Each of my new web design clients are informed during the brief that I recommend a Maintenance Package as part of the web build. I’m clear and up front that it’s not essential for my clients but it’s strongly recommended. Some people see this as an additional cash grab; an upsell that at the end of the day has no value to them. However, there is a major reason why I promote it.
It seems like a waste of money, until it’s not.
I received an email recently from a friend who knows my background and who needed some advice. Her brand new client’s old website had been hacked but she didn’t know what to do. She was in the middle of setting up a brand new site, but in the meantime the old one was still active.
In these situations, often you end up hoping that your web host has a recent backup and that there is no charge to retrieve it. But that’s not the only thing you need to hope for.
You need to hope that that backup isn’t compromised as well; that when you rollback the site you can retrieve newer content; that you have someone who can help you figure out what needs to be done to get the site working properly; and, someone who can help make sure your site is harder to hack into afterwards.
WordPress is a great way to build websites, and can have some gorgeous results; but it’s also highly popular and that makes it a big target for hackers.
While WordPress tries to keep ahead of the game, there are always new vulnerabilities that can appear and if your website is up to date, it can reduce the risk of attack. It’s like the whole thing about cars and houses; it doesn’t need to be the highest level of security, it just needs to be harder to break into than the next.
Getting back to this friend’s email… it turns out that over two weeks before she contacted me, the CMS used to build the website put out an urgent security update that no one actioned. The site owner potentially thought the person who developed her site would do it, and the designer might not have had them on a maintenance package.
If they had been on a maintenance package, then the designer should have jumped in and actioned it as soon as they were aware of the security vulnerability. At least, that’s what I do for my clients that have a maintenance subscription with me.
Even if action couldn’t be taken at that stage, by having regular backups of the site, I’d be able to rollback and rebuild the site in a short period of time; protecting my clients from long periods of downtime.
I’m not saying that a maintenance package will completely stop hackers, but it does add a nice safety net as a fall back if need be.
You don’t need me to design your website to take advantage of a maintenance plan. Contact me now if you think that this is a form of protection that could benefit you. We can work out the best plan possible for your website.