Ongoing Development, Maintenance and Support
Once your project is launched, how will we deal with bugfixes, new features and general consultation?
Now that your new project is up and running, it’s important for us to define our working relationship going forward.
For better or worse, websites are never “done.” There are always new features, updates and changes that need to be made — the list is endless. To handle that, we want to give you an outline of how we can best accommodate this for you.
There are three broad approaches for structuring ongoing work:
- Stand-alone Work Contracts
- Ad-Hoc Support Contract
- Ongoing Support Contract
Stand-Alone Work Contracts
For any “big” features or ideas you have for your project, the best option is for us to come up with another stand-alone statement of work. This is very similar to our initial agreement where we’ll discuss the idea and come up with a set of requirements for the new phase of work along with a scope, deadline, and cost.
This suits larger pieces of work that fall outside of a regular support contract. Some examples might be:
- Implementing a new blog on your site
- Redesigning the landing page
- Creating a newsletter
- Migrating your hosting provider
- Another project altogether …
Ad-Hoc Support Contract
For general day-to-day support, the most basic solution is for us to agree to an ad-hoc support relationship. This is a pay-as-you-go approach where you contact us when (or if) you need help and we’ll work on an hourly basis that is billed at the end of the month.
This more casual approach will benefit you if you foresee yourself only needing the occasional helping hand every couple of months. The downside here is that our availability will be more limited and we won’t be doing any proactive maintenance or support of your projects.
When discussing this approach, we’ll give you an idea of the bandwidth we have per month, the scope of work we will handle as well as the cost and expected response times. Once set up, you get in touch when you need help and we’ll take it from there.
Ongoing Support Contract
For a more “hands-on” supporting role, having an ongoing retainer contract is recommended. With this approach, we agree on a monthly commitment of hours that we guarantee are available to you. We’ll be able to respond to you more quickly and we’ll also be actively monitoring your projects, performing any updates or fixes as they are required.
Like the ad-hoc approach, we’ll create an agreement that will outline exactly what is covered, how it’s billed, what response times can be expected, etc.
Unlike the ad-hoc approach, we’ll be tightly integrated with your internal teams, directly available as needed to handle work as it arises. It will also be cheaper on a per-hour basis than the ad-hoc approach.
Choosing an Approach
In our experience, clients nearly universally underestimate the volume of work they will need in the subsequent months (and years) after an initial project is completed. This is natural. However, we do recommend being realistic about your internal capabilities and the changing nature of your business.
If you are an organization that likes to move quickly and iterate, having us on speed dial through a retainer has its advantages. If, on the other hand, your needs are sporadic or you have capable internal design and development teams, you may be able to accommodate the longer response times and higher hourly rates inherent in an ad-hoc contract.