As the Hammersmith team has created new and exciting websites for our clients, we began to see the growing need for those websites to be maintained and supported. Our clients were thrilled with the site build results, but didn’t have the time or the know how to keep their sites in tip-top shape on their own. And so Hammersmith Support was born to fill a new need for our clients.

What Is Website Maintenance / Support?

Have you ever researched when exactly the internet was started? It’s a mess of answers, depending on what one would consider the actual “internet” (the conception v modern day usage). Some date it back to 1983, some 1990 when it was more widely used. Either way, that is a substantial amount of time. And think of how far the internet has come; from dial up to now being able to DIY your own websites, to social media… the list goes on and on.

Given that timeline, it’s interesting that website support and maintenance is still in a toddler stage of growth. For all the material available on the internet, it’s amazing that many consumers are just now looking to other companies to maintain and support their websites. Many companies have overlooked security updates and patches, ignored malware attempts to corrupt data, and leave site content stale and not updated – all important aspects of website maintenance.

Why Is Maintenance Important?

As the internet continues to evolve, so do the hazards for users. Security breaches and malware being two of the most urgent risks. Each of these can bring down your site, or worse, can steal data and or identifiable information about your customers. This is an increasingly high risk for sites using ecommerce. Even sites that only generate leads are at risk of customer contact information being stolen. The risk of malware corrupting your site and taking it offline is a huge risk, especially those businesses dependent on their site for sales.

On the less scary side, website maintenance and support is crucial for businesses that can’t or don’t want to do the work themselves. Imagine needing to update your product information, pricing, run an update – all while handling the other time sensitive issues of your business. It’s hard to prioritize when everything feels like a top priority.

How Hammersmith Support Solves this Issue

Our goal at Hammersmith Support is to provide comprehensive service through preventative maintenance and client driven content updates. Our preventative maintenance includes site security updates, site backups, optimization and premium site hosting.

This two prong approach ensures that your website not only run efficiently and safely, it’s also up to date with your content changes – a winning combination. Click here to see the Hammersmith Support service packages.

It’s amazing how many options are available to companies needing to build a website! Professional companies vary widely, as does the cost to build a website. And the do-it-yourself versions? The platforms, hosting, and services are all distinctly different, too. So how does an owner make a decision about which direction to go? Here is some food for thought when it comes to choosing whether you should try to go it on your own or choose a company to build your site.

DIY Websites

There are a few things to consider when it comes to building your own site. The first and most important is how much time and effort you want to put toward building a website yourself. Some questions to consider: are you technologically savvy? A quick learner? Able to work through issues on your own? These are all good questions to ask when evaluating how much time it may take you to build a site on your own.

Next, evaluate which platform to use to build your site. There are many options out there – everything from building with straight code to using templates, some with support, some without….again, the right answer has a lot to do with how much time you are able to dedicate to the build. Things to consider: how much support does the platform offer with your package? Is hosting included? A content delivery network? Security updates? Application plugin availability?

Professionally Built Websites

A professionally built website comes with its own questions, too. Not every company is the right fit for every customer. Some may provide more than a small business needs, others may not provide enough. Questions to ask when looking for the right fit; what exactly do I need my website to do (ecommerce, blog, evolving portfolio)? What are my ongoing needs (maintenance, content updates, security)? What is my budget for both?

Finding the right fit in a website build is crucial to developing and maintaining a successful site. Being open and honest about what you need for your business, along with being realistic about the ongoing services your site needs, should land you in the right place.

At Hammersmith Support, we strive to ensure that our clients are provided with the best combination of listening to their needs and educating them about the areas they are less familiar with in order to develop and maintain the most successful website for their business.

At Hammersmith Support, one of our core values is to give back. Every year, we choose a local charity to assist through website support services, pro bono. Our goal is to further their mission by enabling their online presence to be everything it can be.

#LoveUp Foundation

Our current pro bono client is the #LoveUp Foundation. This Phoenix-based charity is a “jack of all trades” when it comes to assisting children in the foster care system. We use that phrase because of all the amazing services #LoveUp Foundation offers to children in foster care. Their services range from entertainment at a Diamondbacks game, to holiday parties complete with an overwhelming amount of gifts for deserving kids, to supporting teenagers as they “age out” of the foster care system. These teenagers are thrust into the real world with little support and the #LoveUp Foundation is happy to help them get the supplies they need for a new home, job opportunities, and more.

Why They’re Needed

The #LoveUp Foundation has an ever-growing population of kids who need help. Why’s that? Because the stats on children in the foster care system are staggering:

  • Over 438,000 children are in the foster care system across the United States
  • 20,000 children annually “age out” of the system at 18 years old
  • 1 in 5 of those children will experience homelessness after the age of 18
  • Fewer than 3% of foster children earn a college degree
  • 1 in 4 children in foster care will experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

How You Can Help

It’s hard to read those stats and not wonder how to get involved! #LoveUp Foundation has several ways for us to do so. They’re always in need of monetary donations, but you can also volunteer at an event for the kids. Your business can participate in the Arizona State Corporate Tax Credit, which is a dollar for dollar credit to the donor. And maybe the easiest way to help is to purchase a #LoveUp Foundation t-shirt, the proceeds of which go towards funding the various projects that #LoveUp Foundation is working on. Not only does this help underwrite the costs of the foundation, but it also helps to spread awareness about #LoveUp Foundation, which is critical in supporting this valuable charity.

Want to learn more about our commitment to service in our community? Click on over to our Giving Back page to find out our “why.”

The next level of service after a website build should be support. Why? Picture this; you build your dream home with all the beautiful details you’ve always dreamed of: paint colors, finishes, stunning kitchen – the works. You live in the house and love it, but you never change a light bulb. Patch a hole in the wall. Water the plants. Put up security lights. Within a few months, the house is a mess – the lights don’t come on, the plants are dead and someone broke in the back door. Suddenly your dream home is a disaster.

Just like caring for your home keeps it in a beautiful state, so does consistent support for your website. Scheduled checks and scans ensure that your site runs smoothly and securely. At Hammersmith Support, our monthly site maintenance support process encompasses:

  • WordPress core and plugin updates that include the oh-so-important security patches
  • Adding client-generated fresh content
  • Lead testing
  • Analytics review through recording traffic

While each of these is important on its own, the components work together to create a system:

–> Fresh content through blogs and/or updated product information creates new information for search engines to evaluate, which means better SEO

–> That content brings potential leads that are given the opportunity to sign up for a newsletter or submit their email for a free download

–> Analytics and lead testing shows us which option got more of a response, the newsletter or the free download, and changes are made accordingly

–> Lastly, all of these processes are done safely because the site has up-to-date security

The end result is a process that allows the business to more efficiently target customers and achieve higher conversion rates. More customers with less work? That’s a winning combination.