I just spoke to a client who was referring herself and she made a point of telling me that she had looked at lots of therapy websites and ours was by far the best and was particularly accessible in terms of the contact form. (Paul North, Clinical Manager, The Harbour, January 2021)
I produce and maintain a collection of WordPress websites for people and organisations.
These are all simple and effective, affordable and hassle free for people who are looking for minimal complications as far as their website goes.
There are two ‘levels’, and ongoing support
1. Set up and look after WordPress sites
I set up and look after WordPress websites using standard themes and non-proprietorial plugins for clients who are happy to have a sensible, safe, complication-free time.
WordPress themes and plugins are easy, useful, flexible and impressive. I encourage people to try this; the minute you get into specialisation, the website will always require specialist support, adding another layer of complication and cost to the experience that in most cases, isn’t necessary.
This also keeps costs down as the process doesn’t include any designers or developers and related project management, and the process simple (from set up to ongoing maintenance).
I work on the principle that clients will own their own domain names, and be in charge of their own web hosting contracts; it’s not hard, and I’m happy to set them up with clients. There are fantastic WordPress hosting packages that do everything you need for £10 per month. These are your things, it’s important, and you need to know that you are in control, and I am replaceable.
Part of my job is to help the client identify the roles and responsibilities required to tend to their own site and support them make the change. I always train clients to manage the sites themselves, and edit their own content. I remain available for more advanced work as required (e.g. new pages, menus, security certificate updates) – more on that below in point 3.
2. Manage sites that start simple and get more complicated
Some sites start simple (which I can sort out) and become more complicated (which I can’t).
If the complications are things that we can ask a developer/designer to work on for us, and build into the site, while I keep managing it, that’s good.
If the complications are more fundamental, we find a developer/designer/agency and let them work on the WordPress installation on the client’s web host. I could project manage this with/for you, or step aside completely and let the agency take over.
3. Ongoing support
I support clients with their websites once they are up by making sure that WordPress and all the plugins and security certificates are up to date (very important for security).
We do this together by agreeing on a monthly support contract which covers
- Twice weekly WordPress and plugins updates as required from my management desktop
- I will visit the site if something looks odd
- This also covers my availability for calls and generally knowing the site
Things that are variable
- Email technicalities: I can help set up email services on web hosts and try to help with issues, but cannot provide professional levels of email IT support
- Website back ups: I can confirm with, and set these up on, the web host
- Security expertise: either handled by web host’s package (easily my preferred option), or plugins as recommended by web host
- Site recovery: I will work with web host in case of site problems. If we experience a hack I will try to resolve the situation (with support from web host); if I can’t we may need to call in deeper technical expertise
- Sharing the site with others: I am happy to share the website with others (editorial, comms, tech). If we do this, I would appreciate a clear idea of what they are doing. If we add new plugins or services for others, this may affect how we update the site and who does it. I will raise this if/when it comes up.