What to Look for in a WordPress Maintenance Service
WordPress is a popular CMS (content management system) out there, powering millions of websites across the globe. A recent study by W3Techs found that 43% of all online websites globally are powered by WordPress.
However, with this popularity comes the risk of security vulnerabilities, plugin conflicts, and outdated software that can slow down your website or even worse, harm your end website visitors. That’s why it’s crucial to have a dependable WordPress website maintenance service to keep your website secure, up-to-date, and performing at its best.
In this article, we’ll discuss the key features to look for in a WordPress maintenance service to help you make a knowledgeable decision and keep your website running smoothly.
What are WordPress maintenance services?
WordPress maintenance services are third-party companies that offer to help website owners and digital marketing agencies manage and maintain their WordPress websites. These services typically include regularly updating WordPress core software, themes, and plugins to ensure they are up-to-date and free of security vulnerabilities.
WordPress maintenance services also include regular backups of your website’s files and databases to ensure you have a copy of your site in case of any unexpected issues. Other services that may be included in the maintenance plans include:
- Security, vulnerability and malware scans
- Website uptime monitoring
- Performance optimization to improve the website’s speed and user experience
- Monthly Google Analytics or site traffic reports
- Content edits and SEO optimization
- Troubleshoot WordPress plugin or website issues
- Provide recorded training sessions on WordPress content management
- Automated form or website functionality testing
- WordPress-optimized website hosting
WordPress maintenance services ensure your site is always up and running, secure, and optimized for performance. By outsourcing these tasks to a third-party provider, website owners can save time and focus on other aspects of their business.
What does a WordPress maintenance provider do?
A WordPress maintenance provider manages and maintains WordPress websites to ensure they are up-to-date, secure, and functioning. Some critical tasks that a WordPress maintenance provider may perform include
- Updating WordPress software: The provider will regularly update the WordPress core software, themes, and plugins to ensure your website runs on the latest stable versions. This helps to prevent security vulnerabilities and ensures compatibility with the latest web standards. Providers update the plugins on a regular basis, but depending on the provider and your plan, they may update plugins daily, weekly or monthly so something to keep in mind. Updating too often can cause headaches, but if the provider is not updating often enough, your website can be open to security or bug issues.
- Monitoring website uptime and performance: They will regularly check the website to ensure it runs smoothly. They will also monitor to ensure your website is online and optimize it for faster page load times. Some go a step further and will ensure your website meets Google’s Core Web Vitals or test for functionality such as submitting lead forms.
- Backing up data: The provider will back up your website data and ensure it is stored securely in case of any unexpected data loss or website crashes. Most providers run daily backups with around 30-120 days of backup depending on your plan. Some plans will run backups hourly or incrementally for data critical sites like in the case of eCommerce. It is good to check that your provider is storing backups offsite from your website server and in most cases, they should have redundant backups in place.
- Security and malware checks: They will perform regular security checks to identify and fix any vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit along with scanning if any malware has been detected on the website. Most providers run this daily, but some scanners are better than others. Ideally, your provider should deep scan for security issues on your server level including all files and the database, not just from the frontend website files.
- Troubleshooting: If there are any issues with the website, the maintenance provider will troubleshoot and resolve them quickly to minimize downtime. Many providers offer ‘unlimited’ tasks per month, but keep in mind they typically limit such requests to 30 minutes and will only work on one issue at a time. Other agencies may provide troubleshooting and requests with a cap of the total number of hours per month.
- Providing technical support: They will be available to provide technical support and answer any questions about your website. Similar to troubleshooting, providers all have different caps of how much they will work through an issue before additional costs may be incurred.
Key Elements to Consider When Selecting a WordPress Maintenance Service
An exemplary WordPress maintenance plan is essential for ensuring your site is up-to-date, and secure, and for safeguarding your website. However, knowing what to look for can take time and effort with so many options available. Let us consider the key factors when choosing a WordPress maintenance service.
Expertise and Experience
The first thing to consider when settling on a WordPress maintenance service is the company’s expertise and experience. Look for a provider with extensive experience in WordPress maintenance and a team of experts who are up to date with the latest trends and technologies. Ensure they have a proven track record of delivering high-quality client services and are active in the WordPress community.
Another essential factor to consider is the WordPress maintenance service’s range of services. Ideally, you want a provider offering comprehensive services, including software updates, regular backups, security scans, uptime monitoring, and performance optimization. Also keep in mind, many maintenance providers only offer maintenance services, but not larger projects or website redesigns. If you do not plan to have another agency for these projects, you may wish to find a provider who can both maintain your website as well as work on larger website needs.
Response Time and Customer Support
Customer support is critical for WordPress maintenance services. Look for a provider that will be available during your working hours and has a team of experts who are readily available to answer any questions or resolve any issues. Consider their response time to support requests and whether they offer different support channels like phone, email, or chat.
Security is paramount for maintaining a WordPress website. Look for a provider that offers comprehensive security measures, including regular security scans, malware removal, and secure backups. They should also be up-to-date with the latest security protocols and have a plan for responding to security incidents. Look out for providers who don’t provider deep, daily malware scanning or do not list security on their lowest plan – all plans should have security protections or scans.
Every website has unique requirements, and you may need customization options to meet your needs. Look for a provider that offers customization options and will work with you to tailor their services to your requirements. Again, not every provider offers this since it makes it harder for them to scale their business. If you think you will need WordPress customizations, look for a more holistic WordPress maintenance provider who offers agency-level WordPress design and development services, not just WordPress maintenance alone.
Performance is another critical factor when maintaining a WordPress website. Look for a provider that offers performance optimization services, including site speed optimization, image compression, transactional email delivery and content delivery network (CDN) integration. This will ensure that your website loads quickly and efficiently, which can significantly impact user experience and search engine rankings. Don’t forget to check if your provider will help your website pass Google’s Core Web Vitals.
Uptime monitoring is essential for ensuring your website is always available to your users. Look for a provider that offers uptime monitoring and has a proactive plan for responding to downtime events. Additionally, consider a provider who ensures website functionality like forms are always working correctly through automated form testing.
Pricing and Plans
The WordPress maintenance service’s pricing and plans should also be considered. Look for a provider offering transparent pricing that clearly outlines what each plan includes. Consider whether they provide monthly or annual plans and whether there are any hidden fees. Ensure your chosen plan fits your budget and meets your site’s needs. Lookout for providers who either nickel and dime specific features or require a long-term contract.
Reputation and Testimonials
Finally, consider the reputation and testimonials of the WordPress maintenance service. Look for reviews from their past and current clients to get an idea of their level of customer satisfaction. You can also check their website and social media pages for customer testimonials and case studies. The largest or dedicated WordPress maintenance provider is not always the best – choose a provider who matches your needs with an emphasis on quality and locality if possible.
Why is WordPress maintenance important?
WordPress maintenance is crucial to ensure your website’s smooth running and security. Here are some reasons why WordPress maintenance is essential:
- Security: WordPress websites are vulnerable to hacking and security breaches. Regular maintenance helps ensure the website is secure and protected against potential threats. Failure to protect your website could cause your users to be infected from malware or have their sensitive information stolen which leaves you to vulnerable to legal action.
- Performance: A well-maintained WordPress website will perform better and load faster, providing a better user experience for visitors. This in turn will not only help your website rank better with Google and other search engines, but will also encourage higher customer engagement and lead conversions.
- Updates: The WordPress team and the third party commercial WordPress community regularly releases updates to its core themes, software, and plugins. Regular maintenance ensures these updates are installed promptly, improving the website’s functionality, stability, and security. Failure to properly update the site may cause website downtime or errors that will frustrate users and reduce your SEO rankings.
- Backup and Recovery: A good maintenance service regularly backs up your website and provides quick recovery options in case of data loss or site crashes. Ideally, the provider would provide recovery at no extra charge within 24 hours of a request.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Regular maintenance helps optimize your website for search engines, ensuring your website remains competitive and visible in search engine rankings. Some providers even will track keyword monitoring and provide more-in depth SEO strategy sessions on a monthly or quarterly basis.
- Cost-Effective: Regular maintenance helps identify and resolve issues before they become major problems, saving you time and money in the long run. By performing on-going maintenance, you can protect yourself against emergency situations where emergency website fix rates can be significant.
Generally, WordPress maintenance is essential for keeping your website secure, performing optimally, and ensuring its longevity.
Who are WordPress website maintenance services for?
WordPress website maintenance services are for anyone with a WordPress website, regardless of their technical skills or website size. It’s especially beneficial for website owners who:
- Lack technical skills or knowledge about maintaining a website.
- Have a busy schedule and would be better off focusing on their business objectives.
- Want to focus on their business or content creation instead of website maintenance.
- Want to ensure their website is secure, updated, and optimized for performance.
- They want to prevent any potential issues or downtime on their website.
- Want to have access to technical support and troubleshooting.
- Want to have regular backups and disaster recovery plans in place.
- Want to keep tabs on the latest trends and technologies in web design and development.
- Want to improve their website’s search engine rankings and user experience.
- They want to ensure their website complies with privacy and data protection regulations.
A WordPress Maintenance Service That Delivers Results
Are you tired of countless hours maintaining and updating your WordPress site? Do you find keeping up with the latest security patches and software updates challenging? Looking for a web development company in Atlanta? Look no further than Inspry, your one-stop shop for comprehensive WordPress maintenance! Our experienced professionals are dedicated to ensuring your site is up-to-date, secure, and optimized for performance. We provide several services, including
- Regular, redundant backups
- Weekly WordPress updates
- Deep security scans
- Uptime monitoring
- Performance optimization
- Best in class support and training
- Customization services
By choosing Inspry, you can rest assured that your site is in good hands, and we will take care of all the maintenance tasks, allowing you to pay more attention to what matters most to your business.
So, what are you waiting for? You can sign up or learn more about our $199 WordPress maintenance service. Our team is always prepared and ready to answer any questions and provide a customized plan tailored to your unique needs. Don’t let website maintenance hold you back any longer – let Inspry take care of it for you!