What to look for in a WordPress Support Plan
My last blog post explained why you might want to think about outsourcing your WordPress website support. If you have decided that this is a good idea, this post will help you to find a package that’s right for you. Here is my list of the top 10 things to look for in a WordPress support plan.
1. Reliable, fast hosting
If you have decided that you don’t have the time or the inclination to look after your WordPress website, the number one thing that will save you time is having decent hosting. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for when buying hosting. Look for a company that offers you your own private server (not shared with other sites), a unique IP address and fast, reliable hosting.
2. Site monitoring
It’s all very well having “fast, reliable hosting”, but how do you know that this is the case? Your hosting company should monitor your website to make sure that it’s always available to customers. If not, they should be on the case fast to get it back up and running. You should never have to tell your hosting company that your website is down – they should know before you do.
3. Backups and restore service
Should the worst happen and something goes wrong with your website, you need to know that your website support company will have a recent backup of the website files and the database. Also, check that they will restore your website from the backup for you if necessary (for example, if your website has been hacked).
4. Updating WordPress, themes & plugins
It is vital that your website runs the latest software at all times. Security patches are frequently being issues within the WordPress environment. If your WordPress version, theme or plugins are out of date then your site is much more likely to be hacked.
5. Security checking
To prevent unauthorised people from gaining access to your website, regular security checking is something that will give you peace of mind. If someone tries to hack into your website, you want to know that they will be blocked.
6. Google Analytics
There’s no point in having a great website if nobody ever visits it. Google Analytics tracking will enable you to see how many people have visited your website, plus lots more information about where they have come from and what they are doing when they get there.
7. Speed checking and improvements
Over time, your website slows down without regular (weekly) maintenance tasks. Look for a company that monitors the speed (page load time) of your website and takes appropriate action if it has slowed down. Regular cleaning and housekeeping of your database should also be included. It’s also worth having broken link checking, so that any links which no longer work over time are identified for you.
8. Development time
It’s inevitable that you are going to need tweaks and changes to your website over time. Maybe you have a new product, want to include a social media feed or just add a new page. Great WordPress developers are very difficult to find, can be expensive and are often unavailable at short notice. So by making sure your website support package includes guaranteed development time and you will never have to worry about getting help with WordPress development again.
9. SSL Security Certificate
Significantly, Google values websites with a security certificate. If your site has a correctly configured security certificate, then it will do better in Google results. It’s as simple as that. Look for https:// at the start of your domain name rather than http://. In addition, the Chrome and Firefox browsers has started warning internet users that a website is not secure if it doesn’t have an SSL certificate. Make sure your website support package includes a security certificate, including initial configuration and renewals.
10. Monthly updates
If you are trusting a company to look after your WordPress website, then you need to know that they are doing their job properly. Your website support company should provide you with regular written reports to explain what they’ve done. They should also have regular (at least monthly) update meetings or phone calls with you so that you can discuss your priorities and goals and agree the scheduled upcoming development tasks.
Conclusion – what to look for when considering a WordPress Support Plan
There is no doubt that a quality WordPress website support package will save you a lot of time and trouble. Before you sign up for a support plan, ask whether it includes the above 10 things to look for in a WordPress Support Plan.
Find out more about all the features of our own Premium WordPress Support Packages.