They’re so cute when they’re little…
Remember, in the early days of your business, when your website was still just a baby? When it had a few basic pages and was easy enough to maintain by yourself?
If everything went as planned, those days are over now. That small website eventually needed big improvements: new pages, plugins, content, security features, and other forms of TLC that most business owners are simply too busy to deal with.
It’s a lot of work, and as the business grows, it’s only going to get more complicated. There’s an easy way to avoid the hassle and stress: outsource your website work to a developer. Or a maintenance team. Or…wait, what’s the difference? And does it even matter?
The short answer is yes.
At Barrel Roll, we maintain WordPress websites. We think it’s important to highlight the differences in web development and maintenance so folks can find experts who understand what their website needs.
Website developers are focused on – you guessed it – developing. They create new web pages, build custom themes and plugins, and help you design the website as you imagined it. This isn’t always the case, but developers are typically folks you work with on a per-project basis. They get your website to launch day and then leave the rest to you.
Website maintenance starts with taking care of your site’s existing features. That includes keeping them operational at all times, fixing them if they break, and making sure they stay safe for the people using them. You can look at maintenance like behind-the-scenes work – you don’t see it happening, but you’d definitely notice if it wasn’t there. Excellent website maintenance goes further, finding ways to improve your site and generate more leads and sales for your business.
Developers often like to niche down and focus on a single aspect of development.
You’ll find front-end developers who can take charge of the way your website looks and feels and back-end developers who focus on programming the code that keeps the website running.
You can break it down even further and find developers who specialize in creating content, custom plugins, layouts, etc.
It can be difficult (and expensive) to find full-stack developers who can do it all. You may have to search around and find several developers to help finish your project completely.
Then, once the development is done, it’s time to make sure all that hard work is maintained. The downside to relying on a developer to maintain your website is that, as we mentioned earlier, they usually work on a per-project basis. That means they may not be around all the time to help you out.
Since Barrel Roll falls into the maintenance category, you might say we’re a little biased – but we believe that there are real benefits to hiring a website maintenance company vs. a developer to take care of your website.
There’s also one more key difference…
Developers aren’t monitoring your site, so they can’t fix problems until after they’ve happened.
Imagine you hire a web developer, and they build some fantastic-looking landing pages that noticeably increased your conversions and sales. You’re thrilled!
Everything’s peachy, until one day, your form submissions stop working and you miss important emails from potential customers. Obviously, that’s something that needs to be fixed ASAP – but who do you call? Your developer? Most of the time, their job is already done, and upkeep isn’t figured into the plan.
And even if you can get ahold of them, it may still be too late. Even small problems with a website’s code can undermine customer trust and hurt your bottom line. If your website’s users are the ones who pointed out the problem, that means they’ve already been impacted negatively.
Maintenance companies help to prevent issues from occurring in the first place because they monitor them 24/7. Most of the time, users won’t even notice the rare hiccups that occur on a well-maintained site. Proper maintenance makes losing loyal customers (and revenue) to website issues a thing of the past.
Speaking of revenue, a Full-Service maintenance company offers a better ROI.
Development has always been part of Barrel Roll’s portfolio of services because it’s a critical part of growing your website and business. Many WordPress maintenance companies choose to outsource development because it’s not something they want to do, but it forces their customers to look for other solutions. Similarly, many developers aren’t interested in maintenance, so they just don’t offer it.
A full-service maintenance company is with you for the long haul. Inevitably, that means site expansion and the development of new content. This is expected, and maintenance companies can help grow your site while also making sure everything is running smoothly in the background.
Essentially, you can get everything you need in one place. It’s more cost-effective (and not to mention time-saving) to rely on one comprehensive maintenance service than a bunch of companies or contractors with one specialty each.
So, which one should you work with?
What website owners need is a long-term partner – a responsive, professional maintenance company that won’t leave you hanging when things go wrong. We’ve been working with many of our members for years and hope to continue those relationships for years to come.
Developers typically won’t stick around for the entire process. Especially not years after finishing their project.
It can make all the difference when you work with people you actually enjoy meeting with, who take your business as seriously as you do, and who you can go to when you have questions. Good website maintenance companies can fill that role more naturally since working together long-term is part of the plan.
LOOKING FOR A WORDPRESS MAITNENANCE TEAM YOU CAN TRUST?
If you’re interested in learning more about maintenance for your website, get in touch to learn how Barrel Roll can keep your site performing at its best to support your growing business.