A plea for the establishment of website maintenance as a lucrative business model.
In our last blog post (https://backupmonkey.io/en/blog/23-website-maintenance-as-a-business-model) we explained the possibilities offered by website maintenance contracts as a business model and provided arguments to convince your customers to undertake such contracts.
Now we want to show you how maintenance contracts can look and explore the tools you can use to make your life easier, thus making the maintenance of your customer pages child's play and leaving more time for work that is fun. The best part about it? You can generate recurring, predictable income easily and without spending a lot of time.
Contents of a maintenance contract - an example
The first and most obvious part of a website maintenance contract is the technical maintenance of the website. This includes, for example, the following services:
- Daily website backups
- Joomla! Core updates
- Extension updates
- Website monitoring
- Backup testing
All these services can be automated as much as possible, so that only a small amount of time is needed to keep customer websites technically up-to-date.
Freely available monthly quota for manual support
The service offering for the technical maintenance of the website is supplemented by a monthly quota for manual work. The customer is free to utilize this time quota as they see fit and, for example, use it for work on the contents of the website or for the implementation of a new feature by the service provider.
Such a monthly quota offers two advantages. On one hand, the service provider no longer has to carry out administrative work (e.g. writing invoices for very small amounts) and thus also has no administrative costs. At the same time, it avoids the risk that the customer develops the expectation that small jobs can be done for free, which can happen quickly if even the smallest jobs are not billed consistently.
On the other hand, close contact with the customer remains through a contact person. Close cooperation with the customer often results in orders that go beyond the maintenance offer and leads to additional revenue.
Maintenance package for legally compliant websites
The third component of a maintenance offer includes services that are relevant for the legal security of the website. This includes, for example, the following services:
- Initial review of the website for the illegal implementation of cookies, tracking services and third-party content
- Initial review of data protection and imprint texts
- Permanent review and automatic adaptation of data protection and imprint texts in the event of changes in legislation
- Provision of recommendations for action in the event of changes in legislation that require extensive work on the website and cannot be processed as part of the monthly maintenance quota
Tools and Technology - A sample setup for centralized maintenance of Joomla! installations
Now that it is clear which services are part of the maintenance contract, it must of course be the goal of every service provider to carry out the work as efficiently as possible. For this, we would like to show you a possible technology stack:
Create and store backups
To create and manage backups we use the multiple award-winning extension, Akeeba Backup (https://www.akeebabackup.com/). The extension is free of charge, but is also available in a paid Pro version, which comes with everything you could wish for.
In our setup, we use the paid Pro version, as this allows the storage of backup archives on other servers - in our case an Amazon S3 storage - in contrast to the free Core version.
One special feature of Amazon S3 is that for each maintenance customer, a separate user access can be created, which ensures that the customers are cleanly separated from each other. In addition, these user accounts can be granted write permission via granular rights management, so that backups can be uploaded and the deletion permission can be withdrawn independently of this.
The advantage of this configuration is that an attacker doesn’t have the possibility to delete the backups, even if an attack on the customer's web space is successful.
The transfer of the backup files to another server is important because if the customer's web space were hacked, the integrity of the backups stored on the web space cannot be guaranteed. In addition, it is questionable whether these would still be available at all. Another advantage of this solution is that large quantities of backup archives do not "waste" the customer's web space unnecessarily.
Centralized page management with BackupMonkey
We use BackupMonkey for the centralized administration of the customer pages that we maintain. With the help of a small Joomla! plug-in, RemoteMonkey, a connection to the corresponding customer page is established. The website can now be easily managed using the BackupMonkey interface.
The BackupMonkey Dashboard offers an overview of all connected Joomla! installations and their core versions at a glance. In addition, a green or red monkey head symbolizes whether any extension updates are available for the site, and if so, how many.
A click on the page name takes you to the detailed view of the corresponding page. Here you can update extensions, initiate backups and test existing backups. In addition, you’re provided with an overview of all extensions installed on the page.
Another feature of BackupMonkey is the creation of automated backup plans for connected Joomla! installations. For each customer website, it can be freely determined on which days backups should be made and tested.
This saves you from having to log in to a large number of customer websites individually and manually check them for available updates. All installations in one place - everything at a glance!
All connected websites are permanently monitored by a monitoring robot. In the event that a page is no longer accessible, a notification is automatically sent by e-mail, enabling you to react quickly.
At the end of each month, reports are generated to legitimize the service work to the customer and make the black box "website maintenance" a tangible term. These reports provide information about the number of updates installed, backups made and tested, and also present the availability of the page as a monthly average.
For the legal component of our maintenance offer, we utilize the support of our partner, easyRechtssicher. The idea is as simple as it is great: we enter each page to be maintained in the customer area of easyRechtssicher secure, deposit the necessary details for the page and then the service generates an imprint and data protection text for each page which, and here comes the highlight of the search, automatically adapts to the respective valid legislation, without us having to intervene again.
The integration into the respective page takes place via a Joomla! plugin, which is provided by easyRechtssicher.
Thus, minimal effort for the initial maintenance is required and the subsequent, ongoing optimization happens automatically.
Joomla! maintenance contracts as a license to print money - a sample calculation
In order to determine the amount for which such a maintenance contract can be offered, the last step is to calculate our offer. In the first step, we calculate our average costs per page/month. For this, we assume that in the medium-term, 25 customers want to take up our offer.
Akeeba Backup Pro:
Akeeba Backup Pro Subscription:
59,50€ / Year or 4,95€ / Month
Costs per website: 0,20€ / Month (4,95€ / 25)
0,0135 USD per GB / Month
0,0135 USD * 50GB = 0,68 USD / Month (Appox. 0,62€ / Month)
Costs per website: 0,03€ / Month
*Based on an average size of 100MB per backup archive, this means a required storage space of 25GB per month or 50GB for 2 months. (We offer a retention period of 60 days for backups).
Basic packages for managing 30 websites:
10,50€ / Month (6,00€ + 4,50€)
Automated backup plan for 25 pages:
2,50€ / Month (0,10€ * 25 = 2,50€)
Costs for backup test: (10 Tests per Month/Website):
25,00€ / Month (0,10 * 10 * 25 = 25,00€)
Costs per website: 1,52€ /Month (38,00€ / 25)
Agency membership for up to 25 licenses: 49,90€ /month
Cost per website: 2,00€ / month (49,90€ / 25)
Total cost per page per month (Tools): 3,75€ /Month
In addition to the monthly basic costs, we must of course also include our potential working time for the manual maintenance quota in our calculation. Experience shows that very few customers make full use of this maintenance quota, so we can (and must) work with an adjusted calculation here.
Assuming that, on average, half of the quota is used and that 30 minutes of manual support per month should be included in the maintenance contract offer, an additional effort of 15 minutes per customer, per month is incurred. With a typical hourly rate of 80,00€ / hour, this means additional costs of 20,00€ per month.
However, experience has shown that even these 15 minutes are rarely used.
Total cost per page per month (tools + manual maintenance): 23,75€
A maintenance contract offered in this setup could start at a price of 23,75€ / month and break even.
Each cent added on to this price means additional earnings without additional expenditure. This is exactly why website maintenance contracts are so lucrative; you no longer need to sell your limited working time and the business model within the target group is infinitely scalable.
Past agency experience shows that the presented service offer can be offered without issue for 40,00€ - 50,00€ per month. The best sales angle to the customer is therefore the contained maintenance provision. If this is utilized completely, then the customer pays nothing for all further services and even saves costs, which can be a bonus psychologically.
Establish website maintenance contracts now as a business model in your company
Your company doesn’t sell website maintenance contracts yet?
Then let's get going! It’s super easy to implement in your company with minimal effort.
Do you have any questions, suggestions or additions?