Don't Hang Your Clients Out to Dry

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    Website Support and Maintenance shouldn't fall to the client

    Talking to marketing agencies has taught us a thing or two. When agencies develop a new website for a client it is on the agency's preferred hosting service provider. After going live with the website, the team moves on to the next website design and development project. Here is the lesson: about 50% of agencies don't provide ongoing support or maintenance for the website. This is akin to hanging those customers out to dry.

    Customers shouldn't manage hosting

    A majority of customers don't want anything to do with the technical details of hosting a website. When their website is developed, they’re given access to the content management system (CMS) and rarely informed about hosting or DNS. After all, sites should continue to be live without interruption.

    What about when the website returns or displays an error? Things go wrong and often have a major impact on site availability. A website’s downtime is a negative reflection upon the agency that built the site - even though they don't provide or manage the hosting. If the agency isn’t available to help resolve and talk about the technical issues, then that also harms the agency’s reputation.

    Customer acquisition is expensive

    Acquiring new customers is costly. Every agency should provide some type of ongoing support or maintenance agreement. Once a site is built and deployed, keeping customers is relatively cheap. They're not going to make another large website investment for 3-5 years. You'll want to be around and on their good list when that happens.

    Many customers may be hesitant to sign up for ongoing maintenance. Instead, add a few dollars to the hosting fee and include website support in your contract or retainer. The upcharge, when aggregated across all your customers, will be more than enough to cover your costs for any support that arises.

    You may not want to handle the hosting details but providing this small service to your clients will lead to higher customer lifetime value and ultimately, happier clients. And happy clients stick around.

    Find a Partner

    Another option is partnering with a hosting provider who you can trust to keep sites running and handle urgent support requests. Marketpath CMS not only provides the professional toolset to build and maintain sites but also handles monitoring, backups, failover, uptime, load balancing, page speed, system updates, and much more.

    Marketpath CMS also provides unlimited ongoing support for you and your clients so you can focus on doing what you do best. 

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    About the Author

    Matt Zentz

    Matt Zentz launched Marketpath from a small Broad Ripple bungalow in February 2001 with a focus on custom web application development. He built the first, basic version of a hosted CMS called Webtools and shortly afterward expanded his team and created the first version of Marketpath CMS.

    Matt has worked for a national consulting firm, taught computer programming to high school juniors and seniors , and led the information technology arm of the auxiliary business units at Indiana University.

    Matt graduated from Indiana University in 1999 with a B.S. in Computer Science and has built custom web applications since 1995. Matt is husband to an amazing & supportive wife, has three beautiful children, supreme master to Archimedes (Archie) the dog, and mostly tolerant victim of 2 flying rats (cockateils).

    He coaches various kid sports, enjoys furniture and home renovation projects, and plays guitar and piano. Matt is also active with his church as a parishioner, technical advisor and board member on the festival committee.

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