About once a month we get an urgent call from someone asking us to take a look at a website because something broke or stopped working. Typically, the conversation goes something like this.
/bq: How long has it been since you updated your CMS (content management system)?
Caller: Our what?
/bq: The core software and plug-ins have to be updated periodically to keep the site running smoothly. Have you updated them recently?
Caller: I don’t think we’ve ever updated anything. I didn’t know we had to.
/bq: Just like any other software, websites have to be maintained. Updating the software that keeps them running is the primary way we do that.
Caller: Can you tell me how to do it?
/bq: First, make sure you do a full backup of the site to include the database.
/bq: Yes, in addition to the software there is a database that must be backed up. A lot of people make the mistake of only backing up the website. The database is where the content is stored.
Caller: Okay. We’ll do that as soon as we can, but can’t you just take a look at our site and fix what’s wrong?
/bq: If you haven’t updated the software since the site was launched, there is a very good chance that doing so will fix the problems you’re experiencing. It’s the logical first step. And if a service ticket has to be submitted, tech support won’t do anything until everything’s updated.
Caller: I don’t have the time or the patience, how much would you charge me to do it?
/bq: $75/hour. It should take about two hours if nothing goes wrong. By the way, For $10 per month we offer weekly backups and monthly maintenance, but you have to be within one month of current to qualify for the service plan.
Caller: That seems fair. Please update everything and then sign me up for maintenance!