For those of you with clients…

Just a general question. As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t develop for clients, but I’m curious how it works with updates for you guys.

When you develop for a client does the site just remain stale (without software updates) until you get called back in? Or are you kept on some kind of retainer? Or do you check in from time to time with a suggested tweak? (And do you charge for that?)

  • phillcoxon
    • The Crimson Coder

    It depends entirely on how you want to do the work and what the client is like.

    I have some clients who are fairly technically competent so take care of keeping their own WordPress sites up to date.

    Most clients I will indicate right up front that I’ll be including pricing for ongoing maintenance to help them with updates, tweaks etc. They can choose to say no and hire me back later if they want – usually at a higher price than if they’d taken a maintenance contract.

    Something I also always recommend is that they have some sort of automated backup system whether it is Snapshot or Backup Buddy etc.

  • jeff_beyer
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    I would definitely suggest keeping an eye on updates, you don’t want to let things go too out to date, lest updating them causes some odd compatibility problem. Also updates may contain great new feature or support updates that can benefit the clients or the users of the site.

    We use WP-Manage for scheduled maintenance. Plus its easier when you can see all your sites together at once.

  • phillcoxon
    • The Crimson Coder

    This is why I like WPMUdev.

    I’ve seen and heard of WPManage before and it’s been on my todo list to look at but I just never clicked onto the idea of charging clients a monthly fee for active monitoring, backing up and updating of their sites.

    I can see this idea saving me time (keeping client sites up to date) and making a little extra revenue as well.

    WIN :slight_smile:

  • jjsararas
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Adam I’m looking at this very question myself right now. The majority of my clients have no interest in maintaining their own sites, so I’m structuring a monthly maintenance package to handle regular updates. My own version of ‘managed hosting’. Clients are happy to pay for it, but the key is to explain – as Phil mentioned – that they’ll end up likely paying you more for ad hoc updates, etc. But what I’m chewing on is pricing, because it’s time consuming to log in to multiple sites for updates on a regular basis – so the ManageWP service certainly seems like a great way to do this.

    For clarification – WP Manage is an old and apparently abandoned plugin that was designed for more control of your plugin udpates.

    ManageWP (aff link) is a service that let’s you update multiple websites from one dashboard: themes, plugins & core.

    In theory it sounds great, and I just grabbed a 10-site Standard from AppSumo (aff) for 50% off, but I’m struggling with it, and I think it may be too good to be true. I’m starting a new thread for help on that here:

    But I’d like to keep this discussion going and maybe even brainstorm some pricing models with other members if you’re open to it. Actual managed wordpress hosting like WPengine is around 20-35 / month and up. But that is way overkill for many of my clients in terms of hardware, and also doesn’t really include the kind of hands-on ‘management’ I want to provide – tweaking plugins, adding/changing when new ones come up, in other words really providing a client/site-specific service to take good care of and grow and evolve their sites.


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