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All You Need to Know About WordPress Care Plans

WordPress currently powers over 26% of all websites in the world. With a steady growth as the preferred CMS of choice for most developers. It has attracted some creative folks, including here at TemplateMonster to develop awesome themes and plugins on an everyday basis. Most WordPress theme authors and plugin developers are also doing a tremendously good job of updating their work every so often as the WordPress team is releasing core updates to its software.

However, most of us as freelance WordPress developers and design agencies, we seem not to have internalized this fact especially when it comes to client projects. We often find ourselves using well-updated themes and plugin at the start of a project and forget that they should remain so throughout the lifecycle of the website.

Having a website care plan as part of your development process is an important integral part of providing actual value to your clients. A well-structured website care plan ensures as a developer; you continuously provide valuable service to your customer as the website eventually attains the set goal, it was initially set up for. Website care plan also serves as additional income streams to your business.


What to Include in Your WordPress Care Plans

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Depending on your expertise and range of scope you’re willing to cover. A website care plan can include a variety of services that may not only border around the website itself. Some of the basic services that any WordPress Maintenance should include:

  • Core updates: WordPress releases core updates very often, fixing small bugs in the software and general security updates. These small updates are mostly pushed to the site automatically, and so it is essential to check to make sure no files have been corrupted or not working as intended.
  • Plugin updates: plugins are the functional backbone of a WordPress website, so in the case of any update, this should be verified and checked to ensure compatibility with what is currently running on the site. Ideally, all plugin updates should be done in the staging environment before being pushed to the live site. This guarantees in case of any issues it first fixed in the staging area before been incorporated into the website.
  • Theme updates: just like core updates, themes should be updated as often as possible, taking into account any bugs, that may affect the look and how a client interacts with the website. Always remember to have a child theme in place, making sure any special changes made to the original theme are maintained even after an update.
  • Daily and Weekly backups: it’s vital to backup data of any form just in case of any eventuality happening. You can approach your backup strategy in different ways, but personally, I recommend having a daily backup of the website database and a weekly backup of the entire website files.
  • Uptime and security monitoring: the immense popularity of WordPress as a preferred content management system has made an inviting target for hackers and other security threats. Performing regular checks of your client’s websites ensure that their site is clean and not traffic is not being diverted elsewhere.

Other Special Website Care Plan Services

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  • Support tasks: in most cases, clients usually have small support tasks that were not initially defined in the scope of the project. A well-structured website care plan should be able to take care of this and even state the expected resolution time for such support tickets.
  • Content Management assistance: are you a good copywriter? Or do you know of someone who can offer such services to your clients? Not all clients are good in managing content for their sites. So onset after development, you can agree on a plan on how you could regularly assist your client post content on the site. If well spelled out in the website care contract, it will eliminate cases where a client calls you on any day of the week requesting such updates.
  • Social media marketing and SEO: I don’t know about you, but most of my clients have one thing in common, they want to big brands in social media and also be found on top of the search listings whenever prospective clients such something related to their businesses. Well, as you know building a brand online and SEO takes a while, so the best way to attain this is to have a website care plan in place.
  • Website performance reports for management: when handling a big client website, you may be required to produce performance reports regarding whether the website is achieving the desired goals. Being able to produce such reports may need a lot of time, especially because you may need to combine a number of tools to provide relevant data. Such a report is in itself work enough to require website care plan that is billable either weekly, monthly or yearly as agreed between you two.

Making the Case for WordPress Care Plan

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Having a conversation with a prospective client about the possibility of them parting with more cash for their project can really be difficult at first. It does require you to prove to your client he/she will receive more value as compared to the monthly investment you’re requesting and without such a plan in place, then the website may not yield much.

Having a conversation with a prospective client about the possibility of them parting with more cash for their project can really be difficult at first. It does require you to prove to your client he/she will receive more value as compared to the monthly investment you’re requesting and without such a plan in place, then the website may not yield much.

In most cases I have learned to prove my case around two main “facts”:

  • The best way for any business to attract more clients is through the internet. The internet offers low-cost options to acquire and target the right type of clients
  • You can never find any other medium that can best articulate your vision as a business apart from your own website. For people to be able to see this vision, they need to come to the site and be part of that dream. Channeling the right traffic to the website which requires time is the ultimate goal of any website.

Summary

The only way as a premium WordPress developer to offer quality service to your clients is to have a system in place to check if your client is realizing project goals they had in mind. Website care plans offer the perfect way to create an ongoing relationship and offer additional revenue sources. You can also read more here on how to sell website care plans

In my next post, I will cover, how you can start selling website care plans and how to position the services to both current clients and new leads.


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Patrick Rosenblatt

Ist Shopify-Experte, Mitgründer der E-Commerce-Agentur Eshop-guide.de. Sein Team Unterstützt Unternehmen bei der Erstellung von Webshops sowie auf dem Gebiet SEO und Online-Marketing. Patrick auf LinkedIn.

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