When you invest in a new website, there is a common misconception that your website will work flawlessly forever with no maintenance or additional cost involved. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case at all. Something that worked fine yesterday may not work today; it’s like it broke on its own. It’s frustrating to the website owner, because you certainly didn’t do anything to break it, but there it is: A broken website that you now have to figure out how to fix. Imagine a scenerio in which you hire a stranger for $150 an hour and it takes 2 days to fix, then you’re $2400 in the hole. Wait… what?? That’s the cost of a 2 day fix. Can that be true? Unfortunately, it can often take more than two days to fix a broken website. And what guarantees do you have, if any? Especially if they are not local, you may never see your site or your money again.
It is not uncommon for a “professional” whom you’ve never actually met in person, breaks your site even worse than it was before, or simply disappears into the dark void of the internet.
Most often when websites seemingly break all on their own, it’s due to one of the following things:
Your website looks great in the current version of Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer. Next thing you know, your site looks and behaves differently. It could be an update to the internet browser, the operating system running these browsers, or the device on which you’re viewing the site. Web designers and programmers can do a lot– but they don’t have the capability to look into the future to see how these updates will affect the current website.
Your website likely has multiple plug-ins for different functionalities on your website. Here at Lutz Media we love building in WordPress, however these fancy plugins all need to be updated on a weekly, if not daily basis. If they are neglected, they can break portions of, or your entire website! Your site and all the plug-ins will need regular updates, and occasionally there is a chance that the updates may not play nicely together. In these cases, you need someone to sort out the updates and get things back to normal.
At Lutz Media, you own everything form top to bottom. However, having full admin rights for your website means you have the ability to make changes and updates to the site on your timeline and not wait for your web developer to update (If that’s even a service they offer). This also gives you full access to break the site. It is both wonderful and potentially dangerous for you to have the keys to the Bugatti!
There are other issues that can affect the way your site behaves, including hardware failure, viruses, malware and firewalls among other things. When your website has a problem, it takes time to diagnose the issue, in addition to fixing the actual problem. Let me tell you from experience, it’s never the same thing. It is most always something new and puzzling! Depending on what the problem is, it can take some time to figure out what is going on. Sometimes, even longer that it takes to fix it. The worst thing you can do is wait till it breaks. Maintenance is always cheaper than repair! Always.
My Website is Broken: Who’s Fault is It?
Naturally when you have issues with your website, it’s easy to get frustrated, angry, and look for someone to blame. You know you didn’t break the site, so you may expect the website builder to fix it for free. But there’s a pretty good chance they didn’t either.
Your web designer’s job is to deliver a working website to you, free of bugs and glitches. Remember: This is not a lifetime guarantee. It is a promise that at the time of delivery, your website is in good working order and functional.
Your web hosting company’s job is to keep the software updated, apply security patches and take regular backups of the site.
*** Please note, it’s possible that your web design company can also host your site, however Lutz Media does not recommend using a hosting provider like your friend who owns a server or no-name hosting company with little to no real customer support. We heavily rely on industry leaders like GoDaddy who can be reached 24/7 to field any emergencies that may arise.
Your job as the website owner is to make sure your site is maintained, either by doing it yourself or hiring someone to do it. In addition to the monthly maintenance, you need to make sure to budget for the unexpected. Because as we’ve learned, a website isn’t something you purchase once and never look at again. And if something does go wrong, be prepared to pay an exorbitant hourly fee to have it fixed. Just as you would pay a contractor to come fix something at your house. Repair technicians know you are in a bind and almost always take advantage of strangers calling them in a frenzy begging to get their site live again. Avoid this at all costs.
If you have questions about why websites break, your site’s maintenance, hosting, or potential issues with your website, call us directly at 212-444-8894 or email us anytime. We are here to help.