As a WordPress developer or agency owner, you’re very likely to already be aware of the importance of diligently maintaining WordPress websites.
Whether that’s looking after the security and general site health.
Improving the page loading speeds.
Or helping clients with changes and additions to their websites.
Beyond those technical tasks, there are also benefits to your business by offering WordPress maintenance too, such as increased recurring revenue and greater predictability of cashflow.
Most companies providing WordPress maintenance offer a number of monthly price plans.
Typically they offer between 2 and 4 plans, with a set of associated services for each.
If you’re in the early stages and are just creating your care plans, or if you’re tweaking your existing setup, I’ve got 10 ideas for your WordPress maintenance services in this article.
Before we dive in, a quick word about automation.
IBM describes automation as:
“The application of technology, programs, robotics or processes to achieve outcomes with minimal human input.”
If you can automate something – and let’s face it – these days you can automate almost anything, then do so.
It will save you tons of time.
Your operations will be more efficient and your business more profitable.
In the world of WordPress maintenance, there are a few tools out there that can help with automating things.
Glow is one of them.
Ok, let’s dive into those 10 ideas for your WordPress maintenance services:
#1 Updating & managing plugins, themes and WP core
As you know, WordPress has thousands of contributors all over the world.
Whether that’s the people who create WordPress itself, or the many others who develop plugins and themes that can be harnessed to extend the basic functionality.
You’ll also be aware that all of these plugins and themes require updating for security purposes.
This is kind of a non-negotiable service offering.
If you’re providing WordPress maintenance, you have to keep on top of security updates.
Remember me mentioning automation before?
I’d strongly advise finding a WordPress management tool that allows you to perform updates in bulk.
Otherwise, as your number of clients grows, this task will get extremely time consuming.
Beyond just keeping plugins and themes up to date, you should also be keeping an eye on removing those that are inactive or out of date (ie, no longer listed in the WordPress repository of plugins and themes).
Again, a WordPress management tool will help you do this much more easily as it’ll allow you to see this information for all of your clients’ sites in one place, rather than the painful alternative of logging in and out of each one.
#2 Test enquiry forms
As web developers, we’ve all been there.
That moment when your client tells you they’re not receiving enquiries through their website.
So here’s a great value-add service to give your clients when managing their website … regularly test their enquiry forms.
2 massive benefits:
- Your clients will appreciate it big time
- If there is an issue, you’ll catch it before it’s too late
The thing is, without software, this process would be really time consuming.
Hopefully if you’re already using a WordPress management tool, there’s an in-built forms testing feature that you can take advantage of.
If there isn’t, shame on them!
Seriously though, there is one in Glow.
Use it to setup regular tests and report to your client that all is well.
And if it’s not, tell them that you’ve caught the errors and fixed them.
Your client will appreciate the care and attention you’re clearly providing.
Not only that, it’s another great way to prove to them the value of their investment in website maintenance.
#3 Custom development time
This is the one that your clients will experience the most.
And it’s important that you get this one right as it’s also the one they care about most.
Allow your clients a certain amount of custom development time each month for changes and additions to their website.
Maybe it’s 1 hour, 2 hours, 5 hours.
Whatever it is, make sure you include it in your service offering as clients will definitely expect it.
I wrote here about the benefits of using a support ticket system for this.
Trust me, it will help enormously with delivering the best possible service to your clients.
#4 Speed testing and optimisation
This is another one that clients will notice easily.
If their site is running slowly, boy will they be in touch to tell you!
Even the layperson these days is aware of the importance of a fast loading website.
Include speed testing and optimisation in your WordPress maintenance services.
Given the nature of this service, I would personally be reserving this for the more expensive monthly plans.
It can take time to carry out speed optimisation work so you want to make sure you’re not eating into all your profit.
Make the speed improvements where necessary and update your client.
This is probably one of those where you’re like … “Errr yeah, obviously”.
And you’d be right.
Make sure you indicate in your maintenance plans that you take regular backups of your clients’ websites.
If things go south, you’ll be extremely glad these are in place.
An extra little tip would be to make sure that the system you use to schedule the backups also allows you to restore from them.
This is a really handy feature for when you need to call on one of the backups.
A click of the restore button and everything is back online.
Monitoring the uptime of a client’s website is crucial.
It’s one of those words that might take some explaining to the client – if they do ask about it.
From your point of view of the person or team managing the websites, at the very least you want to be notified if a site goes down.
Otherwise you might hear from a disgruntled client first and that ain’t good!
There’s loads of Uptime Monitor tools out there, with varying levels of functionality.
I’d advise finding one where you can alter the monitoring regularity for each client and that pings you a notification if a site goes down, so that you can get onto sorting it out asap.
Better still, find a WordPress management tool that has an Uptime Monitor built in, then you don’t need yet another SaaS product.
#7 Website hosting
It’s fairly common for developers and agencies to include website hosting in their monthly maintenance plans, so this might be something you want to consider too.
If you don’t, it’s usually something you then bill separately, on an annual basis.
To be honest, it’s your call.
I’ve sold WordPress maintenance plans with and without website hosting included and didn’t notice a drop off in conversion when I removed it.
If you’re considering adding it in, it could be a nice added benefit to your monthly services though.
#8 Scan / fix broken links
This is another really nice value-add service for your clients.
I’d group scanning and fixing broken links with forms testing under ‘regular usability testing’.
Similar to speed testing and optimisation however, I’d probably reserve this for those clients paying the higher fees as it takes time to do properly.
If your company also offers marketing services, this is a great complement, particularly to services like search engine optimisation (SEO).
#9 Regular reports
I guarantee you this: clients never complain about being kept up to date.
Monthly payments + lack of communication however?
Recipe for disaster.
Make sure your WordPress maintenance plans include a report of some kind.
Preferably one that your clients will actually understand.
Yes, receiving a report that they don’t understand will at least show them that you’re keeping in touch.
But make it plain English and contextual and you’ll be educating your client over time around the importance of their investment in website maintenance.
And that’s the golden ticket.
#10 Malware removal
Your clients might have heard of the word but 99% of them won’t have a clue what it means.
Despite that, I’d advise including it in your maintenance plans.
If a potential client asks what it is, you can explain how important it is that you keep on top of it.
Let’s face it, finding and removing malware can quite literally save a client’s website.
In conclusion, when it comes to WordPress maintenance services, there are plenty that you can include in your care plans.
Here’s the 10 that I’ve covered in this article:
- Updating & managing plugins, themes and WP core
- Test enquiry forms
- Custom development time
- Speed testing and optimisation
- Website hosting
- Scan / fix broken links
- Regular reports
- Malware removal
There are 2 important things to remember:
- Make sure you’re not over-servicing the client for what you charge them
- Make sure they’re well aware of the work you’re doing
If you get these right, you will be running an efficient and profitable WordPress maintenance service and your clients will be clients for longer.
I’d love to know which services you include in your WordPress maintenance plans.
Please feel free to drop them in the comments below.