If you’ve never thought about subscribing to WordPress maintenance services, imagine this true story of what recently happened to me.
I was updating one of my blog posts when all of the sudden I realized that it was saving the post as a new article and adding a number to the end of the URL slug. I was creating duplicate content with each revision!
If you’re a non-technical person like me, what to do?
If you treat your website as your digital gateway for your business, subscribing to a WordPress maintenance service is a small price to pay for some huge peace of mind.
If you haven’t run into these problems before, my more than a decade of experience blogging on WordPress tells me that at some point you will! But there are more things to consider.
One of the things that we bloggers run into as our blog grows is the need to maintain your site. After all, routine tasks like updating the software and cleaning up comments doesn’t sound appealing. Most of us are rather busy with our “regular” jobs or running the business. However, without the proper kind of attention WordPress sites in particular can develop problems like the one I had. Besides broken links, faulty plugins and slow loading, a poorly maintained site is unappealing to visit.
Fortunately, there are WordPress maintenance services which you can use to make the job easier. While I don’t sell these services myself, I have found them to be invaluable. My thoughts here are a service to my fellow bloggers. To that end, I’d like to share with you what these services do, and then introduce some of them.
What Do WordPress Maintenance Services Do?
Like many other things, there’s no one size fits all approach to maintaining WordPress. This is one reason why there are so many WordPress maintenance services to choose from. Let’s take a look at what they can do for you.
Maintain Core WordPress Updates
Like all software programs, WordPress needs to be updated now and then. Even though you don’t usually install WordPress on your computer, it does need to have updates installed on the website itself. Your hosting service can’t do this for you, but WordPress maintenance services can.
Maintain Theme Updates
Even your WordPress theme needs updating on occasion. These might not be as frequent as WordPress itself, but if something goes wrong with your theme then your website won’t look right. Worse, it can malfunction. Having an automatic way to update this is very handy.
Like many other things in life, you sometimes want to modify a product to suit your needs better. WordPress themes are a great example of this. After all, there can be things about it which don’t completely fit your style and brand voice. Proper maintenance of your WordPress site can minimize this problem through regular theme modifications.
One of the key advantages of WordPress maintenance services is that they help maintain plugins. While most people will advise you against having too many plugins, a few are generally necessary. By keeping everything maintained, you’ll ensure that your website works smoothly over the long term.
Resolve Plugin Conflicts
This is the most common WordPress problem that I have run into, even though I am trying to use only the best WordPress plugins. As with human teams, not everything on your website works well together. Sometimes your plugins will conflict with each other, which could cause the site to crash or malfunction. With a maintenance service, the plugin conflicts can often be resolved with the click of a mouse. Easy, right?
Backup Website Daily
Most computer users know the value of data and will have some sort of backup. This is a bit harder with a website, because of how much code there is. Plus, the code “lives” online already. Nonetheless, you need to backup your website data regularly to ensure you can get back online quickly if needed.
One of the things which makes potential visitors go elsewhere is a slow website. Whether that’s caused by too many plugins or a lot of media, every site owner needs to ensure that it loads fast enough. This is one of the better features of most WordPress maintenance services.
Databases are critical if you want to turn your WordPress site into a sales magnet. Unfortunately, without optimization this database can become cumbersome. Instead of getting frustrated, it’s important to ensure your database is user friendly.
Malware / Security Scanning
Most of us think of malware as a computer problem, but these programs are downloaded from somewhere. With proper security screening, you can help ensure that your website isn’t one of those places. You owe it to your readers.
Uptime monitoring lets you know, in real time, the extent to which your website is available. So, if your server access is compromised, then most WordPress maintenance services would let you know. At the same time, it’ll tell you how much of your traffic allowance is used on a regular basis.
Help with Website Downtime
When your website goes down, it’s important to get it up and running ASAP. Depending on your hosting service, you might have to do most of this yourself. Luckily, the process can be streamlined with good maintenance.
Having your website go down isn’t the only maintenance pitfall. Sometimes, one part of it will malfunction, or you might run out of bandwidth allotments. Either way, WordPress maintenance services can help you find and fix the problem.
Sometimes it’s hard to know which WordPress changes to make, and which ones should be avoided. A maintenance service can help you make these decisions through modelling and knowledge bases. While this won’t guarantee results, it sure helps avoid some costly mistakes.
Finally, WordPress maintenance services can help provide, install, and manage premium plugins. These are the ones you have to pay for, whether included in an overall package or separately. Many of them are geared towards improved reader experience or optimized operations.
11 Leading WordPress Maintenance Services
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of various WordPress maintenance services, let’s take a look at the services themselves. Along with links, I’ll let you know what each service will do, how they’re different, and their minimum prices.
Depending on your service level, Maintainn will provide all of the items listed above. For that reason, they’re a comprehensive maintenance service. However, they’re unique in that they don’t stop there. Maintainn offers complete website development and hosting services, for an all-in-one solution. The lowest price, with limited features, is $59 monthly.
WP Buffs provides everything from basic uptime monitoring and theme updates all the way to enterprise-level maintenance. Notably, everyone gets some website security coverage, free basic website updates, and access to premium plugins for free. This can save you a lot of time. They also support other platforms, such as WooCommerce, and white label solutions. This company also prides itself in being freelancer friendly. Plans start at $56 per month.
SiteCare provides a wide range of WordPress maintenance services, including security, automated updates, downtime support, and much more. In addition to the “basic basket” of services we talked about above, they have lead generation tools, consultation services, and hosting available. In other words, once you get the site developed, they’ll take care of almost everything else. For that reason, SiteCare is a great all-in-one option for website owners. In addition, they have support levels to accommodate businesses of all sizes. Pricing is available only on request.
For website owners who need comprehensive WordPress maintenance services but have a smaller budget, check out FixRunner. Their claim to fame is putting a wide range of services into even the most basic package. There are plans for both small and large sites, and you can only have one site per account. However, you’ll get the complete range of security and optimization services, along with an allotment of support time each month. In addition, they give you a detailed monthly log of change made. Pricing starts at $69/month.
This is the service that I am currently using and highly recommend!
GoWP is unique in that it is a comprehensive budget option. Even at the lowest service level, you get everything we talked about in the features list. They don’t do the hosting itself, but they’ll build web pages for you and even provide a dedicated developer. In other words, at GoWP you can turn the whole website over to dedicated professionals, without hiring anyone yourself.
At the same time, they don’t just run the site without telling you. Rather, you get a regular report on their activities and the health of your website. This allows for you to request changes. Need your clients to be able to request changes too? It’s an available step-up. Pricing starts at just $29 monthly for comprehensive maintenance.
If you have started your website with a different content management system and regret it, WP Maintainer will help. They have a migration system that lets you quickly switch to WordPress. If you need a new hosting provider, they’ll handle this switchover as well. Once your website is up and running in the right place, the WP Maintainer team will ensure that the site is carefully maintained. All the basic maintenance tasks are included.
WP Maintainer emphasizes that they are careful about plugin compatibility. If a site update crashes things, they automatically roll back to the prior programming. At that point, you’ll get a consult on what to do about the problem. Malware prevention and cleanup are also in their skillset. Need development support? You can purchase this at a discounted hourly rate. Pricing is unique: everyone pays $99 monthly.
Valet handles the basics, but they do more than this with options such as visual regression testing and staging environment workflow. The company appears to be a small team, and they have developers in multiple countries. This helps with developer availability, since not everyone is in the same time zone. In addition, they handle WordPress migration and web development tasks. Pricing is not available on the website.
If you have a significant website database, then WP SitePlan is a good choice. In fact, they specialize in this type of maintenance. In addition, they will add analytics plugins to your website so that you can better track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. For this reason, sites that are intended to generate a lot of leads would do well with this particular form of WordPress maintenance services.
Another thing to note is that the higher service levels will support WooCommerce, so websites with stores can also use this service. Finally, the company boasts that their employees are exclusively US-based. They don’t outsource, either. A great way to support American web developers. Pricing starts at $29/month.
Briefly, this is the WordPress maintenance service affiliated with the web hosting company GoDaddy. However, they will let you work with them even if your site is hosted elsewhere. With this option, the services are ala carte, rather than coming in various packages. Each task will cost you a “credit,” which are purchased in blocks depending on your subscription size. This way, if you feel comfortable doing certain things yourself, you won’t have to pay someone else to do it. Pricing starts at $49.99.
As its name suggests, this service acts a lot like a standard tech support service. That’s because they are willing to come in during an emergency outage and help you. However, at the same time they offer routine maintenance. Think of it like the Geek Squad of WordPress maintenance services. Then, there’s an online website portal which can show you what’s going on with your website, in real time. Pricing: monthly maintenance at $45 and up; emergency fixes from $60 each.
Newt Labs offers both maintenance services and cloud-based Web hosting, both for WordPress sites. In addition, they will manage your domain name and clean up messes as they happen. Because sometimes messes are unavoidable, even with the best hosting and maintenance. Another thing they provide is tutorials, so you can learn to do more with WordPress yourself. There is one drawback, however: they are a small company based in the UK and are only available during UK business hours. Pricing: Base is £59.
Outsourced help for many corporate functions such as IT support have been mainstream for years, so having another company help manage the technical aspects of your website instead of hiring someone is an absolute no-brainer in my book. And, as you can see from above, the pricing is very reasonable for the peace of mind they provide.
Here’s another thing to consider: Running a WordPress site can be time consuming if you do all the maintenance by yourself. In fact, for many of us it’s essential to hire WordPress maintenance services, because we otherwise would spend too much time away from our core missions. When you think about it, the monthly charge typically saves you a lot of headaches, especially for the money. My recommendation is simple: pick a plan that fits your technical needs and budget. It’ll take some thinking through to determine which bells and whistles you need, or don’t. But it’s worth it.
Consider a WordPress maintenance service as part of your essential blogging tools.
Have you used a WordPress maintenance service before? Are any other services that you have used not listed above? Please feel free to comment below.
Photo by Fikret tozak on Unsplash