A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the negative impact of a ‘website maintenance’ mindset when it comes to running a WordPress site for your business. I stand by that article! Of course, if you want to grow, improve, and iterate on your site, you’ll also want to make sure your site continues to work.
Valet Ongoing Support: Beyond Website Maintenance
Here’s our list of the top 9 things we implement regularly for our ongoing support clients to ensure they’re on a path to success:
1. Weekly Updates: Your Site’s Always Fresh
Each week all plugins, themes and core WordPress are tested and updated to ensure the latest functionality and stability.
2. QA in Staging Environments: We Handle with Care
Anytime we perform updates, we handle them in a staging environment. We take your current live site, make a copy of it, and perform all your updates in a test and a staging environment. Then we run through a unique Quality Assurance process specific to your site—which we determine during your on-boarding. A Valet visually checks your site, and runs through a site-specific task list to ensure that all the custom functionality works. After this, we push everything live. We also provide automated UI testing. This provides before and after screenshots and alerts a Valet if there has been a significant change on a particular page.
3. Security Scanning: Keeping on the Watch
We scan for all known vulnerabilities. As soon as a security vulnerability is known to the community, our team fixes it right away. Our proactive support ensures your site is always protected.
4. Daily Off-site Backups: Snapshot Safety Net
A fresh snapshot is taken and kept securely off-site. In the event your host goes down, your site can be quickly recovered and reinstated. We ensure your backups happen multiples times daily—leaving nothing to chance.
5. Version Controlled Source Code: You’re Too Good to Lose
We trigger additional backups anytime changes are made by Valet to your file structure or major database tables. This way, even if your host goes down entirely, we’ve got the most up-to-date version of your site available to re-deploy.
6. Git Repository: We Use a Grown-up Workflow
GitFlow is a lightweight, branch-based workflow that supports teams and projects where deployments are made regularly.Using Git allows us to retain a stable production environment, iterative development workflow, and full code reversioning.
7. Uptime Monitoring: We Know If You’re Down
We get notified if your site is down and work with your host to get it back up right away. We have 3rd party monitoring software added to all sites, so the moment anything does go down—everyone on our support team is aware. All downtime notices and remedial actions are recorded.
8. CDN (Content Delivery Network): Speedy Delivery Please
Load reduction and consistent speed are both a big deal for your website. That’s why we make sure our clients are set up on a properly configured CDN. WordPress sites function beautifully with CDNs, and we ensure your CDN is always updated.
9. UX Testing
Usability testing (UX Testing) involves evaluating a site by testing it on users. Nothing beats UX testing for getting real honest feedback on how users will interact with features on your website. To get this input from users, Valet performs UX Testing on our clients upon request. (Not included in all support plans.)
Beyond Website Maintenance—Growth Mentality
Those 9 things are core to our ongoing support service. While a ‘website maintenance’ mentality is not going to bring you growth, responsibly caring for important aspects of your website is vital to your site’s continual health and security.
You can work independently on the tasks above, or you can hire a team to help you ensure they’re handled responsibly. Using a skilled team for your ongoing support also means you have a team already familiar with your site—which can come in handy if you need advice or larger fixes.
Development Fixes: Our Team’s on Standby for You
As part of ongoing support, we also complete any reasonable support request that can be fixed from your WordPress Admin—as long as no individual task takes longer than 30 minutes. If you need additional development work, we offer our ongoing support clients the ability to book custom development blocks as needed. Development blocks are priced according to the complexity of the task. This means no long-term contract. You can book a couple hours anytime with our talented team, and they’re already familiar with your site. Experience peace of mind knowing they’re available to jump in and assist on complex development problems, if needed.
Quick Response Time
Your communication is important to us, and we respond to our ongoing support clients as quickly as possible during regular business hours. Our average response time is less than one hour, during regular business hours (Monday-Friday 9-5) for all continental US time zones.
We encourage every site owner to take the 9 steps we’ve outlined above. Make sure your website is healthy, and you’ll protect and care for an important part of your business. Need help? Our team is available to help with website management if you decide you need a hand.