As a creative agency, naturally you are focussed on making an immediate positive impact on a client’s business, by increasing consumer awareness of their brand and products on the web, and improving sales through digital campaigns.

What might be less apparent are the longer term impacts of a technology investment. Consider a standard brochure website, which every agency has delivered to publish a client’s brand and value proposition online. Once the rush of a successful launch has settled into routine business, the website needs to continue serving. You should be tracking analytics, of course, and reporting to the client how their technology investment continues to pay dividends. But the site does require attention over time. It is beneficial to both the client and the agency to attend to technology maintenance, which is a topic for a future post. Maintenance includes regular content and software updates, but today we’ll look at hosting maintenance, as we recently undertook a couple such projects.

Technology marches ever onwards, and that includes the hosting platform. At some point, the server environment becomes outdated and a migration to a new environment is required. It is possible to avoid this migration through cloud hosting, and some of our clients have opted for maintenance-free cloud hosting, but there is still decent value to stay out of the cloud and undertake a migration every few years.

In one recent project, we migrated our client’s sites to higher performance, more reliable servers. During the migration, we had the opportunity to review the client hosting needs, and were able to decommission some sites and services, and reallocate resources to where they were needed. It is not sexy work, so it is easy to neglect this end of the technology lifecycle. We also put additional security features in place to guard against brute force attacks.  Data storage costs have been declining, and we were able to negotiate a better value hosting contract, which paid for the migration effort within 6 months.

In short, by making the effort to address technology maintenance, we were able to improve website page loading times, while improving security and reliability, all at a reduced cost to the client. The project provides excellent business value to the client, while a snappy and always-available website protects their brand.

As a creative agency, you might be focussed on a website launch, then neglect its maintenance. In an upcoming post, we’ll address how keeping in regular contact with your clients through a maintenance arrangement will improve client retention. In the meanwhile, can you see the value in offering and delivering the hosting attention described above?