Showing Work Done on Client Web Sites on Regular Basis

There should be an easier way to show the work done in the background on web sites for clients so they better understand the value of the work they get. Actions like core, plugin and theme updates, Google account setups, social media, security proofing, etc., would be included. It would be informative to clients so they can recognize the growing amount of regular activity required for maintaining a website… even the most static sites.

It would also be useful for developers and site maintainers, because in aggregate it would show trends of growing activity across the board. One of the things that would show up in recent history is just how much work Google is creating for web property maintenance. It is getting to be over the top. Another would be the increasing amount of time spent on security issues of all sorts.

The problem with any effort in documenting the “hidden” work of maintaining a web property is that the time it takes to document pulls away from the time to actually do the maintenance. Which – if you’re going to keep up with what needs to be kept up with – is going to add cost because it’s going to add time. In the past I’ve felt that only the most important info needed to be imparted to clients, since many do not care about the issues as long as they are resolved. But I think it’s time for web developers/designers/maintainers to provide a more complete view of the work involved in keeping a client’s web site appropriately operational, because that work is continuing to increase.

I guess I’ll build a customized form with some boilerplate fields and some additional “as it occurs” fields to try to measure some time for all of our clients. The boilerplate stuff would include things we do every month – review Wordfence logs for bad actors; update plugins and themes and make sure they don’t break anything; spot check DMARC reports (at least for now, that is a relatively recent addition), etc. But already this calendar year we have had some “as it occurs” activity on all Wild Apricot sites, and the DMARC requirements for email. I don’t think clients need to see this each month, but perhaps quarterly I’ll send them a synopsis. It is best to keep everyone up to date on what is necessary to do.