When it comes to providing WordPress maintenance services and website maintenance cost, there are quite a few tools you can pick from in order to deliver your service.
In this article, I want to take a minute and break down a tool stack that I would personally use for selling care plans.
So, this blog post is not for website owners looking for details about website maintenance cost. It is written for agency owners and freelancers providing website care plans, to give them an idea for the cost they are facing to provide these services.
Just a small caveat to be transparent, while I led a team that managed 100+ websites in the past, I currently just have three websites of friends under management. My focus shifted a bit towards hosting virtual events, but still, I am quite involved with the WP community as you know 🙂
Let’s talk about tools I consider essentials in your maintenance stack. These will probably create the most expenses in your maintenance tool stack but I firmly believe you cannot offer efficient care plans without them.
1. Tools to manage all websites in one place.
You want to have a singular place where you can control all the websites you manage. This is the absolute must-have function of your tool stack.
Just imagine the hassle of having to log in to even just 25+ websites for installing updates one by one. That would be a recipe for failure, not to mention the wasted hours and hassle of managing tons of logins securely.
My personal favorite tool is MainWP.
I currently use the free version to manage all my own websites. You simply set up a vanilla WP and install the MainWP dashboard in there.
Make sure to lock down that WP installation hard, because if a hacker compromises that, he would have access to all the sites you manage as well. Pro tip, I run WebARX Security on every site and have excluded
Alternatively, you can look into Blogvault. Blogvault comes with a very powerful set of functions that go far beyond just installing updates. You can set up staging copies of websites with a single click, run backups (even in real-time for WooCommerce), or lock down the sites if you combine Blogvault and Malcare.
It’s not the cheapest tool there is but you can factor in the costs into your care plan prices.
I will not recommend ManageWP in this email, because I made very bad experiences with it in the past. Message me on Twitter if you’d like to learn more.
2. Protection tools (that definitely should add to your website maintenance cost).
Obviously, you should include a tool to protect the websites you manage from data-loss and being hacked. While this adds to the website maintenance cost your stack produces, a good security tool will save you hours when a site actually gets hacked.
As mentioned earlier, Blogvault includes the backups (and very reliable backups I may add). If you don’t want to worry about backups, Blogvault is as good as it gets.
UpdraftPlus, BackWPUp or WPvivid Backups are alternatives that work well when you’re using MainWP.
Backups are one side of the coin – protecting your managed websites against bots and hackers is another one.
If you are using Blogvault, it would make sense to use Malcare for this aspect of security. Malcare tightly integrates into Blogvault because it is developed by the same company.
If you aren’t using Blogvault, Malcare still is a great option. My personal favorite tool however is Webarx Security. I’m friends with both the founders of Webarx and Blogvault/Malcare – you truly cannot go wrong with either solution.
There are tons of other security plugins out there which I will not go into. I might write a dedicated blog article about this in the future though.
3. Speeding up the websites
Another common feature in care plans – and the last one I’ll dive into in this email – is speeding up your customers’ websites.
I would highly recommend going with a plugin that lets you control all settings from one place, like in MainWP.
When I was managing the 100+ websites, we had no go-to caching plugin (grown structures, you know?), and optimizing all sites for loading speed was a mess.
Ideally, you can apply a default caching configuration to all sites and then customize as needed (e.g. excluding pages and cookies on WooCommerce sites).
My two favorite plugins for loading speed optimization are WP Rocket and Swift Performance Pro. WP Compress is great for image-heavy websites.
On a side-note, you can save 15% on Swift Performance Pro by using my custom coupon: WPAGENCYSUMMIT.
As usual in the WordPress ecosystem, there are tons and tons of speed optimization plugins to chose from.
If in doubt, I would always go with paid plugins and test their support. Often times, this separates the good plugins from the bad plugins easily.
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I hope this article helped you and shed some light on how you can deliver your website care plans easily. As you can tell, there are quite a few tools that increase your expenses when offering maintenance plans.
Another tip I have for you if you want to get more care plan customers is to invest in the Website Care Plan Funnel Pack.
Essentially, you are getting a fully-functional funnel to generate leads and convert them into customers through your website.
All the best,