The Main Reason Why There Is Now An EE Aftercare Program
We recently launched EE Aftercare. It's a website maintenance program for ExpressionEngine. There were a few reasons why we developed the program, but one primary reason which we will get to momentarily.
First, we love the ongoing relationships with our clients. We don't like to build something, launch it and go away. Some developers like that. They like to have a fresh new challenge every couple of months. We like new challenges too, but what we like much more at Solspace is a relationship. We like that we like our clients. We like that we care about them, their families, their careers, their well-being. It makes our lives much more rich. So with this part of our company DNA in mind it made perfect sense to have a formalized maintenance program. In fact, it made great sense to have such a program that even allowed us to inherit the work of other more project oriented developers. That's why there's EE Aftercare.
Second, even though you may think the concept of insurance is a racket, it's actually a real thing with real value. You are legally obligated to carry car insurance. There's a reason. Bad stuff happens. You need to be prepared. You need to hedge against bad stuff happening. Bad stuff definitely happens on a website, especially complicated ones running on a CMS. So we offer an EE Aftercare program as a form of insurance for organizations running complex mission critical websites. Everything is well and good when the website is running smoothly, but when it starts to slow down and get gummed up, and trust me it will happen at the worst possible moment, you are well served to have a capable web developer at the ready to sort that thing out. Or is it ok with you that you spent all of those marketing dollars driving traffic to a website that is basically offline all of a sudden?
Third, the scope and scale of the bugs on the website tend to surface only when traffic jumps up to new levels. You were fine while traffic was at 10,000 uniques per month. But now that you are seeing regular spikes of 50,000 uniques, new bugs are surfacing and new performance problems emerge. You need someone on hand and at the ready who can troubleshoot these issues, fix things and keep things moving. Otherwise you squander your new found traffic wealth.
The most important reason to have an aftercare program, above and beyond the reasons already listed, is that web development projects sometimes get mired in convoluted approval processes. We were recently approached by a new client who needed a number of remedial things done to their EE website. The website was mission critical. It was a primary component of their fundraising activities. Although they were quite a large client, they were apparently not large enough for the web agency who had been first hired to build the site. They were no longer a priority. So tasks were languishing and the site was getting more and more crummy by the day. Now that we offer an aftercare program, clients like this can sign up for whatever monthly level suits their needs. Most importantly, they can sign up for whatever level falls below their own departmental discretionary approval limit. In other words, they can begin to make nice steady progress on dealing with issues on their website without having to submit a comprehensive fix-it proposal to a board of directors, a CEO, a president, etc etc. The board, the CEO, the president — none of these people have to be bothered. They appreciate that. The work gets done. Priorities get set and addressed. And everything happens within a monthly budget that is well within the comfort zone of a given organization.
If any of the above rings true for you or a client you know, send them our way. We now have a formalized program at the ready to deal with all that an EE site may require over its lifetime.