They live an unloved existence in the shadows. Forgotten by their owners & creators, scoffed at by visitors. They were once the golden child, shiny, bright and new – admired and showcased. But now they go unnoticed, uncared for and abandoned. These are the orphaned websites.
An orphaned website is one which is in need of maintenance but the owner struggles to find somebody to carry this out. Every month we get a number of queries in from website owners who set up their site with a different web designer or an online website creator and they’re looking for our help to make changes to the site. Unfortunately we don’t take on this business, our websites are built to a certain standard that not all web designers follow so we politely decline maintenance request contracts from customers who have sourced their websites elsewhere.
There are a number of different reasons for a site to become an orphan. Very often what we find is that a relationship between a client and their designer has broken down, or the designer has gone out of business. In other cases the website was set up by a well-meaning friend or family member who knew bits and pieces about web design, but the business has outgrown their skillset to deliver a functional website.
At ClearSoft we take certain measures to avoid our websites becoming orphaned. First off, whenever a website goes live we complete a 15 step checklist that verifies the quality of the website and its user experience but also items like privacy policies & cookie warnings. We make everything as future proof as possible and by default the site can develop and grow as your business hopefully does.
We also offer a service where we will provide you with a bespoke user manual that you can use to carry out the common tasks on your site – for example upload a gallery, change the home page text, add a new product or service, update the about us page. This will keep you self-sufficient in terms of making regular content changes.
Another thing that we’re good at is staying in touch with clients after their site goes live. Once a year we will reach out to all clients to see how they’re getting on and reinforce the concept that we’re still there.
Compliance is becoming more and more of an ongoing issue. In the months leading up to May 2018, we proactively engaged with all clients to see how they were fixed for GDPR. Some didn’t reply, some said they were fine while others said they could do with a little help which we were glad to provide.
Another thing that we do is offer enhanced support for more demanding clients – whose core business depends on their website. These clients pay a support fee and in return get phone support, same day action plans and priority on change requests.
So in conclusion, building a website is one thing – and many web designers out there will be glad to help you get your site live. You need to think about the months and years afterwards however. How will your site be supported? How easy is it to adapt your site to unknown business challenges down the line? If you intend on being in business for a long time, it makes sense to future proof your site so that it can adapt and grow as your business does.
We have a reputation and track record at ClearSoft for support post go-live. We’ve been around for almost 15 years now and don’t plan on going anywhere soon. We love our work and we love to support our work so you can be guaranteed that we will never abandon a website or project and will never leave a client high and dry.