Websites are our world and we design, build and maintain them all day every day. However sometimes, like with any technology, they can go wrong. Sometimes it’s just a typo, a colour change, replacing an incorrect photo or the wrong email or phone number… Other times, it’s something more serious that breaks the website, stops a vital component from working, or shuts down the whole site. These more serious issues naturally take time to resolve. Sometimes they are due to the operating system on the web server being updated. Maybe the WordPress core has been updated or a plugin or third-party widget has an issue. Sometimes maybe even Clarke Design have made an error. Whatever the issue is, technology and especially that behind websites is constantly being updated, even if you are not changing anything on your actual website.

So why do we sometimes charge you?

Well, think of a website like a car. When you buy a car, you get some sort of warranty with it. If anything breaks within that warranty period, it gets fixed for free (though there are usually some caveats). We do the same for websites. Once we build a website, we will naturally fix any issues within the scope of the project for free within a reasonable time-period from when the site went live. Like with the car, once this warranty runs out you will be expected to pay for any maintenance, even if it’s not anyone’s fault. Now, Clarke Design are usually reasonable and if it’s something that takes us 5 minutes to fix, we very often don’t charge. However, if we need to spend some time investigating the problem, which is usually the hardest part, then we have to fix that problem, which might mean upgrading various items, rewriting some code, finding an alternative solution; then surely it’s reasonable that we charge for that time.

Why do things break?

All website developers use third party tools, code, plugins and other components. We don’t like reinventing the wheel and if we didn’t do this and had to develop everything from scratch, you’d end up paying an exorbitant fee for your website (which we’re sure you don’t want to) As well as your actual website, like any computer, your website sits on a server (posh name for a fast computer). That computer, just like the one you have, has an operating system. As part of your website hosting arrangement, that operating system gets upgraded to make sure that you have the latest technology, patches and security fixes. Sometimes bits of this operating system get replaced, become deprecated or go obsolete. Naturally some fixes need to be put in place, or an alternative interface developed to these amended routines. No one can predict the future, so this is just one of those things that you just must deal with.
So sadly website do break and it’s nobodies fault, but as this is your website, it’s us that can fix it for you, though we do have to charge for our time.