You have a just invested in a shiny new school website design. It’s taken months of planning, design and development to get a school website that looks great and is a useful resource for parents and pupils alike, and you want to keep it that way.
Problem is, school websites are prone to technical issues, downtime and even hacking. They also require a lot of time and effort to keep updated, backed up and secure. In this article, we tell you what is included in our School Website Support and Maintenance Plan for your school website and show you how it will save you lots of time and money when things go wrong.
What is a School Website Support and Maintenance Plan?
A maintenance plan is something you can set up with the school website design agency that built your website. You pay the agency to make sure your site is backed-up, secure and with the piece of mind of support whenever you need it. You are usually charged yearly and costs can range between £200 – £500 per year. So do you really need one? Well we think so and here is why:
So why do you need a maintenance plan?
1. You might break something
When you get access to your school website, it’s understandable you’ll want to have a play around and make some updates and amendments. After all, you need to feel confident that you know what you’re doing.
The only problem is, you might make a mistake and accidentally delete your term dates or something that you shouldn’t or change the layout when you didn’t mean to. It happens to the best of us. But this does mean you might spend hours trying to get it back to the way it was.
Surely your time is better well spent elsewhere rather than sifting through your school website working out what went wrong.
If you have a school maintenance package, this often means your web designer (or the company you’re paying) can fix it for you. At the very least they’ll be able to restore a previous version of your website to put it back the way it was.
2. Save money on hosting and domain name renewals
Hosting is like renting space on the internet, every website needs it and you have to pay annual fees to keep your website and domain name live.
Normally, this would cost you anything between £50–£500 per year depending on who you choose.
Most school web designers include these fees within their monthly maintenance plan so you don’t get a surprise invoice every year.
This is exactly what we do with our clients and they save between £100–£150 per year on hosting fees. A nice little bonus at no extra cost.
3. Protection from hackers
The security of your school website is VERY important, and you as the school website owner need to take this seriously. I don’t mean to scare you but websites get hacked all the time. It sometimes happens without you knowing and it can cause a lot of damage to your site. Not fun.
It’s not just your school website that’s at risk. Most school websites collect and store personal information about pupils and parents. If you don’t have efficient security on your website, you could put all this data at risk.
With a school maintenance plan, you will have an extra layer of security to protect your school website. This could include:
- Spam detection (that detects any suspicious activity)
- SSL certificate (this helps protect passwords, credit card details and other data that you and your customers use on your website.)
- Monitoring plugins and extensions (that could cause your website to be hacked)
Those are just a few of the things that a school maintenance plan could include to help keep your school website safer and more secure.
4. School website backups
A school website “backup” is a saved copy of your website from a previous time e.g. a day ago, a week ago, a month ago and so on… This can be stored in the school website files and can be restored if something goes wrong with the school site.
If you don’t have regular backups of your school website then you are leaving yourself open to one big headache if you break something or you get hacked.
When you have a school maintenance plan, a backup of your school website will be stored (usually daily) so it can always be recovered if need be.
In the past, we’ve had customers call us and say, “we accidentally messed up the website and can’t get it back” in that case, I can go back to a specific date and recover all the previous settings.
With our school maintenance plans, we actually do two backups of your school website every day for extra security. One backup with the host and one stored AWAY from the school website, so it can always be recovered if your school website is not accessible.
5. Software needs updating constantly
Your school website is ever changing. Even if you don’t make website changes yourself, the tech behind the scenes will need to be monitored and kept up-to-date. Most school websites have additional plugins or themes that have new releases all the time. You NEED to stay on top of these to keep your school site running smoothly.
Trying to manage all these school updates yourself can be a tedious and time-consuming task, especially if you’re not a techie.
With all these updates you have to do, it’s not uncommon that something can go wrong. Plugins can stop working or they’ll stop playing nicely with other plugins. In the meantime, your school website might not be working properly.
When you have a school website maintenance plan, these updates are done for you so you don’t have to worry. They’ll be kept up-to-date and if something goes wrong during an update, it will be fixed and your school website will be back to normal in no time at all.
6. Additional support and questions you might have
If you’re a forward-thinking school, you’ll be learning about new ways to promote and market your school online such as social media, SEO and content marketing. You might have lots of questions and want some advice on how to use these tools to your advantage.
Some maintenance plans include email support and/or phone support as part of their package. This means if you have any nagging questions or need some extra guidance you’ll always have someone on hand to help.
The level of support you need will determine how much the school maintenance plan will cost each month. For instance, we have some school clients who pay hundreds of pounds per year for regular online coaching sessions as part of their support plan.
7. Ad hoc website amendments
In addition to support and guidance, you might need someone to work on your school website for more complex additions. This could include, creating new pages, adding images and text and making structural changes.
You can try and do this yourself if you like but if you have better things to do and you have the budget, you can pay for a school maintenance plan that includes a certain amount of development hours per month.
8. Peace of mind
You’re in safe hands. Managing a school website can be very time-consuming, especially if something goes wrong.
It’s nice to know someone is there taking care of your school website behind the scenes. Even if they’re simply keeping track of the basics. Having an extra pair of eyes look over your school website will help you sleep easier at night.
Let Us Help You…
Brothers Creative works in partnership with schools of all sizes to create some of the best WordPress websites in the U.K. We are a School Website Design Company you can rely on.