Should a WordPress site always have a web developer (or at least IT guy) on hand for maintenance?

Should a WordPress site always have a web developer (or at least IT guy) on hand for maintenance?

Talia

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When it comes to WordPress sites, it seems a lot can go wrong. Sites getting bloated and slow, security issues, keeping plugins updated, and general maintenance stuff. It makes me think, maybe it's not really a good idea to just make a WordPress site and hand it off to the customer. Maybe there should always be a "web guy" keeping an eye on things, checking in fairly regularly. Because otherwise, it seems like plenty of bad things can happen. Would you agree with this?

 

adam

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I'll say it depends. For a simple content site without any business critical functionality I'd be happy setting security & plugin updates to automatic and handing away to a client who can let me know if anything goes wrong. For anything above that I'd suggest monthly check-ups to run a quick 10 minute update & test. You can use tools like ManageWP or their many competitors to help automate this process and notify you of any security issues.

 

JacobHegwood

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There are a lot of variables that go into something like a "wordpress website" that would determine whether or not you need someone who keeps up with things. In general it's good to let someone qualified handle all of your wordpress updates, but it doesn't necessarily need to be the case if it's a small business website strictly for information. Let's say you have an ecommerce store that does $10,000 in sales every month. It would be a good idea to have someone monitor that, but still probably not enough for a single person to work on full time.

 

Evan

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It ultimately depends on what the client is comfortable paying for. If all they want is someone to design a website for them and that's all they are willing to pay for, you aren't responsible for anything that happens to it after you've handed it over to them (get this in writing!). I would recommend bringing up some sort of support or maintenance plan, or at the very least bring up the risks associated with not keeping the site up to date.

If they aren't willing to pay for support and/or maintenance, or simply can't afford it, there are alternatives out there that will at least help keep things updated. Services such as ManageWP will update plugins on a set schedule for instance (free), and of course I'd throw in Wordfence for security (also free). There are also a number of free back-up plugins (we use a paid version of Updraft Plus, but the free version should suffice). For a basic brochure site with 5 or so pages, and reliable hosting of course, I think the website would be okay in this instance.

Larger websites, such as 20+ page business sites or eCommerce sites absolutely need some sort of support or regular maintenance. Especially eCommerce.

In the end, it's up to the client. Whatever you both agree to, get it in writing! If they decide to take care of it themselves and **** hits the fan a few months down the road, they can't blame you if you both agreed to the terms and have it in writing.

 
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