In this post, you’ll learn why it’s important to regularly care for your website, and when to consider hiring a pro to help you care for your website.
Let’s make one thing very clear. Website care plans are not right for everyone who owns a website. But I’ll get into that in a minute. First, I want you to understand what website care is and why it’s important.
What is website care?
A website is kind of like a car. It needs continual maintenance and care to keep it running in tip-top shape.
Website care means keeping your website up to date with regular software, backups, security, and needed content changes. Technology evolves extremely fast. Marketing techniques change even faster. That’s good news for you, online entrepreneur. It makes it easier and more effective for you to reach potential clients and attract them to your offering.
The downside to such a fast-moving internet platform is two-fold. First, it means you need to stay on top of your website so it’s updated, backed up, and secure to keep up with all of those changes. That’s the first part of website care. Read this post to learn the step by step process for keeping your WordPress website maintained.
In addition to the technical updates and backups, you also need to keep an eye on your content. Keeping your website content really targeted is crucial for you to keep getting your message out there. More people are online than in any other setting, and that represents a huge potential customer base. Evolving your website content to keep up with that audience is also part of regular care.
Why I offer website care
I genuinely care about my clients and want to help them value their time and their investment. Website care is like insurance — you would never drive your car without auto insurance. Having proper updates and backup measures in place for your website is equally as critical.
But I also don’t think website care is going to be right for everyone.
Outsourcing isn’t right for you if…
If your website isn’t a revenue-building part of your business, I don’t recommend outsourcing its care. For example, I have a friend who is a massage therapist. She serves clients in Kansas City, where I live, and markets to this geographical area.
The other day I was talking with her about what I do. She pulled up her website and asked me what I thought of it. This friend built it herself on Wix when she first started her business a few years ago.
She mentioned that occasionally potential clients go there to check out her practice or make payments. But mostly they just contact her directly. Her implied question was, “Is my current method good enough? Should I have someone like you helping me with it?”
Here’s the thing. This intelligent woman is massively successful. She’s an oversubscribed massage therapist with hundreds of clients on her list. I told her, “Your website isn’t really part of what brings you business. That means, as long as you have the time, you can probably take care of any updates and security issues yourself.”
As a local massage therapist, she doesn’t get much lead traction through her website. She could if she wanted to, sure, but she doesn’t need to. She’s already got more people interested in her than she can possibly serve, even after recently raising her rates.
If you’re in the same boat, where your website isn’t part of making money in your business, then I don’t think you need help with website care. Keeping up with the evolving software and marketing strategy doesn’t need to be a critical part of your valuable time and energy.
Outsourcing is crucial for you if…
You need to be regularly caring for your website if you’re getting regular traffic, emails, and income from your website. That means you have a routine for regular software updates, backups, security scans, and content changes.
Now, the big question is should you outsource that website care? If you’re tech-savvy and good at Googling tech-related questions, you might be able to handle a lot of it yourself. But at what cost?
Here’s the thing: you’ve got to be able to get a return on the investment of paying someone else to do website care for you. So how valuable is your time to you?
It’s kind of like changing the oil on your car. You can do it yourself, sure. But you get to the point in your career where it makes more sense to take it to Jiffy Lube and spend that hour doing something more productive.
Keeping your website updated, backed up, secure, plus regular content changes…all these tasks can be time-consuming and tedious.
It takes you away from what you really love doing, which is building relationships with your current and potential clients. Website technology is always evolving and, personally, I don’t think it’s a wise use of your time to keep on top of all the trends and developments.
In short, if you are using your website to generate income, if you’re going to spend your valuable time creating website content, then it’s definitely worth your time and money to outsource your website care.
what about website care through my host?
You could opt for relatively inexpensive care options through your hosting company. They do it for thousands of customers every day. That means they’re experienced. It also means they might not be paying attention to the finer details of your particular website and business needs. And they won’t help you with content and strategy, either.
I recommend my care plans to my clients because, if they’re working with me, their business is likely of the caliber that they need them. A web host simply isn’t going to provide the same knowledge and value for them. Since I know my clients’ websites intimately, and I’m invested in their business. I’m able to provide a quicker and higher quality of service to them than a web host who has hundreds of thousands of websites to care for.
I also know the software their website is built on very well. All of my websites (including this one) are built using the same technology. That means I’m in the best position to keep their website up and running and open for business 24/7. I do that with one of my care plans.
If you’re going to invest in a care plan, I recommend finding someone who can add more value than simple backups and security. Find someone you trust who can help you with strategy and content as well as the tech side of things.
Why website care is so important: A case study
A few weeks ago, I had a client reach out to me and share that one of her coach friends had her website server hacked and malware installed on all her sites. She’d been in business for six years without any issue. But it only takes once!
This coach’s friend had to pay $1k to get her hacked website data recovered.
And that’s on top of any client leads that downtime cost her. Plus all the headache of scrambling to contact a developer who could clean up her site for her.
I don’t ever want my clients to have to deal with that frustration.
My website care workflow
Here’s what I do for my client’s sites each month when I update them:
- Take a fresh back up of the website. I do this so that, in case any updates go wrong, I can immediately roll back the backup so the client doesn’t lose any time with a downed site.
- Check the website over before I update for any inconsistencies. This way, I can tell if any issues were related to plugins I had updated or if they are separate issues I need to address.
- Update WordPress, plugins, and themes in small batches. If a site has a large amount of plugins, I always take care to update them in small numbers so I don’t overload the website servers. If a plugin is heavy weight, like on a membership site, I always do this on a staging server. That way any update issues don’t interrupt the flow of members accessing the live site.
- After updating, I always check over the live site again to check for any inconsistencies. If there’s an issue with the site caused by an update, my software keeps a record. That way I can identify the plugin version causing the issue and revert back to an older version.
- In the event there ever is a plugin issue, it becomes a support ticket. I address it before my client ever realizes there’s a problem.
- Lastly, I generate a report of all the updates I performed for the client. The report also includes all the security scans, performance updates, and backups that were performed throughout the month.
Can’t I just maintain my site myself?
You definitely can. But as you can see above, there’s a lot more to website care than you might think. If a plugin breaks, do you know how to fix it? Probably not. That means paying a developer by the hour to come and figure out what’s wrong. Or spending hours on Google yourself trying to figure it out.
I also don’t recommend updating WordPress straight from your dashboard. If you do, there’s no way to track which updates might have caused the issue, should something break.
It’s much easier to keep your site maintained than it is to fix it after it breaks from neglect.
How much should I invest in a care plan?
Care plan cost varies greatly depending on the developer or company. I’ve seen care plans priced all the way from $10 to $1000 and beyond. Of course, the higher priced plans have much more value added than just routine backups and security (I’m talking consulting, unlimited website changes, etc).
How much you should invest depends on your particular website and business needs and revenue. How much income do you attribute to keeping your website up and running each month? As a case study, read this article by Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income to hear about his experience losing income when his website went down for an entire week. He estimates he lost nearly $12,000.
What investment would it have been worth for someone like him to make so they could save themselves from losing that amount of money? Only you can decide that.
My care plans start at less than $150 per month. And since I only work with clients who are on a care plan, you can know that you’re getting priority attention and support. If you’re interested in checking out my care plan packages, you can find more info about them and request one right here.
Now you know what website care is and when to think about outsourcing it to a pro. I hope this post was helpful!
P.S. Website care means making regular updates to software and content so you know you’re staying on track with your ideal client base.
If your website isn’t a big part of your business and marketing strategy, then you likely don’t need to outsource website care.
But if you generate revenue through traffic to your website, it’s definitely worth your the time-saving investment to outsource your website care.
Care plans vary in cost. Only you can decide what investment is right for your situation.
Click here to see my care plans and what they include.