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So, you have your website. Your digital presence is online for all to see, but now what?

Is now the time to steady the ship where regular and ongoing maintenance will fit the bill?

Or are you looking to grow and scale, boosting business opportunities, and you need your website to join you on this development journey?

Whichever stage you’re at with your business and website, you have options.

Options such as general monthly hosting and maintenance packages OR development retainers.

And, for all a great web developer can offer both of these services; they are distinctly different, and it’s good to understand the difference between these two areas to understand better which one you need and when.

To help, we’ve pulled together a short brief on what each package/retainer might include and also the benefits of each.

Hosting & Maintenance Packages

Here, the maintenance team will handle a set number of tasks every month. These tasks can range from updating and maintaining WordPress core files, plugins, and themes, to carrying out regular backups and even updating your site and content.

As part of these regular check-ups, your website’s health with also be analysed, along with page speeds and traffic to the site.

Typically, a pre-determined contract will be in place between you and your chosen web developer, where parameters are set with key responsibilities outlined from the start. Ensuring complete transparency and peace of mind that what you need is 100% covered.

A basic hosting and maintenance package could include:

  • Web hosting services – using robust technology stacks to keep your site speed high and downtime low.
  • Server space to store your website files and database.
  • Regular back-ups – critical to ensuring that you can restore your website if something goes wrong.
  • Technical support relating to the server and software used to host your site.
  • Updating plugins and software – ensuring the highest level of site protection and security.
  • Performing security scans and updating and fixing bugs along the way
  • Monitoring website uptime.

The benefits of hosting and maintenance packages:

  • Provides your site with ongoing high security.
  • Keeps your site up-to-date and reliable.
  • You have peace of mind that the regular website tasks that need to be completed are completed.
  • You have more time to focus on other areas of your business.

Ultimately, the right hosting and maintenance package will keep your site secure, and include tasks such as, carrying out content management system updates and software integrations, maintaining your website’s high level of performance, ensuring that you’re not left with outdated and broken functionality, and dealing with issues before they arise.

Ultimately, hosting and maintenance is a cost-effective solution that will continue to support your online digital presence.

Note: Hosting and maintenance packages support requests relating to the existing functionality of the website; it does not include larger development areas; in these instances, you will require a separate quote. Which leads us on to…

Development Retainers

On the other side of the spectrum, we have development retainers.

A website development retainer typically includes services that go above and beyond hosting and maintenance. The focus of development is on improving and evolving your website over time.

A website development retainer might include:

  • ·Custom website design services – creating web page layouts and aesthetics that are unique to your brand and reflects your business goals.
  • Development of custom website features – this could include interactive elements, e-commerce functionality, integration with third-party tools and platforms, and more.
  • Ongoing website optimisation – analysing website traffic, user behaviour, search rankings, etc., to identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Content creation – including copywriting, photography, video production, and more, to enhance the quality and relevance of your website’s content.
  • User experience (UX) design services – improving the usability and functionality of your site to improve your engagement and conversion rates.

The benefits of development retainers include:

  • Flexibility and freedom as you can retain services when and as you need them.
  • Builds ongoing relationships with a focus on collaboration.
  • Keeps content fresh and relevant.
  • Supports your customer journey/user experience.
  • Builds your brand and online positioning.

Digital moves fast, and with development retainers and incremental changes throughout the year, you can ensure your website scales with your business and continually meets customer expectations and business strategy.

Development retainers go into more depth and detail around design, UX, and strategic guidance. The key is exploring, developing, and evolving your digital presence, with the aim of ensuring maximum performance, through updated functionality, and driving future developments through in-depth insight and analysis.

A web solution you can trust

Even though your website is live and online, there is still ongoing work that needs to be done.

You must continually ensure that your site delivers what it needs to in order for it to meet your business needs, for it to continue to be high performing, and to ensure it provides a safe and secure digital user experience.

The good news is there is an ongoing web solution for you.

Whether you’re looking for a monthly hosting and maintenance package that focuses on keeping your website up and running or you’re looking for a website development retainer that works to evolve and improve your website over time – we’re here to help.

Boosting and protecting your digital presence in all the right ways, contact us to see how we can support you today.