Do you run a digital agency? Provide design or development to clients? Are you wondering whether to add WordPress maintenance to the mix or not?
It may seem like a logical option. You have WordPress skills; you already offer some services, so why not add maintenance too?
There are a few considerations to take into account before you jump in, and this article should help.
We’ll discuss WordPress maintenance and the value it offers you and your clients.
By the end of this guide, you should have a clearer idea of what to do!
What type of maintenance does WordPress need?
WordPress as a platform is very reliable. But, like most things with moving parts, it needs continual maintenance to keep it running smoothly.
Whether installing updates, checking for errors, or ensuring the site is secure, there are some essential maintenance tasks.
Prevention is always better than cure, and WordPress maintenance plays a pivotal role.
Maintenance tasks can include:
- WordPress core updates – Updates released by WordPress to address issues, add features, optimize code, and make WordPress a better system.
- WordPress theme and plugin updates – Theme and plugin updates to use any new WordPress features and improve code, security, and reliability.
- Backups – Backups are the ultimate insurance policy and require monitoring and checking to ensure sites are always up to date.
- Error checking – Checking WordPress, themes, and plugins for errors that could signify something more serious. Essential for preventive maintenance.
- Uptime monitoring – Downtime is the enemy of websites, so monitoring can help troubleshoot repeated outages or faulty website elements.
- Load time checks – Speed is everything. Regularly checking page load times helps ensure an optimum user experience.
- Security scanning and malware removal – The internet is full of threats, and protecting against them is a key WordPress maintenance task.
- Checking firewall blacklists – Checking firewall blacklists can identify frequent visitors you may want to take further action against.
- WordPress health check – The WordPress health check is a basic overview of how WordPress core works and is a good measure of site health.
- Cron and publishing checks – WordPress uses cron jobs for scheduled tasks such as posts, backups, and more. This needs consistent monitoring to ensure tasks run.
- Comment spam management – Spam is constant, and keeping it away from websites is a full-time task.
- Ad-hoc services on request – Anything from migrations to PHP version upgrades.
These are just some of the many WordPress maintenance tasks you may like to offer. Each has a role to play in how successful a website will be.
Why WordPress maintenance is so important
The core purpose of WordPress maintenance is to keep websites available to serve visitors.
It’s like a service and oil change for your car. It provides everything required to keep things running smoothly and (hopefully) avoid any expensive breakdowns.
Website outages should be avoided at all costs. They can damage your reputation and your profit margins.
The more people use a website or eCommerce store; the more damaging downtime can be.
Just ask Amazon.
The two most expensive outages in history happened on their watch.
The Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage in March 2017 allegedly cost the company around $160 million. That’s a lot of money for just 4 hours of downtime!
The next most expensive outage in history was also Amazon. This time the Amazon store, on Prime Day. That outage apparently cost the company up to $99 million!
That’s just the financial cost.
The cost to Amazon’s reputation is much harder to calculate, but you can be sure it wasn’t good!
What benefits does offering WordPress maintenance services offer you?
The main benefit of offering a WordPress maintenance service is that you can offer a full end-to-end service to clients and get recurring income for your business.
If you build an amazing digital agency web template for a client, it should be an easy sell to host and maintain as well.
Simpler for them, easier for you.
This, in turn, provides recurring income on top of any consultation and hosting fees you may charge.
Key benefits of offering WordPress maintenance:
- Full 360 services from design to management
- Value-add service for clients
- The right expertise for the role
- Complements hosting and supplementary services
- Extra predictable revenue stream
– Full 360 services from design to management
Offering WordPress maintenance services means offering a full 360 service to clients. You can design, develop, manage, and maintain the website on their behalf.
They have one point of contact, one bill to pay, and one person to call if they need anything. That’s a great way to build loyalty!
– Value-add service for clients
Anything that adds value to the client gives you a competitive edge over those that don’t offer such services.
In a market as competitive as WordPress, every advantage counts and can make a genuine difference to the viability of your business. If you can provide maintenance with minimal expense, the monthly fee could be largely profit.
– The right expertise for the role
Anyone who spends time with WordPress knows it has its high points and challenges. If you’re a developer or general WordPress expert, you’ll know most challenges and how to work around them.
You should have the experience to fix something much faster than a WordPress newbie, which is good news for all concerned.
– Complements hosting and supplementary services
If you offer hosting, content, SEO, or graphic design, adding maintenance into the mix rounds out your product offering for a minimal extra cost.
As long as someone on the team has the time to monitor dashboards, it’s an easy win that offers genuine value to your business and clients.
– Extra predictable revenue stream
How often does a client want you to create a website? Once every few years?
How do you keep the lights on between commissions? These extra services can provide a modest but continuous income over a year.
Combine with content, SEO, hosting, and any other services you offer, and you have the predictability to help you plan for future business development.
What benefits does offering WordPress maintenance services offer clients?
That’s how offering WordPress maintenance services benefits you; how does it benefit your clients?
Overview of the client benefits of WordPress maintenance services:
- Professional services from qualified experts
- Hands-free website management
- Consistent security and reliability
- Protects the investment
– Professional services from qualified experts
When you have a leaky pipe, you call the plumber, right? This is the same.
Paying a monthly fee for a WordPress expert to monitor and maintain a WordPress website is using the right tool for the job.
Even good website designs need maintenance, and you could be the person to provide it.
That’s especially true for WordPress newbies or anyone starting or running a small business. It’s one less thing to worry about, leaving more time and energy for other things.
– Hands-free website management
Hands-free website management can include adding content, updating the site, managing comments, and any number of tasks.
Whether the website is purely for the brand presence or is a fully operational eCommerce store, the less the owner must do to keep it running, the better.
– Consistent security and reliability
How many website owners have the time or training to fully understand the many security challenges of running a website? How many could identify a DDoS attack or a malware infection if a plugin didn’t tell them?
With security being such a high priority, it’s important to use a service with the skills and experience to prevent attacks and quickly identify threats.
– Protects the investment
Websites can require a significant investment in time and resources. Using experts to help maintain and secure it is a good way to protect that investment.
Whether it’s producing quality content, keeping the site updated, securing it, and protecting data or something else, professional maintenance can help protect and grow that website.
How to add WordPress maintenance to your portfolio
If you offer WordPress design and development, how do you offer maintenance?
Like a development project, you need to scope the requirements and plan everything before you begin.
Ask yourself a few questions:
- What types of maintenance services do you want to offer?
- What type of maintenance service does your typical client need?
- Will you need to hire someone to take care of it?
- Will you need to invest in new equipment or platforms to provide the service?
- How much can you charge for each client?
- How much competition is there?
- Is the potential return worth any investment?
There are likely to be other questions depending on your situation, but those will get you started.
Build your WordPress maintenance service
Once you know the what and the why, you can concentrate on the how.
You may already have a suite of plugins and tools you use for clients. Will they work for maintenance?
You may need:
- A monitoring solution – UptimeRobot, Better Uptime
- A visitor tracking solution – Google Analytics, SEO tools
- A security solution – WordFence, Sucuri
- A backup solution – UpdraftPlus, BackupBuddy
- A performance solution – WP Rocket, Lighthouse
- A client feedback solution – ProjectHuddle
- A WordPress manager – MainWP
Other solutions depend on the services you want to offer.
The most important element of all will be the monitoring solution. How can you monitor multiple unrelated websites efficiently?
That’s where MainWP comes in.
MainWP is a free WordPress website(s) management suite you can use to provide maintenance services.
You can collate all managed websites into one dashboard, check their status, manage updates, manage themes and plugins, manage users and uptime, and many core WordPress maintenance tasks.
All you need to do is set up the MainWP plugin for each site you’re monitoring, link it to your main Dashboard, and you’ll be able to see everything that’s going on.
Want to take maintenance further? MainWP has a range of Extensions you can use to add much more functionality!
WordPress maintenance and you
If you’re already working in the WordPress space, adding maintenance to your repertoire could offer a wide range of benefits for very little outlay.
If you have the expertise, the time, and the right tools, you can provide a range of valuable maintenance services to clients.
In return, you get more client loyalty, recurring income, and predictability over the medium term.
If you were thinking of adding WordPress maintenance to your service list and could deliver a high standard of customer service, we would say go for it.
Your clients may end up loving you for it!