Creating a WordPress website doesn’t end at design and development. After a WordPress website has been “launched,” it still needs to be maintained. Take advantage of this opportunity by offering a WordPress maintenance service for your web design clients.
What is WordPress Maintenance Service?
If you are unclear on what WordPress maintenance service refers to, allow me to give you a refresher. On a basic level, WordPress maintenance service includes the following necessary actions to keep a WordPress site running smoothly:
- WordPress Updates
- Theme and Plugin Updates
- WordPress Backups
- WordPress Security
- Analytics Tracking & Reporting
- WordPress Hosting
WordPress maintenance can also extend into other areas of website upkeep such as SEO, adding new content or updating existing content, comment approval/replies, spam cleanup and more.
Why WordPress Maintenance is Important
WordPress maintenance is important, but your web design clients may need some education as to why. Many WordPress website owners neglect WordPress maintenance which results in:
- Security vulnerabilities
- Increased page loading time
- Poor user experience
- Declining search engine rankings
You can help clients avoid these issues by taking care of WordPress maintenance on their behalf. Additionally, WordPress maintenance is an opportunity to form lasting client relationships and consistent income.
What Does This Mean for You?
You might still be wondering why you should care about WordPress maintenance. If you’re building WordPress websites for clients, you’re missing an untapped source of potential monthly recurring revenue.
By offering WordPress maintenance service, you get steady, reliable income and your clients get peace of mind.
Instead of building one-and-done websites for clients and never seeing them again, you can build a lasting relationship. Build their website and then take care of it going forward for an ongoing source of income.
Most of your clients would probably love the opportunity to let someone else worry about all the technical details of running updates, backups, and dealing with security. WordPress maintenance service is something you can offer as an extra service to your current and past web design clients and include it as “part of the package” to all new website clients.
WordPress usually releases major updates to the core software twice a year, with minor updates released periodically to patch security vulnerabilities. WordPress themes and plugins also require updates, which are sporadic and unpredictable.
Updates need to be applied as quickly as possible to WordPress websites, whether it’s to WordPress core or to WordPress themes and plugins. When updates are neglected, WordPress websites can become vulnerable.. That’s why it’s important to keep WordPress core, all themes and plugins up-to-date and running the latest version.
If you have a lot of clients or websites that you manage, this can quickly become a time-consuming, tedious task. That’s why using a service like iThemes Sync that allows you to manage multiple WordPress sites can save you a ton of time. From the Sync dashboard, you can see all available updates for all the WordPress websites you manage and then run those updates with just one click.
Backups are essential to successful WordPress websites and should not be ignored. By default, WordPress doesn’t have a built-in backup system, leaving WordPress websites vulnerable to loss due to a server crash, user error or security breach.
A WordPress website with lots of content updates might want a database backup once a day at a minimum and a full, complete backup weekly. Sites with fewer updates might not need such frequent backups, but they should still have regularly scheduled, full-site backups with backup files stored off-site.
With a WordPress backup plugin like BackupBuddy, you can schedule automated backups and store backup files off-site in a safe, secure remote location storage location such as BackupBuddy Stash, Amazon S3, Google Drive, Dropbox and more.
Just keep in mind whatever backup method you choose, it needs to be reliable, offer complete backups of all WordPress files, give you access to your backup files, and offer a WordPress backup and restore method.
For more instructions on backing up WordPress, check out this post on how to backup a WordPress site.
Monitoring WordPress security and ensuring full recovery is a critical WordPress maintenance service. It’s important to secure WordPress websites while ensuring they are performing at the highest possible level.
Website security is an area that should never be ignored, especially for WordPress websites. Without a good security strategy, you open up your website to be vulnerable to any and all WordPress hacks and known WordPress security issues.
A good WordPress security strategy includes:
- Keeping WordPress core, plugins and themes updated to the latest version.
- Removing unused plugins and themes.
- Using good WordPress password security for user accounts, especially administrator accounts.
- Enabling WordPress two-factor authentication.
- Removing the default ‘admin’ username.
- Choosing a reputable WordPress hosting provider.
- Only downloading plugins and themes from trusted, reputable sources.
Installing a WordPress security plugin is a way to easily secure your WordPress site. With the iThemes Security plugin, you can harden WordPress with just a few clicks.
Analytics Tracking & SEO Reporting
Offering a simple report that summarizes website traffic statistics can help clients see the effectiveness of their website.
Pulling up analytics statistics isn’t very difficult, but it’s not the kind of thing website owners may have time for and can’t always make sense of. Clients may not want to wade into Google Analytics or Google Search Console, but you can provide them with WordPress maintenance reports that include this vital data.
Based on the information you could provide clients, they will have a better sense of what content is most popular among readers, and a clearer view of their website’s health.
WordPress Hosting and WordPress Uptime
Many WordPress hosts offer reseller accounts and rolling hosting into a website’s maintenance service means you’ve got the entire site covered.
By offering hosting, you can offer the whole WordPress maintenance service package including domain registration and monthly hosting. You can also monitor WordPress uptime and add these stats to your WordPress maintenance reports.
Other WordPress Services
As you develop your WordPress maintenance service, pay attention to what clients ask you about. You might find other services to offer to clients.
It could be content writing, SEO improvements or even WordPress training or support. You could also start offering digital marketing services that cover social media and email marketing, too.
One WordPress Maintenance Tool to Rule Them All
Now you might be thinking that all these WordPress maintenance tasks are starting to become extremely time-consuming, especially if you have an abundance of clients to consider. WordPress maintenance isn’t probably something that needs to become your full-time job.
iThemes Sync is an easy way to manage updates for all your WordPress sites from one place. Instead of logging in to each site individually, you have one place to view and install available updates, making WordPress maintenance easy.
It is also integrated with other iThemes products like BackupBuddy. If you have BackupBuddy on your sites, you can make manual backups right from the iThemes Sync dashboard. Additionally, the Sync dashboard fully responsive. So you are free to manage and maintain all your sites on the go.
More Resources on WordPress Maintenance Services
Consider what offering a WordPress maintenance service could do for your business. A little extra time and effort will go a long way. Clients will see value in the care and security you offer their WordPress website and you will discover a consistent means of income.
For more on monthly WordPress maintenance and the benefits it can have for your web business, read how selling WordPress Maintenance can save your freelance business post or download the free ebook.
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Saylor writes blog posts and designs/develops various projects for iThemes. Saylor loves gardening and is currently at war with all squirrels (if anyone has tips on how to get rid of squirrels, she’s all ears). If she’s not traveling or hanging out in OKC, there’s a good chance she’s in southwest Oklahoma doing manual labor, including roofing, or as her father likes to call it – “building character.”
Hello, great article!
You have clearly explained what I have always wanted to illustrate to a client. Would it be possible to link to your site? I really am trying to build a better communication strategy and connect with other design communities. What is the best way to do this? Should I always write my own web content? Lifting it from someone’s page doesn’t seem right, but what is the protocol? Anyway, love your site, great work.
I def want to check out iThemes sync, too.