As an Agency, we at FlowPress provide a family of services that we call WebOps. As a newer term, and commonly lumped into the DevOps school of thought, we are commonly asked precisely what WebOps even really means.
Today, we’ll walk you through how we define WebOps, what it means for our clients in particular, and even introduce you to some of our systems and processes.
Please keep in mind however that the below explanations are merely our boilerplate services. Depending on various complexities and client needs, our definition of WebOps can expand and contract.
That being said, WebOps to us involves the following core pillars as a discipline:
- Proactive Monitoring
Development ranges from new site builds all the way to custom plugin development and all the space between. While Insights are gleaned from the use of a custom-built internal Dashboard that provides us with a deep understanding of client web properties.
Due to the extreme variability of the two mentioned pillars, we’re going to focus on the other three; Maintenance, Proactive Monitoring, and Reporting.
Maintenance / Updates, Backups, Bug Fixes & Version Control
A regular maintenance schedule includes standard functions required on a monthly basis, to keep your site running securely and ready for any new development or changes.
The functions include:
- Testing, installation and deployment of:
- Updates to WordPress Core, including major and security point releases
- Updates to plugins installed by FlowPress
A Lead Developer determines the appropriate updates schedule. Patches relating to security or preventing a bug from occurring, will be applied outside the regular schedule, at a Lead Developer’s discretion.
Not included in our definition of Maintenance are fixes to third-party code or code not created or approved by a Lead Developer at FlowPress. This includes bugs or issues caused by a third-party plugin, regardless of whether or not we installed or recommended it.
For each WordPress Core, Security or plugin update, FlowPress will schedule and perform the following tasks:
- Backup your web property or website
- Run plugin and/or core updates on a staging or local site, not visible to search engines
- Perform visual and user functionality testing, so we know it looks and functions correctly
- Update visual, uptime and performance tests as required
- Handoff to your Project Manager, who will perform a final run through of your site
- Deployment of updates from staging to your live website
In order to know what’s going on with your web property at all times, we employ a number of automated and manual monitoring tools. These tools are meant to be preventative and, in the event of an issue, allow us to diagnose and repair the issue quickly.
Real-Time Performance Monitoring
When it comes to keeping your properties operating at peak performance, real-time monitoring is what allows us to be proactive in our responses and recommendations. Alerts are set, within our suite of tools, to warn of potential or occurring issues with load times and error rates outside acceptable ranges.
Monitors ping your web property every few minutes to confirm that the URL is reachable from multiple places on the globe and that your server(s) are responding without error. Our goal is to know the status of your site at all times, so you don’t have to worry. Uptime monitors report via email and text message in the event that they cannot load your site or key portions thereof, such as a marketing micro-site.
Automated Visual and Code Accuracy
These tests compare how a page looks, to how it is supposed to look, both in code and visually in a browser. These tests are setup on key pages, identified in consultation with you and your Lead Developer. Tests are run with varying frequency, based on discussions with your team and we are alerted to any reported inconsistencies in real-time!
Automated Critical Function Tests
Performed at regular intervals, Critical Function Tests make sure key parts of your property, such as a critical form or lookup, are operating correctly. You should never have to let us know that something you deem critical is not working.
Errors are reported via email or text, as they occur, to your team at FlowPress. Test Intervals are determined as part of your SLA, in consultation with your Project Manager and Lead Developer.
WordPress Community Updates
These are received and reviewed by everyone on your team at FlowPress. These include announcements of upcoming features, security patches and new Core releases.
Reporting is an essential pillar to our WebOps offering. We provide regular reporting about the performance of the web property, task updates, recommendations, goal tracking, and account status. Reports arrive to our clients via email and/or as part of regular check-ins with a Project Manager.
Our standard schedule is as follows:
- Bi-Weekly check-in calls with your Project Manager will include:
- Review of performance goals and reports
- Proactive recommendations
- New task scheduling and updates on ongoing tasks
- Updates on out of scope time
- Monthly emailed summary detailing:
- Tasks completed
- Hours utilization (if applicable)
- Scheduled and ongoing tasks
- Performance and uptime review
Well, there you have it! These are the things that we do day to day to ensure our clients businesses and web properties are operating in shape shape!