Moving On…to Plan B

Sign depicting a switch to "plan B"

Well, folks, this was to be a final “good-bye” blog posting. Instead, I’m electing to move to “Plan B”–due to a variety of circumstances (and after several conversations with my dear friend Dougal Walker), I’ve decided to keep the doors open for another year and continue to work with everyone directly instead of passing the torch on to Dougal.

Wait…What, You’re NOT Leaving?

As you likely know, I was intending to basically close my web content business, turn the reins over to Dougal and focus on other things going on in my life. Indeed, I wrote to all my Huelsman Way customers, introduced Dougal to them and even had him meet several of my clients as we began the transition. But two issues have become very clear to me over the past few weeks:

  • Neither Dougal nor I are comfortable with a final transition occurring before the end of the year.
  • I need to finish what I started and convert those DNN sites to WordPress throughout 2018.

While I still have things I want to do, I’m recognizing that it’s not fair to anyone if I simply walk away right now. Accordingly, I’m going to stay on for another year, get those DNN sites converted over and ensure that everyone is happy by the end of 2018.

Intentions for 2018

For starters, Dougal and I have agreed on a revised relationship where I’ll basically hire him on a monthly retainer basis so he can help me migrate the sites and get to know everyone (and their content) better. Dougal will also make his own services available to anyone who wants to work with him directly, focusing on his search engine optimization (SEO) and online marketing services. As for me, I’ll continue to host all the sites for another year as well as convert them, with the hope of migrating them all to WordPress by the end of 2018. If you’re a client of The Huelsman Way, look for an individualized email from me over the next two weeks to discuss your site hosting needs and potential migration plans for 2018.

Hosting Plans

Speaking of hosting, a big issue that’s come up over the last two months are my current hosting plans and why I price them the way I do. Given that my annual hosting fees will be coming-up again in a few weeks, now is a great time to revisit not just what I charge but WHY I charge what I charge.

Historic Pricing Plans

To summarize, web hosting has become such a commodity these days that organizations can host just about anywhere for next to nothing (my own WordPress hosting company offers plans as low as $4/month, or about $50/year). Of course, that’s a “bare bones” plan where you’re basically on your own to update and manage your own site (and take responsibility for it if the site goes down for any reason). At one point long ago I used to offer a similar “bare bones” hosting plan, but I found that all my clients wanted more, asking me to update their content periodically, recommend and install associated functional plugins, provide general consulting and advice, etc. Further, it took time for me to manage the DNN CMS (and, more recently now, the WordPress CMS that’s running my newer sites). All of this takes time for me to do, so instead of charging my clients an hourly rate (and “nickel-and-diming” them with these separate services) I switched to the plans I offer today, providing not just the hosting and maintenance of my sites but several hours of development and consulting time as well.

Two New “Bare Bones” Plans

While most of my clients prefer these existing plans, a few may want to make a switch to something more manual but less expensive. Accordingly, beginning in 2018 I’ll offer two new plans:

  • “Bare Bones” Hosting on my Cloud Server – For just $75/year, I’ll continue to host sites on my existing SiteGround cloud server but I won’t do any of the associated maintenance or any content updates. If you’re comfortable with doing your own site updates and maintenance yourself, the new $75/year plan may be right for you.
  • Direct Migration to SiteGround Hosting – Again, itself offers an even cheaper “Start Up” alternative at $4/month. If that plan appeals to you, I can migrate your site to such a plan where you’ll be provided an account directly from SiteGround (at which point I would no longer be involved).

If, as I hope, you’re OK with continuing your site hosting as we’ve done the past few years, everything can just stay the same. Again, I’ll be in touch with all my Huelsman Way clients directly to discuss how everyone wants to proceed into 2018.

Retirement Can Wait…

To summarize, I’m going to stay in business at least for another year and ensure that I finish what I’ve started (migrating all those DNN sites over to WordPress). Dougal will help me with this and he’ll be available if you want to work directly with him as well. Accordingly, I’ll keep the original DNN server going as long as I need until all the sites are converted. We’ll then see where 2018 takes us…

Professional web developer residing in Waunakee, Wisconsin.

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