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Small business website maintenance services (what they are and when to use them)

Running a website is hard. You want to offer your visitors the best experience. However, your WordPress site can’t be at its best unless you’re constantly updating and monitoring it. Broken links, malfunctioning plugins, or a data breach could give your business a bad reputation.

Fortunately, website maintenance services can look after your site for you and keep it up to date. They ensure the integrity of your site, while allowing you to focus on running your business.

In this post, we’ll discuss what WordPress maintenance services are and look at their general price range. Finally, we’ll talk about how to decide if these services are right for you. Let’s get started!

What website maintenance services are

WordPress website maintenance is hard work. To avoid security holes and compatibility issues, you’ll need to be making constant updates to your core WordPress installations, as well as your plugins and themes

Sometimes, WordPress releases multiple updates a month. Let’s take a look at the release archive on WordPress.org to get an idea of how frequently the software is updated:

WordPress releases archive

On top of updates, you also need to back up your site regularly and run performance checks. Moreover, you need to make sure that your configuration doesn’t have a negative impact on any area of your site.

If misfortune strikes, a routine WordPress update could cause compatibility issues with your plugins, causing broken links, error messages, or a slow or unavailable site. These issues can take a long time to find and fix, and could therefore obliterate your visitors’ trust.

Website maintenance may be a little complicated, especially if you run a busy e-commerce site that is continuously updated with new content or products. Thankfully, there are several companies that, for a reasonable fee, take care of maintaining and updating your website for you. 

These website maintenance services have two main purposes:

  1. They free up your time so you can focus on running your small business.
  2. They leverage their expertise to ensure that no important maintenance tasks are ever neglected.

Regular web hosts don’t typically offer this service as they assume you or someone in your team will take care of your site’s maintenance. However, there are some excellent companies offering WordPress maintenance services that relieve you of that burden:

WordPress maintenance services

You can find maintenance services for every type of website, not just WordPress. However, if your site is built on this popular Content Management System (CMS), you may reap great benefits from having a specialized maintenance service that has the expertise to handle the specifics of your website.

Average cost of website maintenance services

Letting your site go unmaintained can be costly. Therefore, a sensible fee may be a great investment in your small business.

Most companies that offer WordPress site maintenance services have at least three tiers, with the number of features increasing in direct correlation with the price. Their basic plans are normally designed for small businesses and bloggers, while more expensive services are targeted at agencies and large enterprises. 

Some of these service providers offer either monthly or yearly billing. In most cases, purchasing a plan with annual billing will work out cheaper in the long run.

The average price of the lowest tier is about $80 a month, with the highest monthly price being $200 and the lowest being $30. With this plan, you generally get at least annual WordPress updates and quarterly security patches along with periodic backups. Some services also offer 24/7 support at this level.

The average price of the midrange tier – or the tier that companies advertise as their highest value – is about $200 a month, with the highest being $450. This plan gives you certain additional perks. Some examples are daily security scans, speed optimization, priority support, and dedicated developer time, should you ever need it.

The average price of the highest tier is about $1,220 a month; this level of service is generally tailored toward larger businesses. Those who opt for this plan may get a dedicated account manager, consultation time, more advanced optimization, and technical perks such as Git management and code audits.

Cheaper isn’t necessarily better when it comes to website maintenance services. While you may not need the highest-priced option, you’re likely to be in a long-term relationship with your servicer. Therefore, we recommend that you carefully weigh each provider’s reputation and offerings before making a purchasing decision.

The benefits of website maintenance services

Let’s talk about some of the tangible advantages – the things that can directly impact you and your business – of hiring a professional to look after your site. For starters, they take care of critical but monotonous tasks. This allows you to conserve both time and brainpower to manage the rest of your business.

They also provide troubleshooting. That way, you don’t have to scramble to find help or make your own fixes when disaster strikes – and it will, given enough time. You’ll feel better if you have a plan of action already in place before you have to use it.

Moreover, they provide regular, timely updates. There’s no need to update your site yourself. Also, you don’t have to worry about potentially breaking your site with every update.

Your site expert will also help keep your site safe. Website security is a vast area of knowledge and it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the best security practices. However, to actually fortify a website against real-world malicious attacks, there’s no substitute for deep expertise:

WordPress security services example

Most security issues with websites are caused by vulnerabilities in plugins and themes. Therefore, it’s reassuring to have a security expert to help you mitigate the effects of known and unknown vulnerabilities.

They also handle regular backups. This means that, should anything go wrong, you won’t lose all of your site’s content and data. Copies of your site are stored in a secure place, and your website professional will be able to restore your content without any issues. 

Finally, you’ll get expert support whenever you need it. If you need to resolve an urgent issue, you’ll always have someone to help you out. 

When to use a website maintenance service for your small business

Let’s say you enjoy the technical aspects of running a website. Maybe it feels like a productive break from having to deal with all the other pressures of your business. Moreover, you may actually have the time to manage your WordPress website and perform regular tasks like updates and backups.

In that case, taking care of website maintenance yourself may be a good course of action. However, there is something else you need to ask yourself: how experienced with maintenance are you?

As we discussed earlier, one of the main benefits of hiring a website maintenance professional is that they ensure that no important update or vulnerability gets missed. Therefore, unless you’re certain there are no gaps in your knowledge, you may want to seek assistance from a team of experts.

Even if you are confident in your knowledge, these website professionals may have a broader view of the issues they’re called upon to troubleshoot. You may know all the ins and outs of the WordPress dashboard, but if you’re not sure what a web application stack is (for example), your troubleshooting ability may hit a roadblock.

Besides, running a business can be stressful enough. Knowing that a team of experts has your back when it comes to website maintenance can give you peace of mind.

You may also want to consider your cash flow. For new, cash-strapped businesses, hiring someone to do your maintenance may be a stretch. However, given the low entry price of the lower service tiers, even a business with moderate cash flow should be able to afford at least some level of expert maintenance.

Think of it this way: your website is the backbone of your business, or at least a very important marketing piece. Losing it, or even having it unavailable for a few hours, could cost you a lot more than what you’d pay to maintain it. Therefore, a reliable website maintenance service can be a lifesaver. 

Conclusion

There’s a lot that can go wrong with a website. However, putting your site in the hands of a professional can ease the burden. It will also enable you to focus on the things you do best, such as running a successful business. Plus, you have a solid assurance that your site will always be running smoothly. 

There are several companies that offer professional website maintenance services. These tend to provide a variety of plans, with the cheapest ones tailored to small businesses and professionals. Therefore, it’s important to choose the service that best fits your budget and needs. At FreshySites, we offer professional WordPress maintenance services to save you time and effort, and to help you focus on the things that matter most to you. Contact us for a quote today.

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