For many business owners and managers, outsourcing is a terrifying concept. You take a piece of your business—most likely something that’s essential to your company’s success—and entrust someone outside the company with managing it.
You wonder how someone who’s not invested in your company can be trusted to do as good a job as someone who is…
You think about the potential harm your company may be exposed to by giving a third party access to the behind-the-scenes of your operations…
You worry whether the tradeoff in paying someone else to do a job you probably could manage on your own will be worth it…
While there is always a risk involved in working with a third-party provider, you can greatly reduce that risk if you find a responsible, trustworthy, and highly vetted provider to assist you.
Does your WordPress website need support?
Mark Suster wrote a blog a few years back about why company heads should hire assistants. Here is what he had to say:
While I’m passionate about being scrappy when you start and controlling your costs, I’m equally passionate about performance when you have a bit of cash. And I’ve seen way too many CEOs/founders get bogged down in minutiae because they were used to it from the scrappy phase. They’ve struggled to scale.
Basically, he’s making the argument that CEOs are busy people and that their time is valuable (which is true). And this isn’t just true for the CEO. This goes for the independent blogger and the marketing manager and the IT manager (and anyone else in charge of managing a department or process). For any business to grow and scale accordingly, some tasks should be outsourced to others.
Now, when it comes to some parts of your business, it won’t always be feasible or cost-effective to outsource certain tasks or duties to another internal team member. The argument we want to make today though is that WordPress support can and should be outsourced to a third party. Here are just some of the reasons why:
Do you have the time for this?
WordPress is a super-easy and user-friendly content management system. However, that doesn’t mean that the upkeep of your WordPress website will be just as easy.
Because WordPress regularly monitors its platform for security threats, bugs, and other issues, updates continually require WordPress users’ attention—not only for the WordPress platform itself, but also for all the tools (themes and plugins) associated with it. Here are just some of the other maintenance-related tasks your website will require on an ongoing basis:
- Broken link checking and fixing
- Site backups
- Security monitoring
- Coding fixes
- Host-related issues
- Speed and other performance-related optimizations
- Copy and design updates
- And more
Needless to say, keeping your platform in tip-top shape can be time-consuming and you may find that some of these tasks are outside your wheelhouse.
Do you want to do it alone?
Let’s face it: all the minutiae that goes into maintaining your WordPress website can seem downright tedious. Update this. Monitor this. Review this report. And you’re not even a website developer. You’ve read a few things online to try and cover the basics to the best of your ability, but you know that your time isn’t being well spent managing all this.
You should be focusing on your core responsibilities; namely, finding new business and growing your company. If you’re focused on building a stronger performing website day-in and day-out, who is going to manage the actual business side of things? Your website needs a lot of attention and upkeep. You shouldn’t have to manage that on your own.
Do a few updates here and there really matter?
Yes, they do.
And it’s not just about the random plugin or WordPress update. WordPress support services are about much more than making a few updates every now and again (as you’ll soon discover). No matter what happens to your website, someone needs to be there to keep it running and from disrupting your visitors’ experience.
Won’t it cost more to hire a WordPress support provider than to pay a developer?
That will depend on how much support you need.
- You could hire a developer to work in-house for you, but then you have to take into consideration the additional salary, taxes, benefits, etc. associated with that.
- You could pay a developer on an as-needed basis to assist you with updates as they spring up. But that still requires you to stay on top of WordPress and to know when something actually needs fixing, upgrading, etc.
- Then there are the support services providers. These companies are experts in WordPress and support is what they do best. They usually offer their support services for an affordable monthly retainer, making sure you have the ongoing maintenance and on-call support you need.
Can I really trust a third-party to support my website?
Yes! But before outsourcing any part of your business to a third party, it’s crucial to do your research and establish a plan first.
- Not all companies you run into will be reputable sources, so you’ll want to check the reviews on them and see what others have to say.
- Calculate how much time you or your team has spent on WordPress-related tasks. Then use that number to establish a reasonable budget for these services.
- Some companies may not align well with your expectations. Do you expect 24/7 support or even a personalized service representative to work with you?
- Which part of your WordPress website do you need coverage on? Not everyone needs a full spectrum of support, so make sure you’re paying only for what you need.
- Is there anything outside of the traditional WordPress support that you’d also like help with? It may be cheaper to bundle services, so consider your design, marketing, and SEO needs before choosing a provider.
The Best WordPress Support Services in 2016
Once you’ve set your expectations accordingly, it’s time to start looking at what’s out there.
Price: $50/month for Junior and $100/month for Ninja
Support Services: For bloggers and smaller businesses, Junior covers weekly updates and maintenance as well as 24-hour support. Ninja includes the Junior plan as well as daily backups, extra security services, and hosting assistance.
Additional Services: Extensive WordPress cleanup and fixes to themes, plugins, security, and more.
Price: $39/month for Maintain, $79/month for Full Support, and $295/month for Agency
Support Services: WordPress and plugin updates, site backups, weekly security scan, and phone and chat support are included in Maintain. Full Support increases the amount of security scans, cleanup, and support provided.
Additional Services: The Agency plan offers white-labeling as well as multi-site maintenance for agencies.
Price: $49/month for Premium, $99/month for Premium+, inquire for pricing on Enterprise
Support Services: Security monitoring, backups, WordPress updates, and theme and plugin updates are included with Premium. Premium+ includes adds an hour of support each month as well as a guaranteed response time of 30 minutes onto Premium’s services.
Additional Services: Contact Maintainn to discuss your custom needs.
Price: Not listed.
Support Services: Site backups, staging, performance checks, security monitoring, plugin support, reporting, and regular check-in calls.
Additional Services: They conduct discovery audits in order to create a customized support plan for each client and they also provide design, development, marketing, and migration services.
The WP Butler
Price: $41/month for individuals, $86/month for small businesses, and $188/month for enterprises
Support Services: Individual services include backups, malware scans, and WordPress core, plugin, and theme updates. The other two support service plans add ongoing site reviews, monitoring, and fixes as needed.
Additional Services: If you’re looking for more customized support, they offer a build-your-own-plan option.
Support Services: All WordPress updates, website backups, security monitoring, and cleanup.
Additional Services: They offer website modifications at a rate of $99/hour.
WP Site Care
Price: $79/month for the Protect plan, $299/month for the Professional plan, and $999/month for the Partner plan
Support Services: Protect includes site backups, WordPress updates, security monitoring and cleanup, video tutorials, and live chat. Professional includes everything in the Protect plan plus firewall setup, staging environments, uptime monitoring, front-of-the-line support, and development assistance.
Additional Services: The Partner plan includes much more support than you’d find with most other WordPress support services, including a dedicated account manager, SEO assistance, strategy planning, and more.
Price: $79/month for Standard, $99/month for Professional, and $199 for VIP
Support Services: 24/hour chat and email support and an unlimited amount of 30-minute jobs are offered to Standard users. Professional includes all the standard WordPress upgrades, security scan, site backups, and maintenance.
Additional Services: For VIP treatment, you can expect a 4-hour response time, dedicated QA of all work done on your site, and simultaneous job processing.
Support Services for Everyone
WordPress support services aren’t just for the large enterprise anymore. The top service providers of 2016 run the gamut of support coverage, so everyone from the individual blogger to the Fortune 500 company can get the support coverage they need.
Prices correct at August 2016