March 28, 2015 at 3:33 pm #145963Au CoeurMember
Do you offer support after the initial website project is complete? I'm getting to the point where client support, maintenance, and content updates are getting in the way of my ability to build new themes. Of course, the maintenance, etc. pays, but the new projects are what I really enjoy. If you're a freelancer, how do you manage this? Do you offer support or not? If you don't, what resources do you recommend to them, especially the clients who have little to no ability to update things on their own? Even suggesting they purchase their own genesis license so they can ask questions in the forum would be more than many of my clients could manage. Does anyone contract these changes out?
March 29, 2015 at 6:34 am #145992DjonesisMember
I'll be very interested in following this discussion as I expect to be in the same boat soon and I would like some control over support.
I was thinking about offering my clients a "credit" system, where they'd buy hours of maintenance to use as they see fit. That way I'm able to define a fixed quantity of support time per month, that I can control and thus avoid being drowned by it.
Sure, they could be times where all clients want to use their support credit the same day, or week, but I still know, on average, how much time I'll dedicate to support.
Bear in mind I haven't tried this yet, so it might as well be a stupid idea 🙂March 29, 2015 at 10:28 am #146005emasaiParticipant
I'm not sure by support if you mean updating and backing up the site on a regular basis, or and adding content to the site as per the needs of the client. .
My contract with the client is to build and deliver a working site to them, I warn the client at the beginning that WordPress sites need constant updating and backup to keep them secure. If the client feels they can do it themselves, I give them full Admin access, provide them with a Word document detailing what they need to do, walk them through the site and then I hand it over and walk away from it, no further support is offered. If they get hacked or mess up, they have to hire me or someone else to fix it, and hopefully they have a backup somewhere. Other sites are like bread and butter, bringing in regular small jobs, both updating the content and maintaining the site. I usually do this on an as needed basis and bill the client on an hourly basis. While I do prefer building a site from scratch, I enjoy the maintenance part of the job which brings in a regular income.
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Lynne emasai.comMarch 30, 2015 at 11:46 pm #146220Au CoeurMember
By support, I mean anything under the sun that they could need post completion. Some of my clients take their one hour of training and admin access (I give everyone admin access) and I never hear for them again. Others contact me regularly for content changes and little things, and a few I hear from on a yearly or bi-yearly basis. I find it difficult because it is harder to plan my schedule. Take this week - I have two huge projects going live, but I am suddenly getting inundated with malware attacks on sites that had not been updated (5 so far in the last 3 days) and content update requests. I like the income, but it can be rough. This last week has me wondering if I should change to a policy where I only support people on a maintenance plan, because that would allow me to plan ahead more...but I'm afraid it'll be a turn off to new prospective clients and I don't want to make past clients angry since I get so much business from referrals.
March 31, 2015 at 12:42 am #146223coralseaitMember
We offer a Managed WordPress Service which basically covers all WordPress, Plugin and Theme updates, security, and backups. We're also very lenient in that if you are on Managed Service we'll do things like swap images or minor changes to content for the clients. We charge this yearly or monthly.
Our feeling is the holistic health of our clients' sites is better in the long run then sweating the cost of keeping the machine running so to speak. In that regard it is probably a wash and we probably spend more time on maint than the Managed Service returns for us; BUT we know our clients' sites are always safe, up to date and well maintained.
EDIT: Oh wow Au Coeur, what a small world, didn't realise you were in Fort Collins. I went to college at CSU many years ago and lived in FTC for years. Haven't been back to FTC in forever, though.
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