The MainWP 2021 Web Care Survey: What we learned

web care survey 2021

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I wanted to do a web care survey for a very long time. I haven’t seen that anyone has done one in a while, so I thought 2021 was the right time to do the survey.

I got feedback from some fellow web care consultants on questions to ask.

I made some mistakes that I will correct if there is another web care survey this year.

One mistake I made was with the question of what consultants charge. I should have made the answers account for tiers or plans. Admittedly, I wasn’t quite sure how to do that this time around, so we will see if I can change that the next time.

I was hoping for at least a minimum of 100 responses. I would have been thrilled to have 150+ responses but we ended up with 131.

I gave options to leave names, business names, and email addresses, but they weren’t required. Many of you left those details.

It was nice to see some of the comments you left along the way. I am much appreciated to the 131 of you who answered.

The 131 respondents were not all MainWP users, at least I don’t they were. I shared the link in several groups on places such as Circle, Slack, Facebook, and LinkedIn to ensure various groups of consultants.

It would be nice to know, perhaps next time, what consultants use to manage multiple WordPress installs.

For the 131 of you who responded, thank you. You get an imaginary gold star!

So, without further adieu, here is what we learned from the MainWP Web Care Survey 2021.

Do you charge by:

The first question was how you charge in duration with options for Monthly, Yearly, or Quarterly and an Other option.

  • Monthly 59.5%
  • Yearly 17.6%
  • Quarterly 6.9%

Many of us have a mixture of various ways to take payments. I have two clients on a plan and one pays yearly and the other pays bi-yearly, or every six months.

Here are some of the “Other” answers:

  • 6 or 12 months
  • My goal is yearly, but many prefer monthly every 6 or 12 months
  • Can be monthly, yearly, or ad hoc.
  • Per client basis – a mixture of above
  • Per job
  • Monthly & yearly
  • A mix of monthly and quarterly
  • Yearly – baked into hosting costs.
Web Care Charts Duration
Web Care Survey – Duration 1
Web Care Survey - Duration 2
Web Care Survey – Duration 2

How much do you charge for web care?

This was a tough question for respondents because I only gave three options. Next time I’ll see if I can make the answers work for various plans.

Most of the respondents charged somewhere between $25-100 (61%) per month.

To be fair, this is kind of what I expected.

  • $25-100 per month 61.1%
  • $100-200 per month 27.5%
  • $200+ per month 11.5%
Web Care Charts Price
Web Care Survey – Price

What add-on services do you offer?

I kind of asked this two different ways and this question is the first of those ways.

I was curious what other services people offered that would be considered add-ons. SEO services were the most offered service with Content Creation coming in second.

  • SEO 56.5%
  • Content Creation 46.6%
  • PPC, SEM, and Paid Social 26%
  • Email Marketing 28.2%
  • None 8.4%
  • Hosting 1.5%
  • everything else under 1%
Add on Services
Web Care Survey – Add on Services

Other services?

To round out the services that people offered, I add another question with a few options. Website & development services topped out at 90% and that is no surprise at all.

I was a bit surprised to see Privacy Policies in second place at 33.6% along with Digital Marketing Campaigns. Next was Social Media at 26.7% and Accessibility right behind at 26%. A small number of you said you didn’t offer any other services.

  • Website design & development 90.8%
  • Privacy Policies 33.6%
  • Digital Marketing Campaigns 33.6%
  • Accessibility 26%
  • Social Media 26.7%
  • None 4.6%
Web Care Other Services
Web Care Survey – Other Services

Do you include software/plugin licenses?

I was advised to add this question to the survey because it is something that so many web care, especially WordPress consultants, have to decide. Most of you said you include software and plugin licenses. No surprise as we always like to make it easier for our clients.

A few of you said “Depends” (more on that below) while 19.1% said no.

  • Yes 58%
  • Depends 22.9%
  • No 19.1%
Web Care Licenses
Web Care Survey Licenses

If depends, some responses:

Some of the responses I received for those that said “It Depends” included:

  • If the web care consultant had LTDs for the software application
  • Provided if the customer was on Hosting or Maintenance Plans,
  • Not for industry-specific like an MLS (realtors),
  • Based on the tier of service
  • Or if the plugins are not part of regular service.

Do you offer hosting?

This is an age-old question. When I started freelancing, I offered hosting so I could get the web care. In fact, I have a legacy client that way, so they are still on the hosting. They have moved hosting with me because I handle that for them.

I don’t recommend it.

I put all my most recent clients on their own hosting account where I know how to navigate their control panel and how to operate in their hosting dashboard, etc. I no longer actively take on clients like that, but I have done it both ways and I am sure you have too.

More of the respondents said that they handle hosting than do not. I’m sure for many of us, it is somewhere in the middle.

  • Yes 64.9%
  • No 30.5%
Web Care Survey - Hosting
Web Care Survey – Hosting

Types of hosting:

For those that do offer hosting, we asked about the type of hosting they offered. Most said they either used VPS or shared hosting.

  • VPS 61.5%
  • Shared 46.2%
  • Dedicated 23.1%
  • Cloud 3.3%
Web Care Survey - Hosting Type
Web Care Survey – Hosting Type

Just a few more things

The last three questions were purely out of curiosity for me, but it was interesting nonetheless. I asked about consistent blogging and if the user used email newsletters. I also asked respondents their target market.

I am always interested in these things and it is just a bit of a window into the types of consultants who filled out the survey.

Do you write a consistent blog?

  • No 42%
  • Trying 35.9%
  • Yes 10.7%
Web Care Survey - Blog
Web Care Survey – Blog

I was a little surprised by this result. I understand that a lot of this depends on the time you have, the types of customers you reach, and the types of tactics you use. For example, many of your customers might not even see a blog post if you wrote it because small business owners are notoriously extremely busy.

If you add together those who are trying and those who say yes, consistent blogging tilts in favor of those doing so.

Email Newsletter

  • No 64.9%
  • Yes 35.1%

This one really surprised me. I honestly thought most everyone had an email newsletter, even if it was just broadcast emails.

I have had more than one consultant tell me that they were able to secure care plans with their email newsletter.

You might be leaving money on the table if you aren’t using an email newsletter.

Web Care Survey - Newsletter
Web Care Survey – Newsletter

What is your target market?

  • SMBs 86.3%
  • B2B businesses 43.5%
  • Other freelancers & consultants 21.4%
  • Larger/ Ent businesses 18.3%

Web care consultants have various types of target markets. It’s not surprising to me that Small-Medium Sized Business (SMB) was the top market. Honestly, all of my web care clients (a total of 4) are SMBs as well.

Web Care Survey - Target Market
Web Care Survey – Target Market

Wrapping it up

There you have it, the results of the Web Care Survey of 2021. You may choose to use the information to update some of your pricing or some of the various elements of your business.

Most of you charge monthly for your Web Care services. The predominant pricing lies in the $25-100 range per month. Do you think you can charge more?

The top additional services offered were SEO and website development/design.

Most of you include plugins and software in your web care plans as long it is something you already have a developer license for and not outside normal web services.

The majority of those surveyed offer hosting and use a VPS or Shared server.

Finally, most of you blog consistently or are trying to but 42% said that they do not blog consistently. And, more surprisingly, most of the respondents do not have an email newsletter.

How do you compare to the results? Feel free to talk about it in the MainWP Users Facebook Group.

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Donata Stroink-Skillrud
Donata Stroink-Skillrud
President of Agency Attorneys