Managed websites are a new approach to website development and management that ensures that websites get the security updates they need to stay secure, the content updates they need to stay relevant, and the design changes that they need to stay in alignment with a company’s long-term goals.
Traditional approaches to website development often fail to deliver in these areas. While many website developers promise long-term support, their specific obligations and responsibilities remain undefined in their contracts. The lack of specificity in this area leads many businesses to feel like they can’t get support when they need it the most.
What are the problems with unmanaged websites?
Historically, websites were delivered as a product. The developer would make the website, get it on a web host, then publish it online. At that point, they would likely consider themselves done. Sure, they might promise ongoing support, but if they did their jobs correctly, they wouldn’t need to do much after the website was deployed.
However, the Internet is changing. More and more people use it, and as a result, more companies are making more tools that make it easier than ever to make money online. Customers increasingly demand that websites have the most accurate information about a business, while security becomes an ever-increasing concern.
Plus, businesses change, and those changes often need to be reflected on the company’s website.
We hear horror stories all the time about companies who bought a website from an otherwise-fine web designer, but then couldn’t get in touch with them after the site was deployed. Days and sometimes weeks would pass without the web developer applying critical updates, changes, or fixes.
The reason for this delay is that traditional web development companies make nearly all of their money off of new clients. So, there’s no real incentive for them to serve the clients they already have.
If you have trouble contacting your web developer as a current client, it could be because they don’t consider you a priority. It can also mean that after you submit your requests, it takes days or weeks before the company gets around to you.
If you don’t want to find yourself in a frustrating situation where you need website support, but your current web developer isn’t responsive, you need to consider managed web hosting for your business.
What are the benefits of a managed website?
The primary way in which managed websites differentiate themselves from traditional websites is that managed websites are meant to be updated. That approach means that you’ll be able to get in contact with your website manager whenever you need support, and also that your manager will provide critical support behind the scenes without your active intervention.
While managed web hosting can have more specific areas where it beats traditional web design approaches, the following four are common to most managed website plans.
One of the most important things that managed web websites provide is regular maintenance. If you use a popular content management system like WordPress, you need to make sure that WordPress, your theme, and any plugins you use are regularly updated.
Updates to these parts of your website fix potential security issues, fix bugs, and generally improve performance. If updates aren’t applied in a reasonable amount of time, you may discover that parts of your website break down, creating a frustrating user experience, and potentially hurting sales. A website that falls behind in updates is especially vulnerable to security problems, which could create compliance headaches.
Managed website services take a proactive approach to security and performance. In addition to making sure that your website gets regular updates, a website manager will regularly test your website and make sure that it’s performing as expected. Regular testing ensures that some problems are identified in the early stages and resolved before they become a severe issue.
Content Updates and Issue Resolution
Your business changes over time. You may introduce or take away products, experience staff turnover, update your mission statement, logo, or other core parts of your identity. If your website isn’t updated to reflect these realities, then you could end up in a situation where you’re misleading potential customers, or appearing unprofessional because your information is out of date.
Managed hosting takes care of this problem by treating your website as an organic document. Because we expect it to change over time, we’ve built our packages so that you’re not paying out of pocket when you need changes made to your website, but also so that changes can be made quickly.
We also allow our clients to make changes to their websites, if they so desire, though we’re happy to make any updates you request. If something goes wrong while you’re making changes, you’re covered under our service. We’ll fix the problem and get the website back to where it needs to be.
We charge a small monthly fee, which covers all necessary updates, plus the cost of your hosting. This fee also gives you points in an online account every month, which you can redeem for different services. These points don’t expire if you don’t use them, so if you don’t need changes for a few months, and then need significant changes all at once, you’ll be able to get them without any additional costs.
We also allow you to use your points to get discounts on other products or services we offer or to stockpile them and use them to get a free or reduced-cost website redesign.
Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with a user-directed management experience. With a system like ours, you’re able to promptly get the service you need, but also proactively shape the future of your website without having to overpay for the privilege.
Want better load times? One of the underrated aspects of a managed web hosting service is that website managers understand how to get the best performance out of a website. Speed strongly correlates with conversions. Each additional second of load time can decrease conversions by as much as 7 percent.
If your website starts to grow as a significant marketing or sales platform, optimizing your speed can be a real money maker. If you’re buying a website from a traditional developer, then it’s going to be hard to get speed optimization done when you start to need it without spending more money.
Worse, updates to plugins and other functions can and sometimes does lead to slower website performance. Traditional designers are unlikely to be willing to make changes to fix issues related to updated plugins.
On the other hand, no one is better positioned to work on a website’s speed than a company with a managed hosting solution. If you’re already getting long-term support, then you’re able to ask about speed and get a real answer.
Quantum Renegade includes speed monitoring free in all its managed hosting packages. These reports give a snapshot of how your website is doing, so you stay informed. They also allow us to catch emerging speed issues before they become a full-blown problem. We also specialize in website speed, offering packages such as Superfast WordPress Hosting to help you get the most out of your website.
The final area where managed websites crush unmanaged ones is in a long-term strategy. While we can’t speak for all managed hosting plans, our goal with all of our clients is to help you do any kind of digital marketing that you think will benefit your business without having to expensively upgrade your website.
For example, we can help you start blogging, SEO campaigns, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, landing pages, sales funnels, newsletters, and more! We include the seeds of all of these processes in the websites we build so that if and when you’re ready to start a new marketing strategy, you can do so quickly and with little cost.
Of course, you may never decide to use any of these avenues, and that’s perfectly fine! We just want to make sure that our managed hosting is never holding you back from pursuing online marketing—even if you don’t do it with us!
When was the last time you performed a security audit of your website? If you’re like most small businesses, the answer is probably “never.” That’s not a great answer.
Websites are subject to an increasing number of ever more sophisticated attacks. And you’re not necessarily safe just because you think you’re “too small” to be targeted. If you’re building on a shared platform like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, or if you use a shared software library in the development of your website, someone could target you by targeting one of your website’s building blocks.
That means that security can and should be a priority when it comes to the long-term maintenance of your website. In addition to a monthly security report, Quantum Renegade also helps you find the right solution to essential security features.
Focused security efforts include areas such as an SSL Certificate, locking down your DNS though domain name security. We also ensure your website gets regular automated backups so that we can restore your website if something ever goes wrong.
How do managed websites relate to hosting?
Website hosting may seem like a strange topic to cover while discussing managed website services, but the truth is that your hosting plan can have a significant impact on what your website manager can or can’t do for you. If you’re on shared hosting, which is a good option if you’re looking for a cheap but reliable web host, then you probably don’t have kernel access, which means your website manager won’t be able to apply server-side speed upgrades.
On the other hand, if your using a VPS host on a platform like Amazon Web Server, Azure, or another hosting provider, then you should have kernel access. Kernal access allows your website manager to make fundamental changes to the way in which your website operates, enhancing speed or other functionality.
While we all wish we could have a dedicated server to host our website, that’s a luxury purchase for most businesses. So, our goal as website managers is to get the most out of your setup, no matter what kind of hosting you’re using.
What is managed WordPress hosting?
WordPress was smartly designed to allow people who don’t know how to code to build websites. This design philosophy has made the web more accessible and means that business owners can run websites on their own if they so choose.
However, there are a few good reasons to consider employing a managed WordPress hosting provider, even if you’re comfortable with WordPress.
The first is that most of the time, the time you spend on your website has a huge opportunity cost. If working on your website is preventing you from effectively running your business, then it might be time to make a change. There are many options for service when it comes to getting your website working right. There are few, and perhaps only you, when it comes to managing your business.
The time you save through a managed WordPress host can be significant. Plus, we may be able to make changes more quickly than you could on your own and prevent future problems before they begin. We’re WordPress experts, and we want to help you get the most out of your website, without you having to spend hours on each optimization.
Managed website solutions won’t be the right choice for every business owner, but most businesses could both afford managed website services and greatly benefit from them. If you’re looking to save time, get a better deal on your current website management, or just want to see if you’re getting a good deal, feel free to reach out to us and see what we can do to make your online presence even better.
What do you think about our coverage of managed websites? Did we miss anything? Make sure you let us know how we did in the comments section below.