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When does it make sense to have your web team on retainer?

retainer life saver 2

Developing websites from concept to fully-fledged online experience is our bread and butter. However, work on your website doesn’t necessarily stop after launch. To keep your online presence engaging and up to date, there’s plenty of work to keep you busy - content strategy and writing, creating landing pages, designing new user flows, and talking to us about new functionality or features.

If the amount of ongoing work is of a large enough volume, and you’d prefer to offload some of the tasks to your web team rather than tackle them yourself, it might make sense to take advantage of a retainer.

What exactly is a retainer?

A retainer with DelaneyDavidson means that we enter into a recurring monthly contract with you, with a fixed fee to be paid each month. The fee is based upon a certain number of hours that we dedicate to you each month, charged at a reduced rate compared to our regular development or maintenance rates.

It might be a small retainer of a few hours per month, used to do general maintenance or content management. It could be a larger retainer of 10 hours per month or more, if a large amount of work is expected. We’re happy to accommodate any volume of ongoing work - saves you a few bucks, and keeps us at the keyboards instead of the pub!

What does a retainer with us cover?
  • Minor design updates
  • New pages and page type development
  • Content writing and management
  • Bug fixes to existing functionality (unless the site was launched in the last month - then they’re free!)
  • Minor revisions to existing functionality
  • CMS management, training, and support
  • Creating and managing Newsletter campaigns

For retainer work that falls within the bounds of the above, we commit to getting all requested work done within 72 hours. If it’s going to take longer, we’ll let you know.

Additionally, any unused retainer time can be rolled over into the next month. If you exceed your time for the month, we just charge the overs at our normal rate along with the retainer. We’ll give you a heads up if we think any requested work is going to exceed your retainer - surprise bills aren’t any fun.

What does a retainer with us not cover?
  • Major design or functionality changes. What constitutes a “major” change is decided by us, but we’re always happy to discuss options with you. We’re not savages.
  • Any work outside the bounds of our regular services. If you want us to train some porpoises to feature in a promotional video to appear on your site’s Home Page, we’re happy to oblige. But we’ll charge accordingly. We have no idea how to train a porpoise.

Pros of a retainer

It’s better on your wallet

Quite simply, it’s cheaper. If you’re making use of your retainer hours to complete work that you would otherwise be requesting as each item arose, you’re saving money. Hard to argue with that.

It saves you time

You're not a web person, that's our job. We'll handle the web stuff, and you handle running your business.

Every hour we spend on your website is time saved for you, and ensures you have a constantly updated and modernised website that performs at its best.

Your web teams knows the web

This is kind of our thing. We take to the web like ducks to water. We understand the intricacies and common pitfalls of managing websites, and what makes them work well.

No nasty surprises

You pay a fixed monthly fee. No scary bills. When I was 15 I got a mobile phone and spent hundreds of hours on the phone to a high school crush. The bill melted my parent’s faces off. I understand the pain. They made me pay it.

Cons of a retainer

It might turn out you don’t need the time you’ve agreed to

Maybe you got all excited about how much effort would be going into your website and then realised you were pretty happy with it how it was.

Fortunately, any retainer can be terminated on 30 days’ written notice. We’re also happy to discuss other options - bringing the hours down, banking this month's hours for next month, maybe saving up some hours to put towards a new non-retainer project. The world is your pre-paid oyster.

You have to trust us to use your time effectively

We’d like to just say “you can trust us” and then you did, but we’re a pretty shifty looking mob so we get if that’s not going to work out for you. Never fear though, because we actually track everything we do in nicely formatted spreadsheets. Mostly this is so the boss man knows I’m not spending all my time reading articles about the mating habits of fruit bats, but it’s also so we have an accurate track of the time we’ve spent on every single thing we do. Additionally, you can always request a WIP (work in progress) report at any time in the month to check in on how much time has been used and what it was used for.

Sounds pretty cool. I want one.

Excellent! A retainer might sound like a scary commitment, but when planned out well and implemented carefully, it’s to the absolute benefit of everyone.

We value our clients and the relationship we have with you, and we believe the key to a successful retainer is transparency and honesty. If you think that a retainer might suit your needs, get in touch and we can get the ball rolling.

Published By

Thomas Davis

Junior Developer / Magician

With a keen interest in all aspects of web development, Thomas enjoys sharing the knowledge he obtains as he continues to learn.

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