In order to effectively maintain your WordPress website, you’ll need to understand how the system is structured.
Compare Website Maintenance to a PC using Windows 10 as it’s software (sorry Mac users). Windows 10 is the equivalent we’ll go with to WordPress.
Essentially it is the system giving you all the functionality and customisation you have become accustomed to from the moment you turn on your computer. That’s WordPress for your website.
We can compare software applications such as Word, or Solitaire (do they still even have Solitaire classic on computers?) to WordPress plugins.
Each software application (plugin as we call them) is independently built by the developer/s of that particular plugin.
So when WordPress requires an update (for security and User Experience purposes), it is common practice to make sure that the plugins still meet the standards of the new version of WordPress and are kept up to date to comply.
As the internet makes the world an easier place for us fundamental practices need to be managed and maintained.
What is involved in WordPress website maintenance?
Maintaining a WordPress website comes down to a few key factors.
- Back-end systems management
- Cyber Security
- Performance management
What is involved in maintaining a WordPress website is the following:
- Daily backups should be conducted and stored off site and be easily accessible. We use two types of cloud storage for ours, both through a backup plugin and server backups.
- Conduct weekly update routines for your website. If you are not practising daily backups, then we recommend running a back up before and after any major updates. A major update is a WordPress Release or a new version for a plugin apposed to minor updates which generally include bug fixes.
- Audit your website at least twice a month, or after any major updates have been installed. This includes checking that the website is displaying as it should, that your links are all working, that your contact form(s) are working, and that it is optimised for mobile devices.
- Install and run security software/plugins to catch any potential suspicious activity in advance. Malware and hacks tend to slowly infect and creep up on many unsuspecting sites. This is crucial because, depending on the severity of a hack, diagnosing and resolving could take anywhere from 2-4 hours plus.
- Setup and track your analytics correctly through your website and be sure to generate a report or keep regular scores on these. This can be done through Google Analytics.
- Spam filtering and testing forms. It is important to simply make sure these processes are regularly checked after major updates just to ensure that the are still in effect, and that you are not receiving an abundance of spam in your inbox.
How much does WordPress maintenance cost?
Most people don’t realise – even if you do WordPress maintenance yourself, to run a tight ship you are going to need to be spending money.
There are only so many free plugins and tools can get away with you, and these plugins are free for a reason – to give you a taste so you spend more to get the premium features. (We know! We invest in a fair few premium plugins ourselves!) The difference is that we are an agency. We can make it work for us by managing a plethora of websites, however it might not make too much sense if you’re managing just the one site.
On top of plugin costs to allow you to do all the aforementioned steps, cost of labour needs to be considered too.
Here’s the thing with WordPress maintenance. It’s BORING. It will always be BORING, but it is crucial to run a tight ship, minimise the stress that comes with your investment, and have you focus on the important factors, such as business growth.
Here are the costs you should consider when choosing a WordPress maintenance plan.
Plugins are generally in the $100-$250/yr range. You’ll also find monthly costs that can range from $10-$40/m on top of these.
There is also the costs of website hosting (where your website lives), which generally is an annual payment of around $200-$300.
Highlight a red flag if anything is charged under $80 simply because of the amount of work required vs what it’s costing the business to actually maintain your website. With the amount it costs for a business to have the premium software to enable optimal management, there is most likely not much being attended to on a regular basis.
Another thing to note is how much the website maintenance encompasses. Do you have pay an excess to have things fixed? Does their support put you first? Do you get complimentary updates and Hosting?
All important questions.
How much would it cost you NOT to have WordPress maintenance?
Web Care and WordPress Maintenance is rarely considered until something goes horribly wrong.
Not everyone is like this though, and we can understand that website maintenance is one of those modalities where one doesn’t know what they don’t know.
So here is what it would cost you to not have WordPress maintenance for your website.
Monetary Value – the monetary value of the time you or your staff spend attempting to diagnosis and fix a problem, the cost in hours, mental fatigue and capacity that is better spent on income-producing activities.
The cost of loss of business – imagine promoting services, or your business, and it’s taken you weeks to find out something was wrong that is deterring clients or preventing leads coming through.
Hacking – A hacked website is even worse. There is always the potential that the entire website can’t be recovered due to corruption.
The cost of updating a really outdated website – We once had a client accidentally press update all, (a tempting feature) without a single backup in place. The website was completely lost. That’s a $3000 investment. Gone.
Plugins can become outdated themselves, and depending on the people behind them (smaller teams), there is always the chance that these plugins will stop receiving the attention they need, due to developers moving on or other foreseen circumstances occurring. They may need replacements to keep your website performing the way it needs too.
These are the main reasons a business comes to us for WordPress maintenance:
- They haven’t touched their website in a long time. They need updates done but keep pushing them aside due to the hindrance of a clunky website that requires attention.
- Their website has been hacked and they need help asap.
- The entire website broke.
WordPress website maintenance plans
We offer an all-in-one concierge style WordPress website maintenance plan.
Our plans take in every consideration that we have outlined in this article and MORE.
We offer complete management, security, and our Hack Guarantee. This means that all hacks and bugs are completely covered. If your website is hosted with us and for some reason we couldn’t recover it, we will build you a brand new website for FREE.
We also provide visual updates on your behalf such as editing text, changing images, or quick front-end development as needed.
And lastly, you’ll get a report on the 1st of every month with all the work we’ve done, traffic analytics, and optional inclusive website hosting with our premium Australia based servers at no extra cost!
If you’re a business that is also growing, we also offer a couple WordPress Maintenance Plans with Marketing Growth Programs.
When considering Web Care, what sets us apart is that we want our clients to grow, and we are just not there to just maintain, but to enhance your User Experience and be by your side every step of the way.
Getting started with Web Care
Our Web Care plan comes from years of refinement, systems and team development, to provide you with the all-in-one solution for your business. This is a month to month, no-lock in (because we’re actually that good at it!) service at affordable pricing.
If you’re just starting out then we can facilitate your online business growth through Web Design in Melbourne and Australia-Wide!
To get started today shoot us a message or book a call to find out more.
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