I’ve been trying to adapt my business model these past few months, and it’s been challenging to find the best direction for me and for my clients. But even more challenging than that is explaining to clients who have been paying $5/month to GoDaddy or Bluehost why I suddenly want them to pay me $99 or more each month instead.
Let me give you a little more back-story to put this into context: I’ve been feeling pressure for some time to adapt my business model, to take better care of clients after launch, and cover the important aspects of their sites that I’ve never focused on in the past, such as WordPress and server maintenance, security, site speed/performance, backups, etc.
Site owners may not see the value in a monthly support retainer at first, if they haven’t felt the need or benefit of maintenance services in the past. They wouldn’t have noticed these services as lacking, because some have been very lucky.
If they’ve made it this far with no malware attacks, or if they haven’t noticed when their site’s been painfully slow, or when it’s gone down for hours… If they didn’t notice these things, why would they want to pay more to prevent them?
I have definitely seen the impact for other clients, and some of it has been very painful — losing work, missing out on leads and revenue, hours spent troubleshooting server issues while GoDaddy and Bluehost support sends us in circles and wastes our time… In a couple of cases we’ve had to spend hours searching for the source of a recurring malware infection, or rebuilding something that was lost due to attacks, where we did not have of recent full backup to restore…
And no one is immune to hackers. You may think that they’d have no interest in your site, but there’s no rhyme or reason for the sites they choose to disrupt. I’ve been hacked, as have well-known (and not-so-well-known) author clients in my portfolio. Add a commercial real estate site and a law firm to that list, and that’s just among my own clientele. I’ve heard countless stories from friends and colleagues as well.
We are all at risk.
So I have stepped up my game. I’m trying to protect my clients as best as I can —through prevention (secure servers, regular WP maintenance) and through measures to ensure that if it does happen, we can minimize downtime and cleanup costs (backups, security monitoring).
There’s time and costs involved in these measures, and I’m trying my best to contain them and make it affordable.
But I honestly believe that we will all have to pay the price one way or another: either in prevention, or in cleanup, rebuilding, and lost opportunities down the road.
Hopefully that helps you understand why we’re changing things up on you after months or years of working together.