7 Questions to ask before starting a WordPress site care business

WORDPRESS SITE CARE BUSINESS

If you are looking for easy money, then hop on down to Easy Street, where you can hang out with Miss Hannigan, Rooster, and Lily (remember Annie?). It didn’t work out so well for them. You remember, they tried to scam Daddy Warbucks’s out of the reward by pretending to be Annie’s missing parents?

Every business is hard. My friends who run the coffee shop work long hours, but they love their job. My office building neighbor runs a lawn care service, and he works hard as well.

What is satisfying is the reward you get for building a business. A WordPress site care business is the same. So, if you think you want to start a site care business, ask your self these seven questions.

Are you ready for a WordPress site care business?

What tasks to do for your biz?

Many site care businesses will offer tiered plans to handle tasks. Most will offer a base plan that usually includes core updates, plugin updates, uptime monitoring, security scans, and backups.

The level and depth of offerings will depend on your team and your business goals.

With MainWP you can offer a comprehensive list of tasks. MainWP has 48 extensions in six different areas: Administrative, Backups, Content, Performance, Security, and Visitor Data.

Adding monitoring for things like data, performance, and even SEO monitoring may be considered premium tasks. What about developer support? You might include a plan for adding a couple hours of support.

A tiered set of plans give more options to your customers. Make sure your lowest plans covers the tasks that are most important.

Barrel Roll plans
Example of Tiered plans, Barrel Roll

Will it be part of your business or your core business?

When determining if you are going to have a WordPress site care plan, you will need to determine if it will be an extension of your already existing business or if site care is going to be your core business.

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For most developers, it just makes sense to offer this as an ongoing support to their existing customer base.

We already realize how important it is to maintain a WordPress website to keep it running at an optimal level, protect it from attacks, make sure backups are created and stored safely, and keep things updated.

Offering this as a plan to existing customers rather than the impromptu, irregular requests to fix things would serve you and your customers very well with peace of mind. It also, of course, adds recurring revenue to your business to help fill in the gaps between projects.

Transitioning to making site care as a core business is an idea many have decided to do.

Andy Towler explains why he is moving towards offering maintenance as a core for his business,

I’d like to grow it to about 75% of my business, with the other 25% reserved for projects. That way I can just pick the more interesting projects and turn down less appealing ones! Andy Towler, ZigCare

Using this is a more predictable income, he is able to focus on projects he is more interested in working with. What would be a good reason for you to switch to offering maintenance as a core business offering?

Will you host your clients’ sites or use a certain host?

Most people who have worked long enough with WordPress realize that the hosting makes a huge difference in performance. Certain hosts are just better at working with a WordPress setup.

Some hosts are specifically WordPress hosts called Managed WordPress Hosting. The setup makes a big difference in performance, security and a host of other problems.

With PHP being at version 7 for several years, why would a host not offer that to their customers?

Several developers have realized that working with some hosts is a bad idea. Therefore, often, they ask for customers to host with a preferred hosting company or, in some cases, simply host the sites themselves so that they can control the hosting setup.

How much patience do you have?
How much patience do you have?

How much patience do you have?

Ryan D. Sullivan started WP Site Care in 2012 and the company has been one of the longest players in the space. To say that he has learned some lessons along the way is an understatement.

One of the lessons he has learned along the way is to have patience because it doesn’t happen overnight and it takes a while to get going.

Bottom line: This line of work isn’t for the faint of heart. Proceed with caution and know that 16 hour days are going to become the norm for a while, and your inbox will never be the same. This isn’t a f*****g autopilot lifestyle business. It becomes your life. Ryan D. Sullivan

You have to have patience with customers and with solving problems as well.

You have to have a special place in your heart for solving the most complex issues, and an addictive personality that won’t let you quit until that last ticket’s closed. You’d also better love helping people, because people need help. And I assure you, that once you say you’re ready to help, people won’t stop asking until they’re satisfied with the solution. Ryan D. Sullivan 

It doesn’t happen overnight, it isn’t easy, you have ungrateful customers and haters, in other words, it’s just like running any other business. This is the price of running a business with recurring revenue, but in the end, it can be worth the labor.

Are you ready to provide tech support?

Whatever you think about running a site care business, be ready to provide tech support. You may offer development hours or it may be an overflow o the work, but in this case, you should be willing to have your own helpdesk.

Either way, your clients will need support outside your package from time to time. So, if you do offer support hours or meet them for a client outside the package, you will be providing tech support. That means your team needs to be good at working on various types of WordPress installs, troubleshooting, and solving problems.

What will be your tech stack?
What will be your tech stack?

What will be your tech stack?

If you are going to run a site care business, you will need to have a solid tech stack. You could be maintaining hundreds of websites or more, so it’s a good idea to invest in a solid infrastructure.

You will need a server to host your MainWP Dashboard, your host for your client’s sites if you will host them, a ticket system for maintaining communication and keeping up with tasks. You will need MainWP and their extensions, third-party applications for uptime monitoring, backups, storage, security, and performance.

You will also need a Client Relationship Management, a testing environment, FTP, analytics, and the ability to create reports for your clients. Some of these you may be able to add as you go. The benefit of MainWP is you can get started quickly and easily using the plugin and its extensions and a solid host for your dashboard such as People Host and Cloudways.

Does your team possess good communication skills?

Communication is always the foundation of an innovative business. Running a WordPress site care business is no different. Whether you are effectively communicating with your clients, persons your team, or vendors, it is very important to any business to make sure communication is taken care of well. Sullivan talks about the importance,

While you can use tools such as a support desk and a client relationship management software for communicating effectively with clients, you still have to possess the skill of effective communication.

It will be important that your team improve their communication skills if needed and use the most important business communication skills they possess.

Conclusion

As with any business, running a WordPress site care business is hard work. It comes with some challenges of its own, but can worth it if you are able to solidify a regular revenue stream.  You can automate much of the process using MainWP and its many extensions, but there are still many aspects you will have to account for. Ask yourself these seven questions before your start.

Every developer I talk to who runs their own site care business is satisfied with the results. The front end takes some time to set up, but the long-term reward means they can go on a trip with their families, go to a WordCamp or another conference, or just take some time off without worrying about a dip in income. The reward is worth the labor.

Get started today! Download your MainWP Dashboard.

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