Having a website is an essential part of having an online presence, and WordPress is one of the most popular web development platforms available. It’s certainly our favorite, as we’ve been using it for over a decade.
WordPress is powerful, cost-effective, and customizable, making it ideal for businesses and nonprofits of all sizes. But with any website comes an investment for ongoing maintenance to ensure optimal performance and functionality.
Let’s look at how much it costs to maintain a WordPress website as well as what kind of maintenance services are available for your site. We’ll also provide some tips on how to keep your WordPress site running smoothly and efficiently while offering advice on finding the best professionals to help you manage your site.
What is WordPress, and why would you use it for your website?
WordPress is like the world’s gold standard when it comes to website creation. It’s a CMS, also known as a content management system. That means you can use it to update content—like editing pages, adding pages, and blogging—without needing to code HTML like I had to back in the late nineties.
It’s trusted, user-friendly, and powerful enough to create sites from scratch or take an existing site and make it better. WordPress gives businesses and nonprofits the freedom to build a custom website, without having to stick to a limited framework.
Plus, WordPress has a huge library of plugins, which means you can add functionality to your website without the cost of custom development. Even if you do have to pay for setup, configuration, and testing of additional functionality, it’s a fraction of the price you would pay a programmer to develop custom functionality.
The cost of setting up a WordPress website
WordPress web design should be an investment, not a cost. Sure, you could just send your friend’s nephew an email and make him design a website for you – after all, he thinks he knows how to make his website from his time watching Squarespace videos online. But is that really how you want to present your business or organization?
If you want a professional website, hire a professional WordPress agency that brings together a team with years of WordPress experience, modern design principles, and industry best practices.
My team and I have been helping clients create websites since 2003, and WordPress websites since about 2009—because quality matters! Of course, everyone has a budget to consider. But if you can swing it, the reward from investing in professionals far outweighs the risk of going cheap.
If you’re looking at a one-time investment, I would expect to pay a WordPress developer a minimum of $1,000. Anything below that would be suspicious, and you’re risking getting a bad-quality website.
If you’re looking for an agency that brings a team of experts to the table, expect a one-time investment of at least $5,000.
Some agencies—like ours—have switched to a monthly model, because “build it and forget it” no longer works. You have to maintain the websites and keep them updated on an ongoing basis. Depending on their needs, our clients usually pay $300 to $1,000+ a month for their website. And depending on the functionality needed, there can be a setup fee as well.
Maintenance costs associated with a WordPress site
WordPress may be versatile and offer numerous possibilities for website design, but just like staying healthy, it requires ongoing work.
Maintenance for your WordPress site requires more than just a few clicks, as there is a plethora of tasks to tick off:
- Updating WordPress software
- Updating the ever-changing plugins and themes, plus fixing anything that breaks when performing the updates
- Analyzing analytics
- Keeping up with SEO best practices
- Backing up the website on an ongoing basis
- Keeping the website secure so it’s far less likely it will get hacked
- Even blogging for SEO and to establish expertise and approachability
If you’re looking at time as your major cost, we’ve written previously about all the things that can go into maintaining a WordPress website. How much time it takes you will depend on how fast you are and how often you perform all the tasks.
If you’re just looking at ongoing investment for your website, I would run away if anyone quotes you a number less than $100 a month. Chances are they’re either not professionals, or they’ve underpriced themselves so drastically that they won’t be in business for long.
On the other hand, if you’re only talking about maintaining an existing website, more than a few hundred dollars a month starts to get suspicious as well, as long as you’re talking about a fairly basic website.
Different types of WordPress maintenance services
Wondering what some different WordPress maintenance services are? Here are just a few.
Updating WordPress, plugins, and themes
One of the most important aspects of website maintenance is keeping your plugins, themes, and WordPress itself up-to-date. Plugins are pieces of software that add additional features and functionality to your website, and themes control how the site looks.
Outdated software can be a security risk and can cause compatibility issues with other parts of your website.
If you ever need blogs—for SEO or other reasons—or new pages added to your website, you may not have the time or expertise to write that content yourself.
Some WordPress maintenance providers can help you in creating content, as well as helping to ensure it’s properly optimized for search engines.
Website and database backups are another important part of website maintenance. Backups ensure that you have a copy of your website’s data in case something goes wrong. Without a backup, you could lose all of your website’s data if there is a problem with your hosting account or if your website is hacked.
And if the websites of Fortune 500 companies can get hacked, then your website certainly can as well.
Security scans are another important type of WordPress maintenance service. These scans help to identify potential security risks and vulnerabilities on your website. Identifying these risks early can help to prevent them from becoming a problem in the future
How to find the best professionals to maintain your WordPress site
If you’re looking for a WordPress maintenance provider, make sure they have experience in their field, and that they actually ask questions about your organization, as well as questions about your website.
Check their websites for testimonials and look at their past work to decide if they are the right fit for your project. You can even contact some of the organizations whose work they display to see if they like working with the provider.
Of course, you’ll want to find out if you get a certain amount of hours per month, or how their different options are priced. Also, make sure that the provider offers customer support in case something goes wrong with your website. This way, you’ll be able to get help quickly if needed.
Finally, decide if you want a team or individuals, and if you want your provider to be focused on WordPress websites only, or have a broad set of marketing and even design skills to help you across your marketing efforts beyond just the website.
In short, investing in WordPress website maintenance will ensure that your site runs smoothly and efficiently while keeping it secure from any potential threats or risks. I’m biased, but I think it’s an ongoing investment that you shouldn’t skimp on.
Need professional help?
If you’re looking for professional help with WordPress website maintenance, we would be happy to talk with you and see if we can help. Our team of experts is highly experienced in WordPress website maintenance, so don’t hesitate to reach out!
We may not be a good fit for everyone, but feel free to contact us today, and let’s discuss of our services can benefit your business needs. And we’re always happy to refer you to another professional if we’re not the best fit.