This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no cost to you. Read my full disclosure.)

Do you constantly have clients wanting free support after you launch their website?

Launching a website is an exciting accomplishment, but what happens when a client wants free support weeks, months, or even years after the website launch?

As a web designer, it’s crucial to establish clear boundaries and communicate the value of your services.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how to handle post-launch support requests, explain the importance of contracts, and provide practical tips for maintaining client relationships.

The Business Perspective:

When a client breaks their website and seeks free support, it’s essential to approach the situation from a business perspective. While it may feel uncomfortable to deny free assistance, it’s crucial to reinforce the idea that websites, like cars, require maintenance.

You are running a business, and just as clients pay for services on their cars, they should expect to pay for website maintenance.

Avoiding Misunderstandings with Contracts:

To preemptively address post-launch support expectations, it’s advisable to include clear terms in your contracts.

Explicitly state that you are not responsible for maintaining the client’s website or any changes they make after the launch. This not only sets expectations but also serves as a reference point in case disputes arise.

Here’s a suggested addition to your contract:

“I am not responsible for ongoing maintenance of the website or any changes made by the client after the initial launch. Any support or modifications requested beyond the agreed-upon scope will be subject to additional charges at my hourly rate.”

Related: Check out my favorite contract resources here!

Crafting a Professional Response:

When faced with a client requesting free support, it’s essential to respond professionally and assertively. Consider using the following email script as a template:

Hi [Client’s Name],

Thanks for reaching out!

I’ve reviewed the issues and can certainly help with the necessary fixes. My hourly rate is $X, and based on the scope of work, I estimate the cost to be $Y.

Additionally, I offer monthly retainers for regular maintenance and support. If this interests you, please let me know, and we can discuss a customized plan.

Once I have your approval, I’ll proceed with the fixes and send over an invoice.

Thanks,
[Your Name]

Never Wonder What to Say in an Email Again!

Grab my collection of 125+ email templates covering everything from everyday emails to sticky client situations, and make your emails as easy as copy + paste.

Get the Emails!

Providing Value with Monthly Retainers:

Introducing the concept of monthly retainers can be a win-win for both parties. It allows clients to receive ongoing support and maintenance while you benefit from a consistent income stream as a web designer.

Emphasize the value of proactive maintenance in preventing future issues, highlighting that it’s an investment in the longevity and functionality of their website.

Related post: Add Recurring Revenue to Your Web Design Business!

Tl;dr:

Navigating post-launch support requests requires a delicate balance between maintaining client relationships and upholding the value of your services.

By establishing clear terms in contracts, responding professionally to inquiries, and offering proactive solutions like monthly retainers, web designers can set the stage for successful, mutually beneficial collaborations.

Remember, communicating the importance of ongoing website maintenance is not only a business necessity but also a service that adds value to your clients’ online presence.

Never Wonder What to Say in an Email Again!

Grab my collection of 125+ email templates covering everything from everyday emails to sticky client situations, and make your emails as easy as copy + paste.

Get the Emails!

Keep reading…

Originally published 2/25/2015. Updated 11/27/2023.

Dive Deeper