Service Level Agreement

This post details how I work on ongoing contracts with clients.  This includes simple contracts like hosting, and more complicated arrangements like ad hoc technical support.

What kinds of ongoing support do I offer?

When I’ve completed a project for you, you may want me to continue to offer some of these services:

  • Website hosting.  This includes providing a home for your website, and also looking after it, keeping it safe, and helping you get the most from it on an ongoing basis.
  • Extra support.  If you need more ongoing help than I normally include with your hosting, then I can be available on a regular basis to help you with your website, adjusting it over time, adding and setting up plugins to expand what you can do with it.
  • Community-building support.  I can help you strategically manage your online community, from discussion spaces on your website, to social media and other online groups.  My support has focused on policies for developing safe and welcoming online spaces, finding strategies for growing a community, and helping support and manage volunteer moderators and community leaders.
  • Ongoing development – technical and design.  For some websites, the process of designing and building is best if it happens organically, over time, responding to evolving needs.  In these cases, I can maintain a portfolio of ideas and issues, regularly discussing with the client which are priorities for development.  This leads to a loop of plan-do-review, and a website that grows with you.

How quickly can I complete work?

I aim to schedule all my work in advance, and stick to any deadlines we agree.  I leave space in my schedule for some ad hoc and urgent work every day.  I am solo freelancer, I have limitations, and have to juggle priorities.  So the speed at which I can deliver something will vary, depending on the scale of the work, and its urgency.  I am able to make these commitments to you:

  • For tasks which take less than 2 hours, I can usually deliver those within one week (five working days) of you asking for it.
  • For tasks which will take between 2-5 hours, I can usually deliver those within 2 weeks.
  • For tasks of five hours or more, I may need three or more weeks to deliver it.
  • I can’t make concrete guarantees about these delivery times, but I aim for these to be my “normal”, and will agree deadlines with you for each task I accept.
  • For any work which is urgent or an emergency, I will look to rearrange other clients’ work to make space for yours.  Likewise, I need you to be understanding if I have to delay your work sometimes to fit in emergency work for other people.

I am always looking to improve my productivity, and the quality of my work.  And so I am always receptive to feedback. I will always be honest about my ability and capacity to complete work for you.

How do I communicate?

My preference for “distance” communication is email and phone.  I do my best to keep emails clear and concise.  Emails are good for setting out choices, outlining action and agreements, discussions leading to simpler decisions, and straightforward support.  Phone calls are good for discussing broader issues, brainstorming ideas, delivering training, and working through more complex questions and support.

I aim to respond to emails within 1 working day of receiving them.  I monitor emails more frequently than this, so I am able to respond more quickly to anything urgent.  If for any reason it might take me longer than 1 working day to give an adequate response, I’ll email you to let you know to expect a delay.

I aim to be available for phone calls between 9am-5pm UK time, Monday-Friday.  I aim to provide extra information by voicemail and email autoresponder if I’m not available for any significant period.

I’m also happy to use Skype, Facetime, Trello, and Slack with clients, where appropriate.

I cannot respond to any email, phone calls, or other messages outside of office hours, or over weekends.  You can send and leave messages for me at any time, of course, but you will not hear back from me outside of office hours.

Any feedback?

If you have any questions or feedback about any of this, please do drop me a line.  There’s a handy contact form, and my phone number, at the bottom of this page.