Looking after your WordPress website – everything you need to know

Is Your WordPress Website Getting You Down?

Ever wondered why you spend so much time looking after your WordPress website? What is your business? If it’s not web development, then why do you spend so much time trying to work on your website? You could be using that time to focus on your actual business; something that you are brilliant at.

How To Maintain Your WordPress Website

Whether you realise it or not, your website needs a lot of work to monitor, maintain, and update properly.

For example:

  • Themes need updating regularly
  • Plugins need updating regularly
  • WordPress upgrades need to be installed
  • Coding changes need to be made
  • Content needs updating
  • Links or images break and need updating
  • Websites slow down and need optimising for performance on a regular basis
  • You may want to make changes to the design
  • You need to make regular backups of your website
  • Security is vital, and this needs monitoring and updating constantly
  • Your security certificate needs installing, configuring and updating
  • Hosting issues – your website goes down and you need to sort it out FAST
  • Monitoring website traffic
  • Monitoring performance in search engines such as Google

Looking After Your WordPress Website – The Options

Top companies employ large teams of people to support their websites because they know how important a well-maintained online presence is for their brand. For smaller companies, an internal web developer may not be a realistic option. So how do you look after your website? There are 3 main options:

  • Manage it yourself.
  • Hire a developer on an hourly basis as and when you need them
  • Invest in a WordPress support service

Manage Your Website Yourself

Websites are a lot of work, and it’s not easy to get it right. Anything that distracts you from your job is stopping you from growing your business. If you own a bakery and your mixer is clunky and keeps breaking down, you’d buy a new one. So why do people struggle on with websites that are so time consuming? Your website is an essential part of your business, and it takes a lot of work to keep it up and running correctly, efficiently and effectively. You wouldn’t wait until your car broke down and then try to fix it yourself – you get it regularly serviced so that it doesn’t break down. And you pay an expert who knows what they’re doing, so that you never have to worry about your website again.

Hourly Billing for Web Development Work

This is a truly terrible model for getting work done on your website. There are several key problems with hiring a web developer by the hour:

  • You have no idea how much it’s going to cost
  • They won’t know your business
  • Good web developers are VERY hard to find at short notice. If you’ve got a problem, it needs fixing FAST.
  • Web developers work at different paces, so you can’t compare like with like. A good developer may take an hour to fix something that another might take a day to do. So if their rate is £60 an hour, that’s much better value than the guy who charges £10 per hour but takes a whole day.
  • Websites need constant ongoing care and refining to incorporate the latest security features and keep them running and performing well. Just because everything looks ok doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems lurking below the surface.

Managed WordPress Support Services

Rather than burn the candle at both ends, you could outsource looking after your WordPress website to an expert who can manage it for you. This frees up more of your valuable time. You know you need to get certain things done in order to keep your website running and looking as professional and well-maintained as possible to properly reflect your business.

Some people find it hard to give up control. They see the website as the public face of their business, and their instinct is to control it themselves. You might not trust that a service supplier will look after it as carefully as you would. And it’s expensive. So you struggle on and waste time trying to fix things that you don’t really understand. In particular, website and server security is vital, and it’s impossible to become an expert unless you have plenty of experience in this area.

With WordPress, there is a lot you can do on your own, but once you experience a managed WordPress support service you’ll never want to be without it. You will get more time, more website visitors, more sales, a better web presence, and more – plus a personal service by experts who really know WordPress inside and out. They will spot potential problems before they cause havoc and advise you on how best to use your website and get the most out of it. Some providers even include hosting. This is a great idea, because it means you will never be in a situation where the developer blames the host for an issue and vice versa. And if your website does go down, your support provider should be aware of it before you are. In many cases, it will be back up and running before you’ve even noticed that it was down. And problems will be fixed much faster than if you tried to sort them out yourself.

How To Choose a WordPress Support Service Provider

My advice would be to meet with them face to face and ask plenty of questions. It’s much easier to know whether you will work well together if you meet them in person. Choose someone local that you can meet with on a regular basis, so that they can get to know you and your business. Looking after your WordPress website is an important job, and you should not outsource it without having a high level of trust in your support provider.  Here are some questions that you can ask a potential provider of website support services:

  • What exactly are they offering?
  • Is hosting included?
  • Will you get a named contact who will meet with you regularly, or will you have to submit support tickets to a contact centre and deal with someone different every time?
  • Do they outsource support, or will they do it themselves?
  • What is the cost of these services?
  • What do existing customers think about the provider?
  • When is support available?
  • Are there any contracts or minimum durations, or can you cancel at any time?
  • Can they help you with other aspects of having a website so that you only have to deal with one company (SEO, social media, marketing, strategy, security etc.)?
  • Do they offer any discounts on additional services?

If your website is one aspect of your business that you know you need, but quite frankly you could do without having to update and maintain it, then you should seriously consider investing in a WordPress website support package. You’ll be so glad you did!

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