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Need ad-hoc changes to your website? Here’s our 11-step process, and what to expect

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You are probably reading this because you have a website that needs a bit of an update. Your website might have some outdated information, or could have a few errors (for whatever reason). Very rarely does a website owner like you visit this page knowing that their WordPress website is 100% up to date with all the latest versions of WordPress, your theme and your plugins.

Even more rare is the website owner that knows whether there are any special code or CSS hidden somewhere (sometimes this code can be like a little piece of duct tape holding together a massive conveyor belt, without the factory manager knowing about it).

In this post, I am going to explain to you how our process works for making ad-hoc updates to a website we have never worked on.

I would like to start with an analogy. Your website is a little bit like a car.

When you take your car (that has a few thousand kilometres on the clock), to a new mechanic, they need to check under the hood. They might know the make and model, and even have experience working on that make or model. But they still need to check under the hood, and maybe even hook up one of those fancy diagnostic tools (guess what, web developers also have fancy diagnostic tools we can hook up to websites!) to find the fault.

NOTE
Toyota has a factory that builds hundreds of Corollas every day. Each Corolla looks exactly the same as the next (apart from colour). Websites are not built by robots though, and are also not built in factories. So while an experienced mechanic might know what problem you are having with your Corolla, websites are a little trickier than that.

Step 1: Website backup

Any decent developer will tell you that you cannot have enough backups.

Step 2: Website Checkup

With a website that we have never worked on before, here are a few things we need to check for:

  • Is WordPress up to date?
  • Are all plugins up to date?
  • Are there any plugins that are unlicensed? Or that comes from unreputable sources? (unfortunately we have seen some scary stuff!)
  • Is the theme up to date?
  • Is the theme unlicensed? (again, scary stuff)
  • Is the website running on a child theme?
  • What is the backup procedure for the website?
  • Does the website have any custom CSS?
    • This can be placed in the website Customizer, through a plugin, or through the child theme
  • Does the website have any custom code?
    • This is usually in the child theme. Heavens forbid if the custom code is in the parent theme, then we have a bigger problem to address here.
  • Are there any security infections or vulnerabilities on the site?
  • Does the site have Google Analytics, or other tracking/pixel code that must remain intact?

This Website Checkup takes an hour to complete, and we will present you with recommendations from our findings.

Step 3: Requirements

Then we need to spend time with you to learn what changes you need to the website. We have two options to do this.

Option A: We have a meeting for an hour with you to chat about the changes you need to make to the website. This is the best option if you want to add more pages, or want to change how certain things work on the website.

Option B: We setup a website feedback tool that you can use to indicate which parts of the website should change. This is ideal for basic text changes and image changes.

Step 4: Implementing of changes

Now that we know which changes you want to implement, we can spend the time to apply these changes to your website.

The time required for this step will depend largely on the number of changes you have requested in Step 4.

Step 5: Client Review Round 1

During this review round, you can review the work that was implemented and provide feedback.

Option A: We can do a Zoom call for you to give us feedback.

Option B: You can use the feedback tool to give us your thoughts without us having to schedule a Zoom call.

Step 6: Development Round 1

We review your feedback from the review round, and we implement the updates.

Step 7: Client Review Round 2

You have another review round to

Step 8: Development Round 1

We review your feedback from the review round, and we implement the updates.

Step 9: Final testing and review

When changes are made to your website, testing needs to be completed.

You will need to test the following:

  • What the site looks like on desktop, tablet and mobile (responsiveness)
  • Integrations with third party tools like CRM’s and email auto responders (if applicable)
  • Contact forms
  • Check if all links are still working as expected

Step 10: Website Backup

Refer to Step 3 😉

Step 11: Email support

When we make ad-hoc changes to a website that we did not build, we know there is always the chance that an issue or two might come up. We provide email support for 14 days after implementing these changes, where we can answer any questions you might have that is related to the changes.

Step 12: Ongoing support

Yes, I said 11 steps in the title. I try to over-deliver. Which is why I want to be clear. I want to work with you and your website on an ongoing basis (we call this a Care Plan).

Why do I want to work with you on an ongoing basis?

Because a website is a dynamic thing (like your business), and should be updated regularly (just like your business needs to adjust from time to time).

I want to help you get the most out of your website. I have seen what a website can do for a business (ask me about my binoculars blog, my kids toy eCommerce site, my landscaping site, my garage door websites, and why I have 3 x agency websites, like this one). I would love to help you achieve these same results from your website.

In conclusion

I know. This sounds a little hectic. But coming from more than a decade of developing software for corporates, I know that the risk is far lower when using a change process.

A process minimizes the risk. A process allows us to get the work done timely and efficiently. A process ensures all the boxes are ticked, and that we have best possible shot at getting the job done right the first time.

A website is a marketing tool, and you can’t risk a potential new client having a bad first experience with your company.

At Click Results, we believe in doing things right. The first time. Which is why a ‘quick update’ to a website, is never quick. Rather it is well thought through to ensure you achieve your goals.

What is the next step?

The good news is that this entire process can be performed in a single day. It takes good planning and organization, and it takes commitment from your side to be available (yes, this is a team effort!).

We call this our Development Done in a Day. Our current rate for the Development Done in a Day rate is R4 940 (ex VAT).

NOTE
If you have a website with more than 10 pages, we will absolutely have to create a staging website to make the changes.

What is a staging website? It is a temporary clone of your website, so that your live website doesn’t break while we are making changes and updates.

Yup, you guessed it! Working on a staging site adds more steps to this process!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I only need you to click about 3 buttons, why should I pay for a full day?

A: Well, sometimes it might only be 3 buttons to click. It happens about 2 times out of a 100. Now… imagine driving around with your car for 3 years without servicing it. Next time you take it to the mechanic, you probably know there could be a surprise or two. No one likes those kind of surprises. I know I don’t. Let’s do this properly, and I guarantee that through this process you will learn a thing (or 12) about how your website can make a real impact for your business.

Q: Can’t you make like a plumber or electrician and just charge me for a call-out?

A: Look, I probably can do that. But my call-out fee would have to be for a minimum of 3 hours (1 hour for the Website Checkup, 1 hour for chatting with you to get the requirements, which leaves 1 hour for making a backup AND making the changes). Maybe you are that 2% client that really only needs 3 button clicks. But if you are part of the 98% you will still end up needing more hours. And we all know, pay as you go works out more expensive. And to be honest, I am not a shortcut kind of a guy. I am more of a lets-do-this-right-the-first-time-around kind of a guy.

Eben

Father of 3. Enthusiastic reader of books. Moderately proficient braaier of meat.

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