The last area in which you must manage client expectations to enable a successful long-term outcome from a webdev project is what will happen post-launch.
The unfortunate fact is that, despite all precautions, websites can get hacked. If you’re not going to be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of your client’s site, protect all the work you put into building it by making sure they know:
- In most cases, hackers usually want to deface a site with activist messaging or simply embarrassing content, just to prove they can. But some will use hacking to launch and cloak nefarious activities.
- A site that has been hacked can be rescued, but that’s an expensive, too-long process. A hacked site can be disastrous where Google rankings are concerned. Real damage can be done to the client’s business and reputation in the meantime. It’s far better to be proactive about keeping it safe in the first place.
- All CMS software must be kept up to date to prevent security loopholes from being exploited, and HTML-based sites must constantly be monitored for hacking by proven site security software and/or security monitoring service.
- Who’s in charge of their security/CMS updates. (If your company will be responsible, agree on monthly or annual maintenance fees.)
As we stated in an earlier post, a successful website is never “finished.” It’s a living cyber-representation of the client’s business.
- The client should commit to keeping its site up to date with news—either via an inhouse or contracted content editor—or by you, if content is designated as part of a maintenance contract.
- Training for the CMS should be costed into project, if someone in their organization will be responsible for that task.
- If it’s an HTML-based site, that means it’s likely large and complex enough to warrant hiring someone whose only job is maintaining the site.
A website is subject to Laws of The Land, and the client should be aware of these. Some include:
- Website accessibility recommendations for physically challenged users