How To Make Money Offering A WordPress Maintenance Service
How would you like an extra $100-$300+ per client every month? If your WordPress development, design or marketing business isn’t offering a WordPress site maintenance package you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Give your clients peace of mind and spare them the horror they would suffer if left to their own devices, all while establishing yourself as their go-to, one-stop web solution. It’s a win-win!WPMU DEV UPDATE — OCTOBER 2020
If you’re thinking, “sounds amazing, but I don’t got time for that”, don’t worry. In this post I’m going show you how you can add WordPress maintenance to your business using automation and partnerships with 3rd-party services. We’ll also look at how to price your services and manage your costs so you can earn a healthy profit. If you’re looking to increase your bottom line, this is for YOU.
Pricing maintenance services is an ideal way to get started with value-based pricing. With value-based pricing, you’re not tying your pricing to your hourly rate, but what your client receives in return. This allows you to charge a higher rate.
More money sounds great, right? So what’s the catch?
Well, being able to prove how much value you’re bringing can be difficult to communicate. When you’re building a fresh site, you can’t predict with certainty how your talents will benefit the business, but with maintenance services, it is a whole different story.
If you know how much their site makes per day or per month, you can turn your clients’ focus on what they could lose if their site goes down, which can be a lot depending on how much their site makes.
For example, a site that makes $500 per day can lose thousands if it is down for several days. Within that context, paying several hundred dollars a month to protect the site makes sense. It’s like insurance.
Communicating how you add value by protecting their site on an ongoing basis is essential. When you offer maintenance services, make sure you send ongoing reports on the status of their site, so your client will take notice of your behind-the-scenes efforts. The Hub can help you with this.
work work work work
When your site maintenance fee is no longer tied to how much time you spend, you can create time-saving shortcuts that will benefit your bottom line. Ain’t that nifty? You get rewarded for becoming more efficient.
- You can maximize your profits by only offering services that return high value for minimal manual work.
- Create processes and checklists so you can work quickly.
- If you have to complete a task on an ongoing basis, you should look for ways to automate it so you can save time.
How to Set Up Your WordPress Maintenance Service
Doing the Work in House
If you want to maximize revenue and take full responsibility for your clients’ sites, you’re going to need some tools and/or plugins to help you get the job done.
To keep your costs down, remember the following:
- Automate everything (well, almost everything)
- Choose tools and plugins that do not charge you a license per site
- Avoid hosts/services that charge an additional fee for ecommerce or multisite
WPMU DEV gives you all the tools you need to start your own WordPress maintenance business included with your membership.
Not only does WPMU DEV offer you everything above without restrictions on number of sites, ecommerce or multisite, but you also get access to a wealth of additional plugins, our top-notch support team, member forums, The Hub, white label reporting, and more.
WordPress Maintenance Services to Offer Your Clients
To provide a full-service website solution, here’s some website maintenance services you can offer your clients.
Scheduled Cloud Backups
Even if the host your client is using already does backups, you really should have backups in multiple places. Snapshot Pro makes this easy. offer automated daily backups as a precaution to protect your site. If your host doesn’t offer daily backups or if you want to create a backup in a different place, you can use a plugin like Snapshot Pro to schedule automated backups.
Having a reliable backup is critical and redundant back-ups protect against both user and technical error.
Plus, not all backups are clean. If a site was hacked and no one noticed for awhile, all the backups might have nefarious files. This is something that you prevent by keeping clean copies.
Speaking of hacking, actively seeking out vulnerabilities will show you what needs to be improved. There’s plugins that can scan your site for known vulnerabilities and return a list of suggested improvements.
Defender runs automated security scans and sends you vulnerability reports and safety recommendations that you can pass along to your client.
This can also open up the opportunity for you to suggest necessary changes to your clients that can bring in more revenue for you.
While WordPress makes it easy to automate plugin, theme and core updates, you need to make sure the update doesn’t wreck your site. You need to be able to test updates on a staging site and see how the update affects critical functionality.
Setting up a staging environment can be sort of a hassle, so choosing a host that offers this is the best way to go.
A staging environment is also helpful for testing new features. If you already went through the trouble of setting up a staging environment for updates, you can let your clients know that you can test changes to their site as well. This should give you the opportunity to do some custom development that you can bill at your hourly rate.
A site that is periodically down loses its credibility in the eyes of visitors and search engines. Sometimes your visitors will let you know there is a problem and other times, they might go to your competition.
This is why monitoring uptime is so important. Sending your clients an Uptime monitoring report can show them that you’re making sure their site is available at all times so they don’t miss a sale.
Think of cleaning up your database like a pre-move garage sale. The less you have, the easier it is to move.
Decluttering your database will allow backups to happen faster and use fewer resources which may save you a bunch on hosting.
Deleting unused plugins, unused themes, spam comments, excessive post revisions, unused tags/categories, processed form entries, unused images manually or with cleanup plugins will give you better site performance.
Not to mention that deleting unused plugins and themes prevents hacking through outdated files.
As I mentioned earlier, reports are a valuable tool to help you communicate your value to your clients. Some valuable optimization reports can focus on SEO, site speed and performance, and analytics.
Look for reports that you can automate and white label for maximum efficiency.
Bringing it All Together
Since maintenance is ongoing, I suggest a monthly pricing model. You can have a flat rate or split your services into multiple tiers.
For example, one tier for services that are easily accomplished and a VIP tier that includes support and/or custom development so you can still turn a nice profit. For support, you can charge an additional fee for on-call phone support.
The key is to set the expectation that your time is not free so that you don’t have clients asking for more and more.
Make sure you outline what each plan covers in detail so that your clients know where their plan begins and ends.
Better yet, include a maintenance and support package for a few months with your initial site builds. They’ll get used to the benefits of having you watch their site and will miss it when the service expires.
While automation can help you grow your business exponentially, a WordPress maintenance business is not exactly passive income. So what happens if you can’t keep up with all your client work and all the maintenance work?
Lucky for you there are 3rd-party services ready to partner with you.
You can act as a “broker” and work with other businesses who offer WordPress maintenance services. Develop a partnership or simply act as an affiliate.
Acting as a maintenance service broker means:
- Minimal time investment on your part
- Less revenue coming in
Here’s some WordPress maintenance service providers that you can outsource some work to. I also suggest checking out their sites so you can see some examples of how to market your services.
Starting at $99 per month
Includes updates, backups and Sucuri security monitoring, support
Starting at $59 per month (additional fee for eCommerce sites)
Includes weekly updates, security monitoring, backups, weekly service reports, support
Starting at $59 per month
Includes uptime monitoring, backups, updates, monthly reports, free hosting for one year, free domain name, support
WP Site Care
Starting at $79 per month
Includes backups, updates, security monitoring, hack cleanups, support
Starting at $35 per month
Includes free SSL, CDN, Managed Hosting, Support, Weekly updates, uptime monitoring, monthly reports
Starting at $50 per month
Includes weekly reports, weekly updates, uptime monitoring, backups, Google Analytics connection
Pay by the project
If you just need extra help by the project use Codeable.io for reliable WordPress developer assistance. And as a WPMU DEV member, you get a special discount.
The price per month varies because some provide additional services such as custom development or hosting, so don’t let the different prices fool you. You might be comparing apples to oranges.
But with the right partnership you don’t have to worry about sacrificing quality or leave any money on the table.
That’s All Folks
You’ll find that offering maintenance services will allow you to build better relationships with your clients and do more ongoing work on their sites.
WPMU DEV can be your partner as you grow your maintenance business. All of these services are included in your WPMU DEV membership:
- Automatic Cloud Backups in multiple locations
- White label Reports
- Uptime Monitoring
- Security, SEO, and performance optimization
- The Hub site manager
- and much, much more
You can get more value out of your membership and start your maintenance business today without taking on additional costs. It’s a smart move on your part and will allow you to deliver the peace of mind that your clients need.