, I hate technical stuff
Ok, then you definitely want to get your site managed, and ideally by someone who actually speaks plain English (or other language as applicable!) as opposed to technical jargon.
Some of us, including myself, just love doing the technical work involved with websites. When someone pays me to solve a wordpress problem, it’s like I’ve won the lottery. I get to solve a puzzle that I enjoy, make someone’s life easier, and I get paid for it. Woohoo!
I don’t expect everyone to feel the same way about playing with websites. It may fill you with fear, you just can’t be bothered, or you are perfectly capable but you feel like it is slowly draining your soul. That’s all fine and perfectly normal, we’re all created with our own unique gifts and passions. Don’t fight it, hand it over!
I want to learn how to manage my website, but not just yet
If you want to learn how to manage your own website, but you’re busy building your business and that’s your primary focus, then commit to getting your website managed in the short-term. I’d recommend finding a web agency or freelancer you click with, and be upfront with them that you’d like to take on more responsibility yourself overtime.
Personally, I really enjoy sharing my knowledge with my clients, and feel proud as they manage to boost their own SEO, learn how to build pages and understand the lingo. I recognise that I may lose them as a client in the longer-term, and focus on doing the best job I can for them in the meantime.
Think of the cost of website maintenance as an investment – you’re freeing up your own time right now to focus on your business. This gives you a safe time and space to learn how to do it yourself.
My business depends on a website, do I need my site maintained?
This is the one instance when having a professional manage your website is essential. If your business depends on your website being up and running 24/7, whether that’s for online bookings, online shop or a membership site, then paying for website maintenance is a critical investment.
A bit of advance warning – more complex sites will cost a bit more for website management. Especially if you’re looking to include additional web developer hours with your monthly care plan, or you have an e-commerce website.
I’m still not sure if I need to payout for website maintenance
That’s fine, it’s not always an easy decision to make.
One option is to have a friendly web designer on speed dial, who will be able to rescue you if needed. But ensure that you are keeping your website up to date and backed-up, to minimise the impact if anything goes wrong.
Also, have another look at the equation above. In particular the ‘free’ bit of you doing the work. What’s your hourly rate if you were to free up that time? And don’t forget that your website manager will be able to work on your site much quicker than you can. An hour long job for you may be a 5 minute job for them, given their knowledge and expertise.
If you’re interested, I offer website maintenance packages. Do get in touch if you have any questions about what’s included, and the different options.