Should you hire someone to maintain your WordPress site?
If you are trying to decide if, or why, you should consider hiring someone to maintain your WordPress site, this article is for you.
What does maintain a site mean?
It can include backing up on a regular basis, updating themes and making sure all plugins are the most recent release. It also includes keeping your site backed up in the event you need to restore after an issue.
The internet is constantly evolving as new threats are discovered and as technologies change.
There are very good reasons WordPress puts out new releases, theme designers offer updates and plugin authors update their code. Hackers work 24/7 and are very good at locating vulnerabilities in code. Once a vulnerability is found, it has to be fixed. These fixes are released to you. The ball is in your court to make sure these fixes are applied to your site. In many cases, the updates are one-click or automatic, so it very easy to do yourself.
But, before deciding whether to go it alone and maintain and update your WordPress site yourself, or hire a professional, you should carefully consider the options.
An option that should never be chosen is to do nothing.
It’s easy to just let it be, costs nothing (until something goes wrong) and you don’t have to spend time dealing with it (until something goes wrong). Failing to update, backup and maintain your website on a regular basis leaves your site vulnerable to security risks and compatibility issues that can break your site or cause certain functions of your site to work improperly. Having something go wrong with your site is a nightmare. Once something does go wrong, it is often necessary to hire a developer to troubleshoot, clean up and get your site back to form. Depending on what is wrong, your costs could be $500 or more. In addition, you will incur downtime. This can be devastating.
Hire someone or do it yourself?
My advice is to either hire someone to backup and update your site on a regular basis or learn to do it yourself. Both options are valid, but it ultimately comes down to your comfort level and knowledge of what makes WordPress tick.
Option #1 Do things yourself
If you decide to do things yourself, at the very least, you will need to know the structure of theme you are using, how to restore from a backup, and understand how to restore via FTP from a backup if the automatic restore doesn’t work. It’s highly recommended that you know the ins and outs of WordPress and are familiar with HTML, CSS, PHP and MySQL. Thanks to the internet, there are many educational resources at your disposal and you can certainly learn what you need to know, but realize there is a trade off in the form of the limited resource of time because there is a lot of time you will need to invest. And in most cases, time is money.
A few of the things you may encounter:
- Blank front page
- Inability to sign in to the admin interface to restore from a backup point
- Error codes
- Loss of functionality in certain areas of your site
There are so many other scenarios that may come up and if you are not familiar with the way things work and how to troubleshoot and fix things if something goes wrong, you risk downtime, and even worse, your site may be so affected that you may have to hire a developer or programmer to fix it for you. As you can clearly see, the cost can be great.
Option #2 Hire Someone
The most proactive option is to hire someone. Professionals usually offer several options based on frequency of services and what specific services are offered. Plans usually start around $75/month. Having these services in place can give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on what you are passionate about. I have one client who uses one of my plans and she recently told me she no longer loses sleep worrying about her site.