Having a website, you may need someone to maintain it: doing regular updates and error checking, monitoring performance, etc. The service you consider in this case is support. It's a natural choice, but what if you'll need help with developing your website from time to time? Should you still select support, or choose cooperation with a team of developers? We'll explain the differences between these services and advise you on which one to choose and when.
Once you launch a website, working on it doesn’t end but moves to a different level. Then a webpage needs regular maintenance that consists of different activities.
A person or team taking care of a particular website monitors whether it works properly and loads fast. It includes the checks for:
- errors that could disable the page or slow down its performance,
- inactive or broken links that not only mislead the users but also affect SEO.
Another crucial thing to do as a part of maintenance is to keep a website up-to-date by installing the latest version of the content management system and extensions. It ensures fresh features, bug fixes, and security improvements. Apart from the latter, it’s important to regularly check the website for vulnerabilities and do the backups.
Review of design and functionalities
Besides the regular maintenance, it’s also worth periodically checking whether the website’s design and features are still up-to-date. The needs of every business are constantly evolving, so it might turn out that the functionalities and graphical elements have to be refreshed, significantly changed, or added.
As you see, for keeping your website in good health, you might need the actions related both to maintenance and development. Who is better to choose for such work - support or team of developers? We’ll answer that question by showing how both of these teams operate in our company.
Our Drupal support team consists of developers, testers, project manager, DevOps engineer, and designer. We usually have the same people in the team, but the developers may change due to their availability. It doesn’t distract the work, as we clearly document everything.
The team monitors whether your Drupal website runs seamlessly. When any issues or errors appear, they react quickly. Unlike the team of developers, specialists involved in support don’t work in SCRUM (usually two weeks long) sprints, so they’re able to answer your urgent bug reports and focus on fixing those errors. The team logs every client’s issue to Jira (a project management tool) and follows a clear workflow defined there.
They also care about the webpage’s security and updates. The new releases of the Drupal core and the modules bring improved features and security patches. That is why it’s important to regularly implement the new versions. Some of the updates can be pretty complex, but with their expertise, our team knows how to plan them ahead and perform as smoothly as possible.
Minor web development services
Besides taking care of website performance, our support team also does some smaller programming tasks. We mean works that don’t require too much time and effort, such as creating a new landing page or adding a new integration.
When to choose the support service?
If you need maintenance of your website and implementation of the small changes, and you don’t have an active development team, the support service will be a perfect fit for you. You can also decide on this option when you’re on a tight budget and a fixed package of programming work (f.e. 40 hours per month) is enough for you.
Team of developers
Like in support, in our team of Drupal developers, we have obviously programmers, testers, project manager, designer, and DevOps engineer. The difference is that here we always have the same developers.
This team works on the further development of the existing website. Not only do they do given tasks but also propose improvements and help in setting the general directions of development. Other activities they handle are designing user experience and interfaces, as well as conducting A/B tests. The latter lets the client see which variant of the examined element of the website performs better.
Our team of web developers works in SCRUM methodology that involves sprints - (most often) two-week work cycles. Each work period has its goal (like implementing a particular feature) which we achieve by completing small tasks. Thanks to that, a developer or tester can do their assignment within a few hours. This way, the client can easily follow the work progress and see the exact steps left which the team has to carry out to reach the goal.
When to select a team of developers?
This option is perfect when you need a dedicated team that will work on your project and at the same time help you introduce valuable improvements and set your website development directions. As the team members are involved in your project full-time, they can perform the specified tasks in a short time but within a bigger budget. However, this service can be easily adapted to your business requirements at a given moment. When they are bigger, we can increase the number of developers in the team and reduce it when your needs are smaller.
How to choose the most suitable service?
Before deciding on a particular service, think over your needs. Here are the factors worth considering.
- The number of programing tasks. If you have a lot of work (f.e. a 500-hour backlog) to do for the specialists, you might need a team of developers who will help you deal with them as quickly as possible.
- Deadline. Work speed surely matters for you also when the changes to the website should be implemented until a specific moment (e.g. before some important conference). Then you definitely need a team of developers operating full time.
- Hourly rate. The support costs more per hour than the help of the web development team.
- Type of work to do. If you need only small changes on your website, but regular maintenance, support will be the right choice for you.
|SUPPORT||TEAM OF DEVELOPERS|
|Changes on a website||
Small (new integration, new landing page)
|Big (major improvements, new features)|
|Number of developers’ working hours per month*||10-120 hours||Up to 500 hours|
*These numbers are only indicative values. Each type of service can be customized to meet the exact needs.
Changing the service from one to the other
After selecting a service, you can change it. For example, you needed a complex feature for your Drupal website and decided to work with 3 of our developers for three months. However, after that time, you want to switch to maintenance and occasional development. Then you can firstly work with a team of developers, and next with the support.
It can also be the opposite. You needed someone to take care of your website (monitor its performance). After some time, you came with an idea for complex functionality. In this case, we can change your support service to working with a team of developers. Once the feature is released, you can go back to maintenance mode.