Website maintenance costs money

There are 1000s of ways to build a WordPress site, but it’s never going to be a set-and-forget process – you will need to invest money in your website over time.

I often get asked why we will need to charge clients for work on a website that we built 12 months ago – and it’s often understandable where the confusion can come in.

In this post, I’ll look at some of the reasons why you will have to invest, and why changes to your website over time will cost you money.

Nothing lasts forever (sort of).

Whilst we build our WordPress sites to be as future-proof as possible, things change over time, and in the case of anything on the internet, this happens on a daily basis.

If you are used to WordPress, you’ll know how often you are required to update either your core files or your plugins (unless you have a website support team doing it for you).

It can seem like the updates to WordPress are never-ending. Guess what; they are.

WordPress constantly evolves to be even better than it was yesterday, to keep one step ahead of the hackers and to keep up-to-date with trends and user requirements.

The beauty with this updates is that you can do them yourself, just press the right buttons and you are updated – but be prepared to fix anything that might go wrong.

You broke it.

We leave the sites we build 100% open to our clients to do whatever they want. In fact, once our invoices are paid, ownership of the site and code moves to our clients.

We believe that this way of working is most in line with the Open-source nature of WordPress.

However, it does have to be remembered that once the site is yours, if you break it, it’s not our job to fix it for free.

We provide WordPress maintenance contracts for all the sites we create. We don’t force clients to take them out (even though they are very affordable) and everything is optional.

So if you have a site and you’ve broken it, or it’s stopped working or something isn’t quite right, you should expect to pay a small fee to have the issue looked at and fixed.

Fix a broken site

Hosting is very different from maintenance.

Another confusion that often arises comes down to hosting and email.

We prefer to host sites we build on dedicated WordPress hosting, we prefer you to sort your own email.

Charges for hosting your website only cover the hosting and any hosting related issues (downtime, server errors etc).

A hosting charge is for hosting.

Whilst this sounds very obvious, people can often mistake a WordPress issue (I broke my site) with a hosting issue (my site is running slowly).

The problem here is that the two are completely interchangeable.

Your site could be running slow due to plugins you’ve installed, not your hosting environment.

Your website might be down due to a DDOS attack and not something you’ve done on the site.

Our hosting charges start from less than £4.00 per week for providing a home for your most important marketing tool, so it’s not surprising that we do then make a small charge to fix anything on your site that isn’t related to this very affordable hosting service.

Why do you need to invest in your website?

Just like everything else, your website needs maintenance and improvement over time.

You service your car at least once-per-year. So get your website serviced too – whoever has built your site, it’s simply unrealistic to expect them to provide updates, fixes, SEO and improvements indefinitely as part of the original charge.

If you have a problem with your website, the cheapest way to fix it is to do it yourself – often a quick ‘Google’ will help you find the solution.

Bear in mind that you’ll need the experience to find the correct fix, the technical expertise to implement the fix and the server-knowledge to revert the site should your changes break things.

Code is fragile – one wrong piece of syntax in a WordPress template file can take down your entire website and will usually end up with the White Screen of Death (WSOD) – if you get to this point, and can’t remember what you did to cause it, it can take a developer even longer to sort the problem – so what could have started as a quick WordPress fix then becomes a more costly exercise.

Get help with your website.

If you have a problem with your website and would like a comparable quote to get it fixed, call us on 01295 266644 or complete the form below and we’ll get in touch.

We can help with all things WordPress.

If you need to improve your existing site or are looking to commission a new website, call us on 01295 266644 or complete the form - we'll get in touch!