Working on The 4th of July? YesJuly 5th, 2016

Working on The 4th of July? Yes

Working on The 4th of July? Yes

Being a webmaster or site manager, you get used to working nights, weekends and yes holidays like the 4th of July.  (If you want to do right by your clients, that is)

Take yesterday for instance. Most people were off for Independence Day. We on the other hand were working and doing an install for a client. As we didn’t want the client to be down at any point during normal business hours, the 4th of July is a perfect day to do an install. Now although we started just after midnight on Sunday, we didn’t get done until about 9:30 AM with all our install, and testing was completed by mid afternoon.

Now don’t take this the wrong way, I am not complaining. That is the job in a nutshell. When you manage people’s websites, you need to do what’s best by them. This means as little downtime as is humanly possible. Of course there are times when servers go down or horrible things can happen like hackers. These are things are beyond our control though we take every safeguard and measure we can to keep our clients safe. No, I am talking about normal best practices. Do not be down during business hours. End of conversation.

I like to talk say there are things that differentiate companies in a crowded market. The willingness to work around your client’s schedule, and do things at times which are not convenient to you, this is an example of what I called differentiators (if that’s a word).

Unfortunately, most web companies are really only interested in the “sexy” things in my business. They love doing mockups and showing clients pretty images. But in terms of actually managing your site after the launch, very few companies in the world specialize in this aspect of the business today. Why? The answer is simple, this type of work is not as fun as painting pretty images for clients. This is down and dirty, nuts and bolts work.  But this is what make websites run. This is what keeps websites always improving and not out of service during peak business times.

So, our holiday may have been delayed as we worked most of the day. By the time we stopped and took a break for some barbecue and to enjoy the family time, the day was mainly gone. But at the end of the day, like most days, we know we did the right thing by our client. We will continue this policy, as that is what drives us and has made us the top website management company in the world. Now I know that comes off as boasting, but we stand behind our boasts with action. If you are not happy with your website management company, contact us today, we can help.

Hints you may need a new website management companyFebruary 5th, 2016

People come to me ask if they should change their website management company. So I put together 5 hints that will let you know when it is time to go.People come to me asking if they should change their website management company. So I put together 5 hints that will help you decide if it is time to go.

1) When you write to your website management company and ask for support, you don’t hear back sometimes for weeks (if at all).

This is unacceptable. When I helped to establish the gold standard in website content management several years back one of the things we wanted to destroy was these Service Level Agreements (SLA) that were in place. The company I was working for at the time (One of the biggest in the US) had a 10 day SLA for website content. Now, some things take days, some things take weeks, but some things can be done instantly. For instance a typo, a basic edit, these are not things that should take 10 days (and I should point out this was 10 business days).

So what are I implemented was something I like to call “as soon as humanly possible management”. When I’m sitting at my desk working, and I request comes in if it’s something I can get done quickly, I do it then. At very least I response my clients the same day for every request they may send. People tend to forget this is a service business, and if your company does not provide “service “, it may be time for a new company.

2) You find out that your website is not backed up, and is almost never is backed up.

In today’s world, hacking is not something that might happen to you, it something that will happen to you. No matter how good your security is, things happen and they happen to big government organizations, Fortune 500 companies, and yes unfortunately they may happen to you. What separates the wheat from the chaff as they say is the ability to get your site back online once it’s been hacked. To do this you need to have backups taken on a regular basis so that there is no data loss when you restore your website. What happens with a lot of companies is they depend on their web host for the backups, and some companies (not mentioning any names) only back the sites up on rare occasions. Imagine you run a busy site and you have to go back a month for new copy of your site? Talk about a business killer.

3) Your website management company does not have the ability to adapt to new trends in web development.

Technology changes at the speed of light and you have to be ready to adapt to those changes. For instance the responsive design movement has only been around the past four or five years old. But when you look at a lot of sites, they look like crap on mobile devices. This is absolutely unacceptable as over 50% of the people viewing your site will probably be on mobile devices such as phones and pads.

Your website management company may have best practices that are great for the moment, but they have to be ready, because the futures coming and there will be new things and new ways to improve your site. They have to be willing to learn new things in order to keep you the customer up-to-date at all times.

4) Your website company does not seem to be flexible during down times for your company.

In every business there are some down-times, unfortunately just a fact of life in the business world. Sometimes you need some accommodations from your website management company. You don’t want to, (and can’t afford to) take down your website but you can’t pay what you were paying at one time. If there’s no flexibility from a company of been doing business with for a long time, time to look around for a new provider.

We actually ran into this with the company recently. We helped them to get started and their business was having some difficulties. That guy wasn’t trying to stiff me, he just did not have money in order to continue at the level of service we were giving him. We worked out a deal which he’d still be able to keep his site up to date and secure, but would save him money until times got better. The upside to this type of service is that a person like that is more likely to refer you in the future.

5) Your website management company nickels and dimes you.

There are a lot of moving parts to managing a website, once it’s launched. There are new pages needed, social media work, SEO work, software updates, security updates, site back ups and other things. Does your web site management Company charge you for each one of these services, every time?

As a small business, we understand that keeping costs down are crucial to survival. So we create a management plan, which allows our clients to do all the things I mentioned. One bill, all the service you need.

Bottom Line: These are some hints it is time to go and find a new website management company. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.