You launched the site! Congratulations, now you never have to think about it again. What’s that? You do have to keep thinking about it? Well, in that case, keep reading.
While it has happened a couple of times in my career, it has been the exception to the rule that you finish a site and then never have to touch it again (and when it does happen, it’s usually because someone else is doing the work, not that work doesn’t need to be done). I distinctly remember one website launch “postmortem.” I piped up and said, “Shouldn’t we really call it a postpartum?” Launching a website really is more of a birth than a death. Once it launches, you’re glued to the analytics, anxiously awaiting the client’s reaction, waking up at three in the morning to check to see if the site is still up…it’s your baby.
Scoping a website, designing a website, building a website: these are all activities that can be planned to death. But what usually receives short shrift is planning the maintenance of a website. This chapter will give you some advice on navigating those waters.
It always surprises me when a client agrees on a price to build a website, but it’s never discussed how long the site is expected to last. My experience is that if you do good work, clients are happy to pay for it. What clients do not appreciate is the unexpected: being told after three years that their site has to be rebuilt when they had an unspoken expectation ...