A WordPress Maintenance Service is an essential for your business if you are not 100% confident in keeping your site up to date yourself.
Honestly, I can't tell you how many conversations I've had where I'm told "I look after all of the updates and maintenance of my website myself, why would I want to pay for a WordPress Maintenance Service?" only to find that when I look inside the dashboard there are plugins, themes and even the WordPress core that haven't been updated in weeks.
I totally understand, support and maintenance is another regular cost that new businesses figure they can get by without - how hard is it to update a few plugins? But, the reality is most business owners are too busy doing what they should be doing - working on their business, marketing and dealing with clients/customers and consequently forget to check on the back-end of the website. It's working OK - why fix it?
Whoops, that could be a very costly mistake.
Leaving plugins that have an update could leave you exposed to security risks - many plugins are updated because a potential way in to your site via the plugin has been discovered and this is a fix to plug that hole. Sometimes plugins and themes are updated because otherwise they just don't work properly with the latest version of WordPress.
And sometimes, you'll find that plugins are simply no longer supported by the author and should be removed from your site as soon as possible because they really do present a risk.
Simply put, to minimise the risk that you wake up one morning and your site has been hacked, closed down by your hosting company or simply doesn't work.
Of course, you can deal with this yourself, but just suppose you run a site selling products online - every minute your site is down you are losing potential sales.
Even if the site isn't critical to sales, you have the site for a reason (at least I hope you do) and if it cannot be accessed you have an issue with your marketing; online presence; membership site access; booking schedule; blog posts etc etc
Ans if you don't already know how to fix the problem you can spend hours or even days researching online for the cause of your particular problem before embarking on a somewhat risky road of trying to fix it. Do you have the time to do this? What's not going to get done while you are spending your time finding a solution to your WordPress mal-function?
If you've ever had a problem with WordPress and you've done a search, you will have seen so many sites and forums where the main answer consists of:
"I have the same problem" or "talk to your administrator" - brilliant, at least you're not alone!
But you're no closer to getting your broken site live again.
So you're forced to find a WordPress expert who can help - but where do you start? Who can you trust, how much is it going to cost?
But if only you had outsourced the maintenance and support of your site in the first place the chances are the problem wouldn't have arisen as everything would be updated daily and any issues dealt with immediately. And in the worst case there would be a full backup that could be restored to get your site live again without delay and then the cause of the problem could be fully investigated before implementing any changes required (ie what caused the problem in the first place)
Incidentally, you may already have a backup plugin on your site but have you ever tested how to use it in the event you need to restore the site? How often are backups taken - do they include all of the files, databases and plugins? Do you know what you do need?
If your gas boiler stopped working, would you get out the manual and "have a go" yourself? I doubt it But the chances are you have a British Gas (or similar) maintenance plan in place already but if not you'd call an "expert" to do the diagnosis and repair. It would probably cost more and maybe you wouldn't be the priority case you felt you should be, but at least you wouldn't run the risk of making matters worse.
Can you say the same about your WordPress website? Maybe it is time to think about a support & maintenance plan.
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