There are three types of WordPress maintenance service plans: outsourced, in-house, and sitting duck. It’s important to understand the difference between these plans before you choose the one that works best for your business. Outsourcing is a great way to save money on hiring costs, but it also means that you’re not in complete control of the timing of your change requests. In-house services mean that you have more control, but it can be expensive and unnecessary to hire a WordPress expert to do every aspect of the job in-house. The third option, sitting duck, is the most cost effective in the short-term, but it comes with its own set of challenges.
Outsourced WordPress Maintenance Services
The first type of plan is called “outsourced” because you outsource the work to someone else who does it for you. This could be an agency or freelancer who specializes in this kind of thing. You pay them a monthly fee to maintain your site. They might charge by the hour or per project depending on what you want done. Some companies will offer both hourly rates and fixed price contracts so that you can see how much you’ll spend without committing yourself.
Pros of Outsourced WordPress Maintenance Services
There are benefits to outsourcing. Most importantly, you get to focus on revenue producing activities while someone else takes care of the website maintenance details. You’re busy managing your day-to-day business operations. With a professional website manager, you won’t need to worry about keeping up with changes in technology or making sure your site looks professional.
You also avoid having to deal with problems that arise when something goes wrong. When you outsource the work, you give up any responsibility for errors. If you don’t know how to fix a problem, you call your web developer and they take over. That frees up time for you to focus on other things.
You can save time and money by going through a reputable company. There are lots of freelancers out there who claim to be experts at building websites. However, they often lack experience and professionalism.
At Emily Journey & Associates, we’ve been helping people with their websites since 2012.
Cons of Outsourced WordPress Maintenance Service Plans
One major drawback to outsourcing is that you lose complete control over the timing of edits to your site. While you may trust the person who manages your site, you might wonder where your requests fit in their larger list of priorities.
It’s true. There’s a lack of professionalism in the website design and development industry. Unprofessional, overpriced web developers are the reality for so many businesses. But it doesn’t have to be your reality!
If you’re looking for a reliable partner to help keep your site updated and secure, though, then a website maintenance service plan with Emily Journey & Associates may be just what you need.
In-House WordPress Maintenance Services
In-house WordPress maintenance is either you manage the website yourself, or you hire an employee to manage the company website.
Pros of In-House WordPress Maintenance Services
When you use an in-house team, you gain full control over the timing of edits to your site. You can set whatever policies you want and decide when to update your site. You also get access to all of the tools and resources needed to make your site run smoothly.
Cons of In-House WordPress Management Services
The biggest disadvantage of using an in-house employee is cost. Depending on the size of your business, you may end up spending hundreds or thousands of dollars each year to keep your site running.
Whenever I see an employment ad for for a full-time website manager, I wonder, “why?”
The expense of hiring a full-time website manager is daunting for most companies. I’ll take it a step further by saying it’s an unnecessary hire most of time.
The Sitting Duck Plan
A third option is to go without any kind of plan. If you don’t have the budget to pay for regular maintenance, you’ll probably have to wait until there’s a problem before getting any attention from a web maintenance firm.
This approach isn’t sustainable because eventually, your site will start breaking down. And, you’ll find yourself stuck trying to figure out how to fix everything yourself. Or, you’ll pay a premium to get a professional to look at your website quickly when there’s a crisis.
At my agency, whenever we get a call about our WordPress maintenance service plans, we always want to know Is the website in crisis? Before we decide on our next steps.
How Much Does WordPress Maintenance Cost?
Whether you choose to outsource or maintain your own site, remember that you should only consider these options after you’ve researched the different types of WordPress maintenance plans available. The cost of WordPress maintenance depends on the following factors:
- how much effort you personally put into maintaining your site
- whether you have an ecommerce website, a membership website, or other advanced functionality
- the quality of the foundation or theme
- the quality of the plugins in use
- the backup and restore process
- the quality of the hosting platform
- the amount of traffic your site receives
- the frequency of updates
Managing a WordPress website is different from managing other types of sites because of its unique structure and security concerns.
If you’re thinking about managing your own website, here are some things you need to think about before you begin.
Are You Ready For The Responsibility That Comes With Running A Website?
Once you know which type of website you want, consider whether you’ll be able to handle the responsibilities that come with running a website.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before you start:
Do I Have Enough Time And Energy To Manage My Own Website?
If you’re not available to commit the time and energy required to manage your own website, then you don’t have to. We help people everyday who have this same problem.
Hire someone else to do the work.
Do I Know How To Use WordPress?
You may have read somewhere, “WordPress is easy!” The truth? WordPress is only easy if you know how to use it. Anyone who has ever built a website knows how to use WordPress. But if you‘ve never done any web design before, you might feel overwhelmed when you try to set up a WordPress website.
It’s okay if you don’t know everything there is to know about WordPress. We teach people just like you how to manage and update their own WordPress websites.
Do I Have The Technical Skills Required To Build & Maintain My Own Web Presence?
If you‘re planning to generate traffic to your website through blogging, you probably already have an idea of what you want to write about. But if you don’t know where to start, then you’ll need to learn how to write compelling posts.
Writing is just one part of creating a successful website. You also need to know how to troubleshoot plugins, diagnose problems, and keep the website secure.
These skills aren’t difficult to learn, but they’re definitely beyond the scope of most business owners. If you’re unsure about your technical skills, talk with us about your options. We can get you started with your website and stick with you through the process of growing your business.
How to tell when your WordPress maintenance services are NOT adding value
How can you tell when your website maintenance agency is working for itself—and not for you?
Every situation is unique, but here are five tell-tale signs that your service provider may not be giving you a fair return on your investment:
1. Failing to communicate
As I’m sure you’ve heard, communication is a two-way street. You want to work with someone who can speak AND listen: someone who not only hears what your website management needs are, but who can translate them into actionable steps and keep you informed about progress.
You should never be left to wonder what your developer or content manager is up to. If she drops off the planet for weeks at a time, you’re wasting valuable time and money trying to keep track of a lost cause.
2. Over-promising and under-delivering
When it comes to website maintenance services, the old adage is true. If it sounds too good to be true…
This can be a hard line to walk, especially if you’re relatively new to working with web content management agencies. You want to work with an ambitious team with big ideas, but you don’t want to be paying month after month for promises that never materialize.
Don’t even get me started on so-called SEO services that produce zero results!
To gauge whether your agency’s promises are realistic, ask questions. Don’t be afraid to request examples of past work that point to your agency’s success with similar business needs and KPIs.
3. Not being flexible
Sometimes even successful businesses become stuck in their own processes and old ways of thinking. Always remember that your website maintenance plan should work for you. Your website manager should be willing to listen to your needs and adapt as necessary.
Of course, if your ideas will totally tank your SEO or otherwise cause harm to your business, your developer should provide respectful pushback. You can respect that, right? But refusing to consider your scheduling preferences or waiting weeks to push a standard update to your CMS? Big. Red. Flags.
4. Refusing to provide administrator-level access
It’s unethical for your web developer to restrict your access to your own website. At the beginning of your working relationship, make sure it’s clear that you will register your own domain name and expect top level access to your hosting account and WordPress dashboard.
It’s simple: your site is yours. If your web developer, designer, or content manager won’t give you access, don’t work with them!
Even though this issue comes last, it may be the most common problem with website maintenance services today. I can’t count the number of times clients have approached me feeling utterly defeated by an unresponsive, almost comically slow web developer. The key word, though, is almost—it’s never funny when your website goes offline or your registration form breaks on the last day of sign-ups for your webinar.
If your requests take weeks to get a response, let alone a solution, your website manager is not providing you value.
Are you ready to take back your website?
Even if your webmaster is putting up all of these red flags, it may be tempting to think, “But I’ve already spent so much money on this agency’s website services. I can’t afford to drop them now!” And this makes sense—in fact, it’s so common that there’s a whole field of study around this sunk cost fallacy.
But the truth?
You can’t afford not to.
Consider all the time you spend, wasted, chasing down your developer or arguing for the right to access your own content. Think about the hours you could spend on value-added activities or on taking a little extra time off . . . ugh.
Take your next step with us
It is our goal to help your business succeed and deliver the results you deserve. If you want exceptional website maintenance services, we have you covered.
Whether you need standard monthly maintenance or more extensive website maintenance services each month, we are here as a valuable resource to help your business flourish.
Website maintenance is necessary to ensure your site is accurate, secure, and engaging your prospects. Your dedicated, professional website manager will save you time and effort so you can focus on your other important responsibilities. With a regular website maintenance plan, you will have the support you need to ensure your website is healthy and attracting your prospects.
We offer responsive website maintenance plans that will enhance user experience and security. But most importantly, we customize your plan based on your vision and goals.
We are ready to design a website maintenance plan that will exceed your expectations.
If your WordPress maintenance package isn’t responsive, reliable, and focused on you, it’s time—fire your website designer! You’re in the driver’s seat.
Whatever your company website needs are, let’s talk about them!