Let’s face it – most business owners are not web/network administrators by choice, but more by necessity and nor should they be, any more than they should be a plumber (I’ll get into that in a minute)
Now don’t get us wrong – it’s not that we want to steer people from managing their own sites, it’s just that from picking your domain name to managing your site’s infrastructure – there’s a lot to ponder. And the path is a littered mine field if you happen to wander off course.
The truth is, trying to manage your own website as a business owner takes you away from doing the things that you’re really good at. Much like trying to re-plumb your entire house – most people could figure out how to do it if they really needed to, but you’d be lying if you said you weren’t constantly sitting up in the middle of the night, listing for leaking pipes behind your drywall. The same is true with a website. With tools such as WordPress and inexpensive shared hosting solutions, it is very easy to setup a website yourself and begin driving traffic to it. What most people don’t consider however is the myriad of security and system-related issues that can arise if your site is not setup correctly/monitored by people who know what to do when the ____ hits the fan to get you back up and running in the shortest amount of time possible.
The paragraphs that follow will aim to further reinforce that your time is much better spent being amazing at what you do for your company and that it’s much more cost-effective to save the updates, bug fixes, security matters, caching and performance for a partner like us.
If you’ve created and managed websites in the past, it might be tempting to do it for your new/existing business website as well. It’s like the department store manager who started off stocking shelves and rose through the ranks. Of course you still know how to unload the supply truck, but aren’t there better things you could be doing with your time? (the answer is yes, by the way)
If you get mired in the details, you might lose sight of the big picture. Your website is an extension of your business and depending on the type of industry you serve, can take a lot of time and energy to keep it humming along. To that point – wouldn’t your time be better spent taking an afternoon doing something that only you can? Like writing a blog that solves a problem, drives traffic from search engines and establishes a level of trust with potential customers, rather than updating your plugins list, breaking your site – forcing you to rebuild everything (because you never quite got around to setting up that regularly-scheduled backup)… Serenity now!
If the above scenario alone wasn’t enough to prompt you to contact us quite yet – you’re in luck! Here are five questions you should ask yourself before you take on (or continue) the responsibilities of managing your own website:
Ok, so you know about embedding code, disseminating analytics, monitoring your brand and a wide variety of other things – great! Even if you know the basics however, keeping your site’s infrastructure up-to-date can be a full time job in itself.
When welcoming new clients to our family, all too often , we see existing admin panels with tens (if not hundreds) of plugins, some activated, some not, but in almost every case there are between 10-20 of them that are in need of updates. When we inform the client of this fact, the response is often very similar: “oh, yeah.. it’s something I’ve been meaning to do, but everything was working just fine, so I didn’t think it was a big deal…” That may have been the case thus far, but with hackers finding new exploits in popular plugins all the time – not keeping your plugins up to date can result on all kinds of issues for you and your potential site visitors. Worse yet, when you’re the only guy/gal managing your company’s site – there is no “oh I’ll deal with that later…” it’s a drop everything and get things back in working order as quickly as humanly possible, but where do you start? When your site goes down and every minute costs you money/sales, there is no room for trial and error. Having the experience to get things fixed and back up again quickly is crucial.
It’s Friday night, 11:30 pm. you see that list of plugins from before that you have been meaning to hit the “update” button on. Thinking most of your potential visitors are doing something else with their evening, you decide to go for it, and suddenly… Oh NO! Something goes wrong and down goes your website. You try your best to figure out which of the 13 updates you initialized caused the issue, but an hour into it, you’re more confused now than when you began and (with no previous backups made) there’s no hope in sight. Who you gonna call? The Ghostbusters? A friend? Your geeky nephew? Some guy you met in a chat room? Your neighbor who hears you screaming out of your window at midnight?
Your business website works for you 24/7 – except when there’s a problem. Then it quickly starts working mercilessly against you with every visitor who happens upon broken page after broken page. Are you equipped to handle that kind of situation. If not, you may want to fire yourself and hire someone who can. [insert shameless plug here]
If you’re going to manage your own server infrastructure, then you’ll have to deal with a unique subset of very smart, albeit very nerdy people who drink too much soda and can have very little patience if you don’t talk their language. For example, if they say to you “It looks like a 500 internal server error caused by a mis-match in your records. Just refresh the DNS and you should be up again in 24 to 48” and that sounds the same as “zita, zita, stupidinojapigionjente…” you may be setting yourself up for trouble in the very near future. Like with other industries – web/server professionals have a language, and a thought process, all their own. If you’re not on that same wavelength, you’re gonna have a hard time communicating effectively, which puts you at a disadvantage when you need to get things done in a hurry.
Tools of the trade are important in just about every profession. You wouldn’t want your dentist to save a few bucks and work with just a Dremel tool and a Wet Vac, nor should your website server be without critical tools such as caching, security monitoring and regularly scheduled backups to name a few. The problem is, not only are these tools costly in some cases, if not setup correctly – they do you little good, if not more harm to your site than they’re worth.
This paragraph is the real reason why we do what we do – giving you the time back in your day to stop managing your WordPress site/server, and put those hours into things that drive revenue and opportunities for growth in your business!
We all know the saying: “Just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should…” As stated before, server management is time consuming and (to the inexperienced) often VERY frustrating. It can easily be a full time job. There are a million little things that can go wrong and a million more things that you haven’t even thought of yet, but more often than not, paying a professional to manage your website’s infrastructure will save you money in the long run.
Case in point: Meet Sally, a consultant who bills $150/hour for her services, she insists on managing her own website and spends 2-4 hours a week trying to make updates/fixes after a new plugin release or system enhancements. That’s equates to 104-208 hours a year that Sally isn’t able to bill for what she does best. That means she is losing between $15,600 and $31,200 a year in additional revenue! (not to mention the revenue she loses while her site is down) Yeah…
Every hour you’re working on your website means another hour you could be growing your business instead, as well as identifying valuable opportunities fr growth in your marketplace – that after all is your “opportunity cost” and it’s amazing how much money you can be losing – simply by choosing to manage your own server.
Not convinced? Try is for yourself. Take your annual income and divide it by 2080. That number represents your hourly wage. Add up all the hours you work on other projects, like managing your website – that’s how much you’re losing every year!
It’s more than most business owners realize an enough to cause a serious case of nausea. As the old adage goes: “you’re tripping over a dollar to pick up a nickel”. Don’t let that happen to you and longer. Your expertise in your field will make you money. Don’t lose your earning power by trying to do everything yourself. Instead, partner with a team that cares about you and your business and can help you ensure that your website is secure, backed-up and fast. Thank you for taking the time to read this and we hope it was helpful!
Do you manage your own website? Are you ready to hand things over and focus on working on your business instead of in it? Contact Us today and let’s get started!