Due to the fact that many people have no idea what goes into website maintenance, I would understand how some people would feel it is not worth the investment. We’ve gone around this by not offering the contracts, and focusing on strictly delivering hourly support for websites.
If we were to focus on all clients that need update, each client would have a different technology behind their site, thus rendering any packaging of our products useless.
Why do we see people come for maintanance, well primarily because they’ve worked with a freelancer in the past, and the person ghosted them. One of the reasons is because they weren’t paying them, but also because freelancing is taxing and hard, and people are people. They can’t maintain and upkeep the motivation infinetely, unless their lives depend on it.

Are freelancers ever a good deal?

This is probably one of the reason why I wouldn’t personally deal with freelancers. We don’t hire people that have freelancer mentality. They can’t deliver a predictable product at scale. Freelancing is probably one of the worst decisions that a company can make when they are trying to strike a deal with the production of their product. They want to get cheap, fast and reliable. When you go to freelancers, you rarely get either of these.

Discipline, a factor that creates a reliable web presence

When WordPress or any other code base is not fully executed by our team, we don’t have total control over the plugins and third party code conflicts. It is not that straight forward or simple to resolve these issues. Plugins get outdated, malware crawls under the site, and all of a sudden your beautiful site is exposed to all kind of things. These things are real problems.
Having discipline to maintain a WordPress site is much needed for a business that is well maintained. It is a job that can take many additional hours if it is not done regularly. We are talking here about resolving plugin issues, reducing the amount of code needed to run the website, as well as reducing vulnerabilities.

Reasons why WordPress websites require routine maintanance

Well besides WordPress evolving its iterations and versions every other month or so, there are also updates to PHP framework and evolution of the dependencies that regulate WordPress’s behavior inside of its linux operating system. Things like Composer updates, nginx, apach2 and other dependencies create micro changes in your server side environment that require a team that can tackle full stack developement.
What I’ve noticed over the years that most freelancers, and lower end agencies don’t have the capacity to properly maintain websites. Not patching your site up leaves you extremely vulnerable to malware, and having your site infected, and not having a good backup plan is a surefire recepie for a disaster. Most business owners aren’t equipped to protect their investment into fairly complex digital assets such as websites.
This leads to missed opportunities. Having a well maintained and properly utilized website takes a decent amount of work.

How much of maintanance is needed?

If we count on avaraging out 10 to 15 hours per month, at $150 hourly rate, you are looking at average of $1800 per month. This is the amount of money needed to have someone remain properly and reliably contentrated on keeping the uptime of your site high.
During these hours, dependencies issues and plugin conflicts should be resolved for the most part. This would include rolling back backups, cleaning sites from malware and other routine diagnostic work that happens on the site. While many startups will have hard time swallowing this pill, I’ve seen way to many business owners get burned over and over on this step of their journey.

Website Maintanance With Techncial SEO in Mind

When it comes to SEO, maintance goes exponentially higher. Smaller sites may need additional 20-30 hours of maintanance work, such as:

  • Fixing broken links
  • Disavowing bad backlinks
  • Resolving issues from Google Search Console
  • Resolving errors, warnings and notices from SEMRush
  • Ensuring integrity of sitemap

Larger sites need more and more maintanance. The entire workflow worth of tasks, that most people don’t even take in consideration when thinking about their website. I’ll keep this post updated for future reference on all kinds of preventative and traffic improving work that can be done on a website well maintained.