Jamstack Website Support & Maintenance (SLA)
Jamstack Website Support – Why Is It So Important?
Your website is your main source of leads. If it’s down and out, you’re down and out too.
You’ve got your Jamstack sites up and running, but are they running at full throttle, or are they bug-infested, virus-friendly nightmares?
In this article, I’m going to explore the topic of Jamstack website support & maintenance and how to make sure you get the most out of your Jamstack sites.
What Is Jamstack Architecture
If you’re already familiar with all the advantages of the Jamstack architecture and are just trying to figure out how to get the most of out it through support and maintenance services, feel free to skip this part.
What Is Jamstack?
Jamstack is a growing approach in modern web development that aims at making the web even faster through decoupling. It’s a microservice-based architecture that lets you develop superfast static websites. In a nutshell, you get all the perks of a headless CMS, great load speed & performance, high traffic resistance, better security than in the case of, for example, WordPress, and a wide variety of SEO tools.
Jamstack projects are websites that are dynamically generated, yet work as static sites. Jamstack separates the dynamic content from the static files via a build process.
During the build process, all of your front-end is automatically built into static pages. Websites that are built that way can be served through a Content Delivery Network, which makes the entire thing faster, more secure, and more reliable.
In a nutshell, Jamstack offers the best of both dynamic and static site generators.
Check out this article to learn more about Jamstack!
Jamstack Website Support – Do You Need It?
When hiring developers it’s important to pick the right people for the job. If you chose the right Jamstack web agency, you’re probably not going to have to worry much.
As opposed to the traditional CMS like WordPress, Jamstack architecture is still rather new. That means there are fewer developers that can get the job done exactly as it should be.
As a client, you will often find it hard to determine whether the benefits of hiring more experienced developers are worth the higher price. And what about freelancers? I mean, they can get your full-stack Jamstack running for as little as $50, right?
Let’s go through the process of building Jamstack sites and take a closer look at maintaining them in particular.
What Jamstack Website Support Services Can You Expect?
Different companies use different methodologies and processes but there are some patterns we can distinguish:
Discovery Stage Services
The process of collecting critical data in order to achieve better communication and understanding. Well-grounded web development agencies will seek to achieve clear communication right from the start by establishing objectives and boundaries.
Well-established companies offer very clear service-level agreements (SLA) to reassure you of their commitment to you.
UX/UI Wireframing and Design Services
User experience and user design play a major role in web development. Before deciding on working with a given agency, you may want to learn what that agency is capable of delivering first. Not all agencies are capable of delivering the quality you’re looking for.
The Development & Integration Processes Services
Jamstack development differs from both dynamic and static site development quite a bit. There are many more integrations to be had, and many more choices to be made, including front-end integrations, as well as Analytics and other marketing tools. In a nutshell, Jamstack offers incredible possibilities, but that comes at a cost of difficulty. However, each agency has a different way of delivering the end product, so delivery times and prices will vary.
SEO Audit and Optimization Services
When building a marketing website or an eCommerce store, it’s key to bump the SEO performance of a given Jamstack site. Many development agencies offer to build your Jamstack website in accordance with SEO standards and their best knowledge, however, not all do. Make sure you to check it before pulling the trigger.
Quality Assurance Services
The QA is something you’re not going to get with every agency, but also something you definitely want to have. Quality assurance is your warranty. Not only do you want to be sure that the agency picked the right static site generator and content management system, but you also want to know whether everything is integrated correctly and runs smoothly.
In order to reap all the benefits of owning a Jamstack site and experience better performance, you should look for a company that offers quality assurance.
Post-Launch Support Services
This is an option you really want to have, especially if you don’t have your own team of Jamstack developers. Unlike the classic static sites, Jamstack combines dynamic sites’ functions and tools to grant a fuller web experience.
In the end, this service requires more maintenance and is much tougher to not only get started with but also to maintain. Good developers do not come cheap, but it’s always best to have somebody on top of things in case things go sideways.
Maintenance and SLA Services
Better performance is not easy to achieve. As things stand, more and more clients decide on long-term maintenance agreements that ensure that their platforms, apps, and other solutions are taken care of.
Content management through Jamstack is not as easy, and without in-house developers at your disposal, you’re going to be lacking the data, tools, and resources to deploy changes on time and to manage your platform & community.
Read this article to find out more about Jamstack website support services and pricing.
Let’s take your Jamstack site to the next level
When To Consider Jamstack Website Support?
Your Jamstack Platform Was Built Incorrectly
So you’ve invested in a Jamstack platform and you’re not satisfied with the results. You keep sending feedback, however, it starts to look like the company you’re working with is either not listening, or, even worse, they’re just not able to get things right.
If an agency does not have clear and well-defined processes, it’s going to be all over the place. You’ll be hard-pressed to find high-quality developers and project managers in these sorts of places.
Since the processes are unclear, the work is going to be chaotic, which will inevitably result in low-quality code that is sure to give you more than one headache in the future.
A website that was not coded correctly is going to be poorly optimized. This means it’s going to be sluggish, less SEO friendly, and poorly integrated with other technologies.
A poorly coded site is also extremely difficult to scale. Before you can get start to deploy any new features, you’re going to have to fix the code. Very often, you’ll even have to code the whole thing from scratch.
What does that mean for you? Well, you’re either going to re-build the project—which is costly—or abandon it altogether. Neither is optimal.
Every agency has its own way of working and that’s great. However, you might find that many of them create certain processes just to invoice their clients.
In the end, you’re going to end up with a bunch of invoices waiting to be paid and a website or app you didn’t want in the first place. You’ve already invested a bunch of money and now you’ve got to put in even more to fix things. No Bueno.
Want to remain competitive? Make sure your website looks something like this:
Save Yourself the Time & Money – Hire the Right People
Solid web development agencies have their ways of getting the right people. They don’t want to hire bad developers, for the simple reason of not wanting to deliver half-baked projects and losing face.
One of the best measures is online rating – and Clutch.co rating in particular.
Well-established agencies with rich portfolios and experienced developers are always going to prove to be a better long-term choice.
These agencies ensure a better developer experience so that the developers have all the support they need to get their complex projects done. Apart from the battle-tested processes, they can count on their colleagues to review their code, making sure it’s of the finest quality, They can also count on experienced project managers that keep everything together.
More often than not, paying less will end up costing you more money and more nerves than hiring a team of experienced developers that will not only deliver all of their designated projects on time but will also be there for the maintenance and support.
Your Current Agency Lacks the Capacity to Develop Your Jamstack Sites Further
So you want to bump your Jamstack sites up a notch so that you can rank higher on search engines like Google. You’re looking to make sure your platform is running at full capacity, but your content management system is poorly optimized. Deployment of new features is tougher than it should be and you find yourself in a need of assistance
The agency you’re currently working with pushes its devs to the limit, yet you continue to receive unsatisfying reports and results.
The truth is, that a lot of web development companies try to bite off more than they can chew. More often than not, you’re going to find that many development agencies are unable to deliver you what you need.
Very often, developers are scattered across different projects and chances are the developer who coded your sites is no longer available to fix the bugs that were caused by poor code practices.
Apart from the lackluster processes, there is also a lack of manpower. The less-experienced companies will often overestimate their ability to deliver the product, which, ultimately, is going to cost you a lot of time.
To make things worse, many companies simply lack the technical expertise required to deliver.
What’s more, even once you hire a different agency to fix the issues, they’re going to have a hard time making sense of the messy code you were served. That, my friend, means you’re going to have to pay more money.
What’s The Alternative?
Solid companies have strong structures and processes that ensure that whenever something goes wrong, each and every developer will be able to step in and know exactly where he’s at.
The best thing you can do is find an agency that specializes in Jamstack sites and make a smooth switch. Jamstack projects are demanding and getting things right is not something anyone can do.
So, even if your current agency is unable to update your current website, a more experienced team will be able to make sense even of the messiest code and deliver you the product you wanted. And that’s exactly how you know you’re in the right hands!
So, if you’re looking to get your Jamstack site performance where it should be, make sure you’re hiring folks who:
- Offer clearly-defined processes
- Have the manpower
- Have the technical expertise
You’re Not Satisfied With Your Jamstack Site
Jamstack is not your typical static site. With Jamstack you can do a lot of interesting stuff, like keeping your WordPress as your backend, while using some of the best static site generators like Next.js or Gatsby.js for the front-end.
You’re fully aware that Jamstack offers you something special, yet you keep on losing customers to websites that, on paper, should not be able to outperform you.
Bad news: your Jamstack websites are not fully-optimized, and you’ll likely have to check in with your agency or developers and see what can be done to improve the performance.
Your Jamstack Project Is Full of Bugs & Glitches
Another reason your Jamstack website’s performance is not where it’s supposed to be, are bugs that are keeping your score down. You might not be aware of this, but search engines constantly scan your websites for data and rate it accordingly.
They generally rate static sites higher simply because their performance & response time are that much greater. However, as you probably already know, one developer is not equal to another.
Depending on who you hire, you might get a responsive and performant Jamstack static site or just something that is simply functional. Many agencies offer to continue supporting and maintaining your Jamstack websites so that whenever you have bugs that are stopping your business, they can step in and do what they have to do.
Your Business Is Growing & You Want to Expand & Add New Services
If you’re looking to squeeze everything out of your Jamstack platform, you’re going to need a skilled developer to guide the process.
Setting up Jamstack is one thing, but having the resources to deploy changes, develop new apps, and add new features and solutions is another.
In fact, maintaining your Jamstack sites is absolutely crucial for the long-term success of your business. The traditional dynamic sites like WordPress offer much easier management. You don’t need a team of developers to deploy the changes to your front-end. Might as well do it yourself.
So in a situation where you’re tech-savvy enough to hard-code all the changes yourself, you’re going to want a CMS that allows you to employ those changes without having to code. And that’s why you need a team that is going to understand your needs and act accordingly.
So, whenever you’re looking to swap your current CMS, add another language to your websites because your business plans have changed, or simply add new sections and types of content, you want to have people who will be able to pull it all off.
You Want Somebody at Ready When Things Go Awry
Imagine a situation where you’ve paid a developer or an agency to get your Jamstack website up and running. Everything works just fine until one day you wake up to your website being down.
You have ads running all over Google and Facebook, yet you’re not getting anything from the unusual boost in traffic because your website is simply… down.
When working with a well-established agency, not only are you not going to have such problems, but even if there is a problem, they’re going to make sure you’re well taken care of.
Are you satisfied with your Jamstack website performance?
Monthly Jamstack Website Support – Manage Content Without Fear
Like every other business owner, you simply want your website to work. You don’t want to worry about the technical stuff, you want the leads and you want to convert them. End of story.
Luckily, there are plenty of other people with the exact same conundrum and that’s why the market has evolved to give you what you need.
The monthly support fee is simply a fee you pay in exchange for the availability of developers in a given month. This service gives you better access to a team of developers whenever you need them. It applies even if there are no issues that have to be fixed. In such cases, the developers will simply focus on monitoring and improving your website, making sure things don’t go sideways.
In the end, you simply always have somebody who keeps their finger on the pulse, ensuring that your Jamstack website is working properly.
Depending on the agency, a monthly fee may cover a number of perks, such as:
- Guarantee of fix time for reported issues
- Proactive support & monitoring
- SEO Audits
- Maintenance of the development environment
- Clear reports using Agile methodology & software
- A dedicated project manager
- Developer availability guarantee for future projects
You’re Taken Care Of
You can look at it this way: in the ideal world, people would have access to monthly health checkups. That way, the majority of deadly diseases could be detected early and taken care of before they develop.
Elite athletes have their checkups done regularly, not because they are at higher risk of death than regular people, but because they are of immense value to their respective sports clubs.
Sports organizations know that it’s much wiser to maintain their players’ health than to get them back on track after an injury. It’s far cheaper for them and much better for their players, too.
Not only do athletes have access to the greatest healthcare in the world, but they can also count on free rehab, massages, and other maintenance ‘bug fixes’.
When working with a top-level agency, you’re like an elite athlete.
In the competitive world of online marketing, there’s no place for mistakes. If you’re competing for the top spots, you can’t afford to fall behind.
Monthly support ensures that all of your needs are satisfied. Any good agency is going to be aware of the fact that if things go wrong, they’re the ones who will have to pay by straining their developers and having to fix anything that might be off.
Response & Resolution Time
When hiring an agency, you want to know what they’re doing with their time and how your project’s going. And that’s only normal.
In a nutshell, the response time is the time you’ll have to wait for feedback, and the resolution time is how long you have to wait for the problem to be fixed. Depending on the needs of a client, like the urgency of the issue, as well as the response and resolution times, agencies may offer different standards.
For example, if you’re looking to have your problems fixed ASAP, you’re going to purchase Standard A. If you’re OK with some waiting time, then you’ll pick the B Standard. If you simply want to have your bugs taken care of, you’re going to go with Standard C, etc.
When choosing an agency to work with it’s important to understand their working hours and pick accordingly. Note, that working with agencies overseas has its advantages. You might find that having your issues fixed overnight can come in very handy.
In the end, however, a solid company is going to give you a good amount of variety and choice at every level.
Bucket of Development Hours
Since nowadays website maintenance is better understood, more and more clients decide on monthly buckets of hours. In general, this kind of bundle service is going to cost less than an average hourly rate of a developer. Bucket hours don’t stack. However, they’re also never wasted. Whenever you purchase a bucket of development hours, you can usually count on:
- A dedicated project team with an assigned Project Manager responsible for contact with the client and project coordination.
- Site development & implementing new functionalities.
- Content updates & management.
- Advice and consultancy on future plans, visuals, configuration, and related marketing projects.
- Site performance management.
Agencies will usually offer a plethora of choices when it comes to the size of the bundle, ranging from 20 to 40, 80, 360 hours, and so on. The cost per hour usually decreases dramatically the more hours you purchase.
Purchasing a bucket of development hours is a particularly good investment if you’re looking to get things done fast. With a bundle of this sort, you get higher priority, as well as a better price. So, if you’re looking to get your project going fast and at a good price, make sure you pick an agency that offers bundles like this.
What to Pay Attention to When Signing off a Jamstack Support Service Contract
Web & content management is challenging. To Get the most out of a headless Jamstack CMS project you’re going to need all the tools and resources you can get your hands on.
So, before you get started, make sure you understand the agency’s processes and approach, as well as the terms of the agreement.
Another key issue is contact & reporting. You’re going to want to know details like the frequency of reports that include all of the monthly tasks carried out by the agency, as well as invoice dates and other business-related reports.
Agency’s Process and Approach
Every agency has different processes and ways of ensuring that the projects are successfully delivered. You can expect good web development agencies to present you with a ready plan of action so that you know what to expect right from the start.
When choosing an agency to work with you should look for red flags, such as unclear procedures that take control away from you.
A solid web development agency will offer you full control over the project. You’ll be able to monitor the progress through different stages using Agile methodology or something of the like. You’ll be able to monitor sprint progress and will have a chance to review any changes.
Long story short, when choosing the agency, make sure you stay in control.
Service-level Agreement (SLA) & Contract Terms
The approach and plan are not all there is to it. Before signing the contract, make sure you have all the promises right where they should be – which is on your contract.
There are a lot of shady practices in this business, so you should always pay close attention to what you’re getting.
Some companies take advantage of their clients’ lackluster programming knowledge and ignore incredibly important matters, such as the quality of code and the general performance of the website.
A good company, on the other hand, will go out of its way to offer you a plethora of quality guarantees, as well as penalties for not sticking to the contract.
All in all, you want a company that can produce a contract that will force both sides to keep things honest.
Reporting – How It Works, Why It’s Important
Clear reporting means clearer billing. You see exactly what work has been done and you see exactly what you’re paying for. A trustworthy agency is going to log all of the progress in a way you can easily track it.
You’re in control so you don’t need to worry about the development hours being wasted.
In general, you’ll know you’re in the right hands as long as the communication is smooth and the reports are flowing in.
On the other hand, you know things are fishy when you have little to no access to what’s going on with your project. Chances are you’re not quite where you wanted to be.
Be Ready to Be Involved
A good web development agency is going to keep the communication flowing. There are always bugs and other issues that may pop up along the way. Good developers like to be on top of things, and whenever something unplanned pops, they are going to present you with the problem as well as all the possible solutions.
The final decision is up to you, so make sure you respond on time so that the project can continue moving forward.
Materials You Need to Kick Things Off
If you decide to switch agencies, there are a couple of things that you might want to prepare. That way, you can get things rolling quicker and have your project up and running without much ado.
Most commonly, you want to have this information at ready:
- Website access (URL or URLs if it supports multi-domain features),
- CMS Admin Console (if applicable)
- Ecommerce System Admin Panel (if applicable)
- Hosting Provider Admin Panel
- Marketing & Analytics Tools
Summary: A Poorly Designed Jamstack Website Will Cost You Money and Nerves
The web is an unforgiving place where all the elements like your hosting plan, content management system, frontend, data load speed, and web development architecture play a role.
Hiring a good Jamstack developer agency is simply the best you can do when you’re looking to check all the boxes. When hiring cheap developers you might save some money upfront, but it’s going to cost you dearly in the long run.
If you’re serious about your business, make sure you do your research and hire a company you can count on.
Get support for your jamstack website