Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Why ask for Website Maintenance??


I am the owner of a small jewellery business (& other fashion accessories). I started 5 years back from my friends' circle and in a very little time, i was famous in the local community. The next step was to give a bit more exposure to my business, so i made a fan-page over Facebook and Twitter. It helped a lot & i started getting orders online. I was very happy.

Someone suggested that i should make contracts with bigger companies & agencies. Now, that was an attractive thing to do. But it required a more professional approach...beginning with the development of a proper website.

I contacted a company to get me a website. It was a long process but i got what i wanted & it was beautiful. After deployment, they asked me if i wanted to go with their discounted maintenance package which is offered to clients along with website deployment. I was not sure what that was so i asked a friend.
"You have the website, you can manage it yourself. How hard can it be to manage? You've been managing your Facebook & Twitter pages for so long now, you can do it easily. Why waste more money?", was my friend's answer.

I took the advice & refused the offer politely (i want to mention here that i am not at all a technical person)...this was the 1st mistake i did in my business career.

For a few months, everything worked perfectly fine...& then something happened...something really bad.

My website had a login system too; i had a long list of members who received special offers based on their membership type.

After reaching a limit of 350, new members stopped getting added to my list. They were able to register, their membership payment was being deducted from their accounts but their information was not being updated in my records.

I discovered it when a client called me up. He was very angry. He said he called up to talk about his orders & my manager told him that he is not one of our members & is not allowed to have the deal he wanted. I apologized on my manger's behalf & checked the records myself but the result was the same. The client told me that he registered a week back under the golden membership category (OMG!!).

That was the 1st incident & many followed afterwards. I don't know for how long it had been going on. I tried every possible thing i could think of but still could not find what the problem was. Then someone told me to contact the website makers again. I reluctantly did (reluctant because i refused their maintenance offer back then). They agreed to look into the matter but obviously i had to pay full amount this time (bad luck!!).

They worked on my site & figured out something wrong with the database (that was what they called it). So, they had it all sorted out in 3 days.

I had to figure out who went missing from my records & send apology messages to them. So, the reason behind telling this story was that, technical or not technical, you should never ever ever turn down the maintenance offer from the company responsible for creating your website.

I was lucky that they agreed upon working out the problem in my website; otherwise, all would have been lost.

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