Website Fail: Client Down Time and Your Reputation

Website Fail: Client Down Time and Your Reputation

The dreaded phone call: “Something’s not right on my website!”

Your client, a small business owner who relies on your expertise to ensure their website is working, discovered a major problem on the page. What happens next? You spent all your time on your client’s brand, what happens when something breaks on the site?  How can you dig in to figure out what happened and fix it fast enough that your client’s customers won’t notice the disruption?

Websites aren’t a one-and-done product. There are always updates to make and problems that threaten smooth interaction. When fixing them takes too long, your credibility as a web design expert is called into question. What happens next?

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

If you’ve made a beautiful site that’s perfect in terms of branding and visual appeal, what do you do when a problem happens? So many of us are tempted to stick our head in the sand to avoid a major problem. Can you pretend it didn’t happen? Will it go away if you ignore it?

If you’ve contracted with this small business to build and maintain their website, you don’t have the luxury of ignoring the problem. And the longer you do ignore it, the bigger the problem gets. If you let it go too long, you begin to risk your reputation with your client.

Can You Learn the Fix on the Fly?

The next stage will be to try to fix the problem. It could be an easy fix and if you just search the web for possible solutions, you may strike gold. You can go through a few quick things and, next thing you know, the site is back to normal.

But this isn’t the experience for most people. A plug in may have failed, but is there another one that does the exact same thing without a lot of back end customization? What if the problem is due to a security risk? As a designer, you may not be qualified to diagnose or solve those problems.

Did That Plugin Really Turn Out to Be the Easy Answer?

The issues with plugins can run deep. One of the reasons WordPress is considered easy to design and customizable is the use of these add-on features. But Plugins aren’t always designed or maintained by WordPress themselves.

Individuals and companies develop these plugins and sometimes come and go quickly on the market. Just because you found a plug in that works perfectly at the moment doesn’t mean it will always be around. If it disappears, the entire function of the website can change. The plugin hasn’t saved you time, just delayed the inevitable.

How Long Will The Site Be Down?

If the site is down for too long, your client will begin to wonder whether you were the right choice as a web designer for their business. Your client relies on a working website for their day-to-day business, so the longer it’s not working, the more frustrated they’ll become. When a problem beyond your control affects your reputation, you’ll lose more business than just this customer.

There’s good news. You don’t have to do this on your own. You can still design beautifully branded websites and partner with professionals who can handle the back-end support to ensure your clients never experience a break in their business.

Site Trustee works with small businesses to maintain their sites, ensure data protection, and optimize their pages. To learn more, contact us for a consultation.