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Lesson Overview

In this lesson, we’ll discuss offering Site Updates in your Website Maintenance Plan. We’ll learn:

  1. What needs updating on a website?
  2. How do you track and charge for your time?
  3. How do you handle major updates and site redesigns?

Software & Services: Toggl


Lesson Transcription

Welcome! I’m Leighton, your webmaster. In today’s lesson, let’s discuss another major feature of your Website Maintenance Plan: Site Updates! So this is the visible element of your maintenance plan. The part that clients get excited about. They won’t see your plugin or theme software updates, uptime monitors, change detection, hosting, any of that. All of that takes place on the backend, while your website’s frontend remains relatively unchanged. What they do see are the updates they request! What needs updating on a website?  Plenty of things! Just in the past few weeks, I’ve had to update hours of operation, phone numbers, add photos, swap photos, remove photos, add blog posts, update prices, add products, change colors, add pages, remove pages, edit text and far more. Content updates are common, and when you have several clients, you’ll spend a little time each day with these minor requests. Some just take a minutes, while others take longer.

That raises some questions: Will your updates have limits?  Are major redesigns included?  How many hours will you include in your maintenance plan? What do you think would be appropriate? Well, you could allow unlimited updates, but there’s potential for abuse there. Clients could have you working on their website every day! And that’s fine, so long as you’re compensated for your time. So at what point do you cap the included updates on your maintenance plan?  That’s up to you, but a typical cap is 1-2 hours. Most of your clients’ updates will fall within the 1st hour and therefore included in the monthly maintenance cost, so you won’t even have to track your time. But for the few clients who need regular assistance, over an hour’s worth of site updates, you can track your time and charge accordingly.

So how much would you charge per hour?  What do you think is fair?  Obviously, any hourly rate depends on your experience and your industry, but for web design industry, around $75 is a pretty standard hourly rate, and I’ll bill that on a monthly basis in addition to the Website Maintenance Plan invoice. So 2 invoices: One for the monthly maintenance rate and another for the additional billed hours of support and updates, if they exceeded the limit.

Now you may wonder, how do I track my time?  How do you!?  Are you thinking you have to manually use a stopwatch to track it?  Nope! There are tons of free services that make this a breeze, but my favorite is Toggl. Let’s see what Toggl is all about! 


PAUSE: Please pause the video and setup your Toggl account.

So what about major site redesigns?  Or new site features that would require several hours of development?  Would you include that with your maintenance plan?  Redesigns and developments could take hours, so your best bet is to:

  1. Track your time and charge accordingly or
  2. Submit a quote for the specific project, just like you would when building the website in the first place.

Don’t nickel and dime your clients, but don’t short-change yourself either!

So let’s recap. In this lesson, we learned

  1. There’s plenty that needs updating on a website.
  2. You can track your time and charge according to your hourly rate.
  3. Redesigns and developments can be quoted separately.

I’m Leighton, and now you know, Website Updates!


Lesson Homework

Signup and become familiar with Toggl, the free time-tracking service. Decide specifically your included hours, update limits and hourly rate.