Web site service you can count on!
Back2Front provides an Ongoing Web Site Management Service.
What does this mean to you?
It gets you the best performance for your web site while saving you time and money.
What is the advantage of having a single company manage your entire web site service?
Most web design companies follow the design/host model. That is, one company designs the web site and another company provides the web-hosting service. Often, additional companies are required to provide services such as search engine optimization, programming, email, and updating. At Back2Front, we provide all these services and much more. We feel so strongly about the disadvantages of the design/host model that we do not offer any of our services separately, but instead offer a complete ongoing web site management service.
Simply Better Service.
Many of the services listed above are dependent on each other to get the best results. A good example is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Several aspects of a web site such as the design, the code, the writing, the updating, and the hosting service (for the server logs) are all involved in optimizing your site. If the same company handles all of these services, each aspect of SEO can be done correctly—all working together to get you the best possible results. The same results cannot be achieved within the typical design/host model where some aspects of the service are not accessible to the SEO technician.
The Buck Stops Here.
If your (non-Back2Front) web site failed tomorrow, would you know who to call? The designer? The hosting company? The programmer who worked on it last? What if you call the hosting company and they blame the programmer—but the programmer blames the hosting company? Sadly, this is quite common. But at Back2Front, we are responsible for the entire web site service; we can't pass the buck if there are issues—we just take care of them.
What's included in the Management portion?
All of our ongoing services are included:
- Ongoing Domain Name Service (DNS), and yearly renewal.
- Hosting of your site on our own "cloud" servers for complete control, and no hassles.
- Our Included SEO service for top rankings in the search engines.
- Hit statistics reporting using detailed, comprehensive, and understandable monthly reports.
- Site monitoring, link checking, and code (HTML) validation.
- Regular Backups and security precautions.
- Email addresses and email forwarding services.
- Technical support for reliable web site performance.
- Educational newsletters full of tips and information to help you get the most from your web site.
- Our availability for updates and any ongoing maintenance on your web site.
- Development of graphics, content, functionality, and anything else for updating your site.
- Unlimited consulting service with anything regarding your web site.
- Anything else you need, really!
Dear Candace and Back2Front:
Feel free to use us in your promotional pieces. We have been very happy with your service.
Your service staff and management have been great in the development of our site and been very helpful in making the changes we have requested to the site.
I recommend Back2Front to any small to medium sized business to create an exciting web site and develop new business for their clients.
It is nice to see a supplier that is customer service oriented and will do anything in their power to make the site a success.
Winnable Enterprise Co Ltd
Ongoing Managed Web Hosting
What is Ongoing Managed Hosting?
Most web-hosting providers offer a "help-yourself" service that just provides the space and the software tools necessary to "serve" your web site on the Internet. Training and experience are necessary to use these services effectively. As well, most help-yourself services provide only basic features. More advanced features like site monitoring, link checking, code validation, interactivity, e-commerce, and security are often not available, and if they are, they cost more and require significant expertise to use.
Back2Front's ongoing managed web-hosting service is different from a "help-yourself" service in that we look after your web site for you; we don't just provide the tools for you to do it yourself. As well, we provide all of the advanced features you need to get the most from your web site as part of our service.
Do your clients find out your web site is down before you do?
We work proactively to keep your web site running—not just responding to issues you bring to our attention. We monitor your web site constantly and we will know before you do if there is an outage or server problem. Problems are addressed continuously without any need for your involvement and usually before service is affected. Do you have time to be checking your web site continuously? Probably not, but we do.
Who cares if your links are broken?
A web site that looks broken is a detriment to any business but for e-commerce, a broken web site can be the kiss of death! Would you order products and spend money on a site you weren't sure was working properly?
A help-yourself web hosting service will not care if your links are broken. They provide the space and the tools only—the rest is up to you. Back2Front, on the other hand, automatically checks your web site nightly for a variety of common problems such as broken links, email addresses that are not working properly, and invalid HTML. Errors can be detected and corrected quickly, and your web site never looks broken. Who cares if your links are broken? We do!
No limits for disk space or bandwidth.
Do you know how much disk space or bandwidth your web site will require? Most people don't—you'd need specialized training and experience. With a help-yourself hosting service, your choice is to pay for more space and bandwidth than you need, or risk having your web site visitors suffer from slow performance. Or, if you choose too little, you might end up paying overage fees.
With Back2Front's Ongoing Managed Service there are no limits for disk space or bandwidth. You do not need to know, or make guesses about, your requirements. We automatically adjust your service depending on your needs with no extra charges, no overage fees, and no performance slowdowns.
Get the best service available from third parties for the lowest cost.
A managed service also involves dealing with third-party services for you on your behalf. We have the experience and expertise to obtain the best service available for the least cost.
For example: we register, renew, and provide name service for the domain names owned by our clients using the services of a third-party registrar. You could do this yourself, but you would have to learn to configure DNS and also remember to take the time to pay the renewals each year. Our ongoing managed service saves you time and effort by taking care of it all for you.
We do the research for you.
We save you significant amounts of time in researching the best companies to use for each type of service you need. Companies are being bought out, taken over, or going out of business all the time. A service that had been serving you well for years may suddenly start performing badly. Since we deal with these companies for hundreds of clients, we can detect these performance changes long before they would affect you, and we do the research and have the expertise to find the best replacement—before it becomes a problem. You could comparison shop through the thousands of similar service providers, but how much time do you have?
Making sure your web site never goes down—disaster planning.
We have hundreds of web sites that all need hosting, so we can afford to have several different servers in different parts of the continent. An automatic fail-over system links these servers together to provide a seamless and fail-safe hosting platform for your web site. If one of the servers goes down, the others automatically take over and your web site stays up. Even if the whole eastern seaboard goes down as it did in 2003 (details at www.cbc.ca
) our servers in another part of the country will take over.
Backups—disaster planning and more...
Of course backups are essential for disaster planning and Back2Front has you covered with multiple redundant backup systems for your web site. If the worst should happen, we could restore your web site. Additionally, in an ongoing managed service, backups can be used for other purposes. Say you asked for some changes, and a week later decided that you did not like them and wanted to revert to the old version—we can do that! Or you have seasonal content that must be kept and used again next year—we can do that too!
Who ya gonna call?—Back2Front!
Without an ongoing managed service, first you have to discover the problem. (How long would it take before you noticed your web site was down?) Then you would have to diagnose the problem in order to figure out who to call, make the call, wait for them to get back to you, wait for them to tell you it's not their fault, then wait for them to realize it is their fault, then wait for them to fix it. In the meantime, you have either no service or poor service. Who needs the headaches? Switch to Back2Front's Ongoing Web Site Management Service—because you have a business to run!
Do your clients find out your web site is down before you do?
We work proactively to keep your web site running—not just responding to issues you bring to our attention.
Outage Case Study
Not getting the service reliability you need? Switch!
In 2008, two events took place that affected web-hosting service for thousands of people and were significant enough to make the news:
In May 2008, there was an explosion at a data centre that caused over 9,000
servers to go offline as a result:
In July 2008, a widespread power outage in downtown Vancouver affected thousands of people, bringing business to a halt:
If it had been one of our web servers that was involved, our automatic fail-over would have prevented any web site down time for our clients. However, it was
one of our mail servers that was affected. This had the result of delaying email for a few hours for some of our clients. Since email is not a time-critical
application (most people will not even notice if an email is delayed by a few hours) we monitored the situation.
The third-party supplier predicted that service would be restored by the end of the day, which it was. Had they predicted longer, or been uncommunicative, we
would have begun switching those clients affected to our alternate email service provider.
If a help-yourself service is interrupted, you have to wait for them to fix it; they will not quickly and easily switch you to another provider.
With Back2Front's Managed Service, there are no limits when it comes to disk space or bandwidth.
Our managed service saves you time and effort by taking care of all your web site needs for you.
Ongoing Web Site Management Service
Design & Dash versus Success in the Long Run.
The difference between Ongoing Managed Design and the alternative ("Design & Dash") is in the perspective.
The Design & Dash goal is to get as much money up front as possible, do a visually impressive job, and go on to the next project. Their business model does not allow them to be concerned about user interface issues, maintainability, search engine performance, or how well your business is served by the design they create. These things only reveal themselves months after launch—after they've been paid.
We keep you happy every day—not just with our initial work.
We create a web design that is attractive, yet maintainable and functional over the longer term. Since you remain our clients for years after launch, we need to keep you happy every day—not just for our initial work.
Broken web sites reduce sales!
There will be a marked reduction in sales from a broken or out-of-date web site versus a well-maintained web site. Therefore, at Back2Front we always make the function and content of a web site a priority over design. That is not to say we favour unattractive web sites—nothing could be further from the truth! But rather that we take into consideration how the web site needs to function and the content it will present before we consider the design. We will make the design fit the function—not the other way around.
Maximize your ROI on your web site design.
Web design should be an ongoing process. As we get to know your business over time, we will be able to advise you on design decisions in the future to maximize your ROI on your web site. A company that is only involved with you for a short time cannot do this.
The 3-5 year re-design cycle versus Ongoing Management.
If you are like most companies, you embark on another web site "overhaul" or "re-design" every three to five years. Your web site starts out good, and you intend to keep it updated and fresh. However, if the update process is not easy or cheap then your web site gets more and more out-of-date until you cannot put it off any longer. You then begin the process of finding a company to do a redesign for you.
Broken or out-of-date web sites may cost you sales.
Overhauling a web site with a new company every three to five years is a very expensive way to manage your web site. An out-of-date web site looks bad to prospects, and a broken web site may be worse than no web site at all. Our ongoing managed service allows you to keep your web site fresh at all times.
Save time by eliminating the quoting process.
It takes time to locate, research, and go through the quoting process with three firms to select the company to do your redesign, can you afford to do this every three to five years? Our flat-rate pricing means no quoting is necessary. This can save you up to 50 percent of the cost of your web site.
Can you afford to devote large blocks of time to a redesign?
Redesigns are time consuming, going through the whole web site and deciding what stays, what goes, what should be added, and what needs changing. Not to mention the approval process. Do you have large blocks of time you can take away from your business operations to deal with your company web site?
There is a better way—Back2Front's ongoing managed service.
At Back2Front, we take over web sites that have been neglected—all the time! We know how time consuming redesigns can be—not only for us but also for you! Why put yourself through it ever again? You don't have to. With a managed service, web design (and redesign) become part of the ongoing daily management of the site. The site never gets badly out-of-date in terms of content or design, and it never has to be taken down for an overhaul!
Consider these common scenarios:
Ongoing managed design means always having a web site that looks brand new.
- Changing Your Tag Line: Your company has changed its tag line and every page on the site (including the graphics) needs to be changed. Without a managed service, this could be a nightmare! Who has the original graphics? Are they still available to make modifications? What about the text? Who can do the HTML? With Back2Front, we always keep the originals and we have the necessary staff on hand. Just send us an email, and within a couple of days the job will be done! No nightmare!
- Changing Your Colours: Your marketing specialist thinks that the colour chartreuse is in, and the taupe they recommended last year is out. So all the backgrounds and colours of the web site must be changed to match your new advertising. At Back2Font, that is a piece of cake—not a heart attack!
- Adding a Product Line: You took on a whole new product line and your web site must now appeal to a new demographic? Just give us a call and we will recommend ways to achieve your goal. (After adding the new products, we will also implement a design modification.)
- Take your web site down? Never! Your lawyer is advising you to take your site down because clients are demanding that you honour the old pricing and service guarantees that are still up from 2 years ago! This will never happen with Back2Front! It is so easy to keep the site current that there will never be a need to take it down.
Web design at Back2Front is a gradual, regular process that fits into your business schedule on an ongoing basis so your web site is always up-to-date, fresh, and functioning properly. It never becomes an overwhelming "can't put it off any longer" emergency task, and your clients will always see a web site that looks brand new.
Managed Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is complex, and requires ongoing attention.
Search engine optimization is not a one-time operation. Any SEO that is done when your web site is first built will last for up to six months only. Less if you make any significant changes to your web site in the meantime. To keep web site traffic levels high, you will need to continually monitor your site's hit statistics reports and modify your SEO as indicated. Do you know what your site's statistics mean? Do you know what indicators to look for? Will you know what changes to make to keep your web site traffic improving over time? Do you even receive statistics reports?
Using Hit Statistics for SEO.
The monthly statistics reports we provide our clients are the most complete and accurate in the industry. They play a key role in our ongoing SEO service. By analyzing the figures periodically, we can fine-tune your site to perform better over time.
Back2Front provides managed SEO.
But we go even farther; we provide consulting services to help you understand and use your statistics to reach your web site goals.
Building a Search Engine friendly web site.
An important part of search engine optimization is how the web site is built. Some common ways to code web sites are not friendly to search engines and will prevent them from indexing your site properly. It takes time and thought to build a search engine friendly web site. As well, the steps that must be taken sometimes conflict with the owner's desires for the look of the site. It should not be surprising that only a company who is going to be held responsible in the long run for the success of a web site (like Back2Front) will bother to take SEO seriously during the design and coding stages.
Keeping your web site Search Engine friendly.
SEO must be continuously updated along with your web site. Competing web sites go online daily, and your own content changes, without specifically paying attention to SEO, will make your site fall behind.
SEO Management is the best way to get the most traffic for the least cost!
By knowing your site, your company, your past site stats, and your goals for your site, we can advise you on search engine optimization techniques, and
implement needed changes at any time, throughout the life time of the web site. This is the best way to get the most traffic for the least cost.
Learn more about SEO at Back2Front.
An important part of search engine optimization is how the web site is built.
Managed SEO Example 1:
A client was not getting the leads she was expecting from her web site. She had an inquiry form on her "Contact Us" page that asked several questions before allowing submission. This email form was the only way visitors could contact her.
From the stats reports, we saw that she only got one or two submissions per month yet hundreds of visitors were viewing the page. We surmised that her prospects did not want to fill out a long form just to ask a question. We recommended reducing the requirements for submission. It worked—the number of submissions increased significantly and she got more leads.
SEO is complex, and requires ongoing attention.
Managed SEO Example 2:
A client wanted to know why his traffic levels were still low several months after launching his new web site. The first page of his web site was an animated splash (also called entry or landing) page. It had no text and only a single "Enter Here" button to get to the site. We could see from the stats that it was interfering with the search engines' ability to index his site. We did warn him about this—but all of his competitors were doing the same thing so initially he felt he had to as well. We recommended removing this page and he agreed to remove it temporarily to see if it would help. His traffic increased tenfold in the following two months! Needless to say, the temporary removal became permanent.
Managed Flat-rate Pricing.
Does a managed service cost more?
The bottom line is, if you are willing and able to do the work yourself, there are cheaper ways of getting a web site. However, if your business is past the infancy stage, you shouldn't even be considering the do-it-yourself option. Your time will be more profitably spent on your business.
No! If you consider everything, a managed service will cost you less!
Is Back2Front's ongoing managed service more expensive than other more complete services? If you compare apples to apples (which is sometimes difficult—see our Compare Us page for more info on this) over the lifetime of your web site, you will not find a better price for this level of service anywhere else in Canada.
Economies of Scale.
Our ongoing managed service saves you money since we can (through our buying power and economies of scale) provide all of our services to you at a price that is lower than you could get if you had to buy them all separately.
The Price Advantage of Ongoing Managed Web Design.
Web design prices are based on the time it takes to do the work, multiplied by the hourly rate. When package prices are quoted, there are always limits (so many images, so many links, etc). In either case, pricing is adjusted (upwards) due to revisions or additions during the build. This seems reasonable to most people—but also worrisome. You, as a client, have no way of knowing how much time it should take, if your designer is slow, or what the final price will really be. Price over-runs are a common occurrence in the web design industry. You could try to keep within the limits of the package (but, trust me, this is difficult). When price over-runs do happen, what are you going to do about it? They have your web site and you have already invested a lot of time and effort into the project. Will you start over with someone new—or pay up?
No Price Over-runs.
At Back2Front, our initial web design work is done for a flat per-page setup fee so you will know exactly how much it will cost you—regardless of how fast (or slow) our designers are. As well, your flat per-page yearly management fee covers ongoing design changes, so you know how much that will cost! The only additional expense you may incur is the low, flat-rate handling fee we charge per change request. You are in control of how often you make change requests. So with a flat-fee pricing model, you are in control of your design costs. You can budget confidently knowing that there will be no unexpected cost over-runs!
The Price Advantage of Managed Web Hosting.
With Back2Front's ongoing managed hosting there are no limits on disk space or bandwidth usage. We automatically adjust your service depending on your needs with no extra charges—no overage fees and no performance slow downs.
The Price Advantage of Ongoing Managed Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
At Back2Front, our superior SEO is part of the package—no extra fees. In fact, our total fee for the entire web site is often less than we have seen people pay for SEO alone!
The Price Advantage of eliminating the 3-5 year redesign cycle.
Consider all the time it takes to research and find a new web company, go through the quoting process with three firms, have multiple meetings, and then work through the re-familiarization process with the new web people you finally choose. Can you afford to do this every three to five years? With a managed service, web design and redesign become part of the ongoing daily management of the site. The site never gets badly out-of-date in terms of content or design, and you never have to go through a quoting process ever again. The time you save could be substantial—how much is this worth to you?