I am sometimes asked if paying someone to help you with administration and maintenance of your website a necessary expense. The answer I usually give is “yes, if you are not good about doing it yourself”. The problem with this answer is that it leaves the “good” part of doing it yourself open for interpretation, and that interpretation is usually done by someone fairly new to WordPress. This concerns me a bit because I know that there are thousands of people using WordPress for their blogs or websites who are doing little or none of the required maintenance and administration. I know this because a few of them are my own clients.
Who Needs Website Administration
Most of the time when I set up a website or blog for a client, they eventually want to take over the administration for themselves. Usually they do take the time to learn how to do this, but in a few cases, they do not. It is these folks I worry about. They have learned how to post to their blog. They have mastered uploading images and other content. In a couple of cases, they have over 50 posts to their blogs. But I know they are not even looking at their spam ques, updating their plugins, or occasionally updating to a more recent version of WordPress. I know a few of them do not ever backup their sites! Why do they take this dangerous approach to protecting their valuable content? I think it is usually a time and money issue. It takes some time to learn to do it yourself. It takes a little money to have someone else do it for you.
We provide administration and management services for WordPress & Joomla sites. Even though I charge by the hour, the cost to clients is generally only between $40 and $60 per month. For this they get their sites backed up, their plugins updated, their spam que checked, and access to me for emailed questions. Some of my clients are using their website for personal purposes rather that professional or business purposes. Usually the professional sees the importance of protecting their site’s content. Often the person with a personal site feels they can not afford to pay for administrative services and lets it slide.
The individual that I really worry about is the person who sees their website as part of their professional life, but does not feel the can afford the time or the expense to safeguard their content. I don’t see this that often, only a couple of times with people who are or have been clients. I have however, heard first hand, many sad stories that could have been easily prevented with a little time or money. If you have a WordPress site, I strongly recommend you make sure the administration and maintenance necessary to protect your hard work gets done… either by yourself or by someone you pay to do it. It is so important.
I had a client that could not initially afford to pay me for monthly administration. She understood that it needed to get done so she suggested she write two posts a month for me on one of my other websites in exchange for me backing up here site and checking her admin tasks twice a month. As she was a good writer, I readily agreed. She eventually became a monthly paid client. Now she has learned how to do it all herself but still occasionally writes a guest article. The key is that when you have a website, certain tasks need to be done one way or another. If they don’t get done, eventually you may regret it.