We will happily pay £800 plus for the latest, greatest phone gizmo or pay a trades person £50 to step over the threshold but ask £5 a month for WordPress Website Maintenance and you risk being shunned as a financial leech!
Yes WordPress core is free but it takes time, skill and constant attention to configure and hone it into a workhorse website that runs smoothly and reliably. Ensuring a consistent level of performance is an ongoing task. Neglect that maintenance and one day your site may come back to bite you. There are constant malicious threats, updates needed, improvements to be implemented, plugin conflicts that need to be addressed and if these things are not attended to we are asking for trouble. This short piece is about how to address the issues.
DIY maintenance or pay an expert?
Yes you can look after your own website maintenance, and some of my own clients do just that but they are the exception and they do it for their own interest and involvement. That’s perfectly fine fine if you have the time to spare and are happy to learn the back end of WordPress but how many business owners have that luxury of free time, or skill? Very few.
But WordPress maintenance costs money!
Of course it costs money to update and maintain a website, just the same as your windows need cleaning, your car needs servicing and so on. These things are important to us so we pay somebody to look after them for us. So why do some folks moan and groan about doing the same for one of their most important assets… their website?
Good maintenance saves you money.
How much is your time worth? You could put on your overalls and crawl under the car for a day of sweat and frustration or pay a mechanic to handle things. The choice is yours but while you are getting greasy you are not doing what you should be doing… running your business and earning money. By focusing on cost alone you are ignoring the fact that time is just as important, if not more so. By getting down and dirty you may be creating more work for yourself and possibly causing yourself headaches by inadvertently breaking something you don’t fully understand. You are using time that may be better spent elsewhere, and it may cost you a lot more in the long run.
Value your time
You have 24 hours in a day and there are constant calls upon that time. A business owner needs to manage time for maximum efficiency and essentially for maximum profit. Know your skills, the value of your time and then delegate whenever it makes sense.
When thing go wrong on a website, they often go badly wrong, shutting down your shop front, slamming the door on your customers and earning you a bad name on the street! How much would it cost you to have your website offline for a day, for a week?
When it all falls apart that’s the time you wish you had taken those preventive measures, backed up the site, updated your obsolete plugins, updated to the latest, safest WordPress release and looked into that sudden inexplicable avalanche of phishing spam emails from your address book.
Website maintenance is insurance
Just the same as your car, your home, your phone, your cat… insurance is common sense. Those who don’t take insurance are gambling with fate. Yes you may get away scot free BUT if you do get hit, struck down with illness, your house goes up in flames and you are NOT covered … you are deep in the smelly stuff. The cliche “prevention is better than cure” is none the less a truism. NEVER neglect WordPress maintenance.