WordPress is one of the easiest platforms to kickstart a website or business on. It’s made to be accessible to people who know little to nothing of web design and development, and so almost anyone can use it.
But where people often go wrong is in thinking their job is done once they’ve picked a theme and added a few pages. WordPress maintenance is actually quite a time-consuming task. Backups, bug fixing, security patching, SEO and performance optimization — there’s just so much to do.
And if you have big plans for your website, even starting can be harder than anticipated. Helpful WordPress support, or even the assistance of an actual developer, can really help you get going.
If any of these sound like the problems you’re facing, then a managed WordPress care plan might be just what you need.
Why Managed WordPress?
When you decide to start up a WordPress site, you’re usually on your own. The web host you choose will get your server up and running, but that’s about it. Designing and maintaining your new website is all up to you.
Managed WordPress, on the other hand, is a more hands-on approach. Get a care plan from a specialized company with services optimized for WordPress, and they’ll handle not just the hosting and server issues, but also maintenance and possibly even some aspects of design or development.
This idea is pretty similar to managed vs. unmanaged hosting solutions. Unmanaged web hosts provide some server space and leave it up to you to install what you need, while managed web hosts handle all the complicated backend tasks for you.
With a managed WordPress care plan, you can leave all the hardest parts of running a website to a company you trust. With that out of the way, you can focus on creating content and driving growth.
In short: If you would prefer to handle maintenance and website setup yourself, then you can stick with a normal host and forgo the care plan. But if you’re in too deep and need help keeping your site afloat, then a care plan is definitely worth the money.
On the fence about it? Why should you choose a managed WordPress care plan?
Maintenance Takes Time
Many people wrongly think that WordPress is a CMS you can just set up and forget all about. But letting WordPress just run in the background, never doing any sort of maintenance or bug testing, is the worst mistake you can make.
There’s a whole host of tasks you need to be keeping up with. Backups, WordPress core and plugin/theme updates, monitoring, security, analytics — setting everything up yourself would be a nightmare! And keeping it all running can be such a time sink that you’ll have little left to dedicate to growth.
With a care plan, you don’t have to worry about anything. WordPress experts handle it all; if your site crashes, you’ll be notified and can restore a backup immediately. WordPress will always be up to date, and if you ever need to check analytics, it’s just a matter of clicking a link and seeing the recent trends.
If you don’t have anyone taking care of maintenance, you could end up with a big problem if your site ever crashes and you don’t have a way to restore it. And without constant monitoring, it could be down for hours and you’d never know.
Security is one thing few take seriously, and that’s exactly why WordPress is the CMS hackers prefer to target. Many site owners don’t bother securing their site, or just don’t know better. When the brute force attacks start rolling in, you don’t want to be one of those people who end up with your login credentials stolen and a defaced website.Did you know more than 26% of websites are powered by WordPress? Popularity in the platform has increased the number of malicious attacks. Staying on top of security is of the utmost importance. Click To Tweet
Choose a care plan that includes security monitoring and you’ll already be one step ahead of much of the competition. Besides a frequent scan to ensure there’s no malicious code hiding somewhere in your site, some plans may even find and patch common vulnerabilities.
They should also help you keep your core, theme, and plugin files up to date; out of date software leaves a big hole in your site for hackers to slip in through. Don’t risk forgetting to keep track of everything; let someone else take care of it.
Without routine maintenance, you may find that your site slows to a crawl, on both the frontend and backend. Slow loading is one of the biggest banes of unoptimized WordPress sites, and if you don’t have a care plan in place, you’re very likely to encounter it.
A healthy website loads fast, taking no more than a few seconds to fully appear. Any more than that and you risk losing visitors. They’ll get annoyed and click off your site, probably for good.
A care plan can help, especially if it comes with a website audit to identify potential sources of slowness. There are dozens of little tricks to website optimization that no one tells you when you’re starting out, but professionals know just where to look and what to fix.
Choose a good care plan that will help you eliminate these errors and keep your site running in tip-top shape.
Support From the Experts
The fact of running a website is that eventually, you’re going to encounter bugs. Maybe something on your site will start acting up, or it will suddenly crash and leave it entirely inaccessible.
When you run into these issues, it’s great to have people around who know what they’re doing and why this is happening, instead of having to spend hours troubleshooting on your own. Get quick guidance or even direct help solving the problem, so you don’t have to deal with downtime for too long.
If you’re new to WordPress, it’s also nice to have a place to turn to when you’re not sure how something works. Using Google can get you pretty far, but sometimes you just need direct, real-time assistance.
Focus on Creating
All these services are pretty useful, but what makes them really important is just how much time they can save you. Imagine having to spend hours on maintenance issues and troubleshooting without any help at all. For a small business or especially an individual, it can completely suck up all your extra time.
You’re not a web developer, you’re a content creator or a business owner, and that’s what you need to dedicate your time to. Writing articles, designing content, marketing on social media, managing your team — all this takes enough time on its own. You don’t need to pile WordPress maintenance on top of it.
Compared to bringing a developer onto your team to take care of everything, a care plan costs far less. And a single person can’t offer the monitoring and analytics a dedicated, managed WordPress plan can. As for the time saved, it pays for itself.
If you’ve found yourself wasting hours dealing with these little issues when you should be writing a blog post, marketing your business, or just taking some well-deserved time off, a care plan is exactly what you’ve been looking for.
Benefits of a Care Plan
Every care plan is different. It’s all on the company providing it, and how much time they’re willing to dedicate to each individual. Some plans just cover the basics: they’ll handle the maintenance and free up your hands to work on content creation. Others work closer with you to optimize your site, fix bugs, or add small features.
Here’s some examples of what you should expect to get out of a managed WordPress plan. These are all featured in our own care plans, so you should accept no less.
The key part of a care plan is the maintenance it offers. The more services it takes care of, and the less you have to worry about dealing with behind-the-scenes technical stuff, the better.
One of the basic necessary features the plan should offer is keeping your themes and plugins updated, along with WordPress itself. Having these out of date can lead to serious security vulnerabilities and other issues.
Backups are another absolute must-have. Care plan or not, you should definitely have some solution in place to store snapshots of your site, or you could end up spending hours undoing a simple mistake.
Backup services can be expensive, and free plans don’t save snapshots very frequently. As part of your care package, you’ll want daily backups so you’ll lose as little as possible if you do have to roll back.
You should also expect various monitoring services. Uptime monitoring will instantly alert both you and your hosting provider when your site goes down, so you can take action as soon as possible.
With security scans, you can be sure that your site is free of any injected code or malicious plugins. Hackers can add code to files on your site that let them slip through into your backend or infect your visitors with malware, while security monitoring finds and cleans such issues.
Last, analytics tracking isn’t totally necessary to keep your site running, but it’s something you definitely want to have. Setting up Google Analytics can be confusing, so it’s one less thing on your plate if your care plan provider does it for you. Then you can just check your analytics anytime.
A great care plan service not only maintains the status quo, but can help you make small improvements or identify active problems. If your site is already running slow, maintaining that won’t do much. You need help getting everything up to speed again, and that’s what a great managed plan should provide.
Some providers offer a site audit when you first sign up with them. They’ll extensively comb through your site, picking out potential flaws in SEO, security, and accessibility. Along with that, they’ll point out anything that’s contributing to slower load times.
Knowing the source of the problems can help, but what if you don’t know how to fix them? Some care plans, such as our Growth tier, also include monthly development hours. Got a bug that needs fixing, or a small feature you need added? Get real help from experienced developers.
Speaking of getting help, great support is a must. Look for a care plan provider who provides prompt and helpful customer service whether you’re in the middle of a downtime emergency or just need a little extra guidance.
Marketing and SEO
Most care plans won’t offer extensive SEO or marketing help, but they may offer an inbound marketing plan as an extension. Care plans are about maintenance and freeing up your time; marketing plans are for directly driving growth.
In our own inbound marketing plan, you get in-depth analysis and consultations to help grow your website. Segment your audience and learn who to target, create a workable campaign strategy, and optimize your on-site SEO. On the Growth tier, you also get growth-driven website design and email marketing automation.
If you’re ready to take the next step up from a care plan, look for marketing services that will guide you towards success.
Pick Up a WordPress Care Plan Today
Running a website can be a struggle, especially if you’re doing it all by yourself, or just don’t have the resources on your team to dedicate to WordPress maintenance. All those little tasks add up fast, and there’s just not enough time between designing your site, writing a blog, and marketing it to juggle yet another time-consuming task.
Plugins like Jetpack exist to provide basic security, analytics, and optimization features, but they just can’t compare to what an actual dedicated team can do. Eliminate that time sink and use the extra time to get a foothold in your industry.
At DC Dev Shop, we specialize in helping small businesses by offering a variety of growth-driving services including care plans. Let us handle the little stuff so you can focus on what really matters.
We have two tiers of care plans available; WP Care is great if you just want simple maintenance services running in the background, while our Growth plan is more in-depth and focused on you. Get a free audit along with monthly development hours and priority support. Choose the plan that’s best for you and finally reclaim your valuable time.