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Living life abroad, away from the UK, allowed me to re-explore my tech interests and a chance encounter with WordPress was my introduction to the CMS that I now use every day.
Now I am working freelance with WordPress exclusively. I work from home, remotely, but let me tell you one thing: it's not always an easy road. Working remotely isn't always the Instagram-worthy sunset many would have you believe!
Building solutions with WordPress is a great source of income, but chasing your own clients can leave you stuck in a money / client chase cycle. When I learned that other freelancers were earning recurring income by providing a "follow up" website for their clients, I began to research how I could do that as well.
It didn't take long for me to stumble upon ManageWP.
What is WordPress maintenance?
When you start a WordPress project for a client, you can pass the baton and walk away, but does your client have time to manage the website after you are gone?
Will they keep their WordPress installation up to date and protected once new security and maintenance releases are released? Will a busy business owner have time to update their plugins and WordPress theme so that the website is not vulnerable to hackers?
These are just a few of the issues most customers face once their WordPress website is up and running.
The chances that your customers will be able to do all of these things (and more) and run their businesses are very slim. This is where the monthly WordPress maintenance fee comes in. This is where you can add value after delivering an awesome website to your customer.
Keep your customers' website running smoothly month after month and they'll keep thanking you. The time and future stress you will spare them is invaluable, and the predictable monthly income you will receive will keep your business afloat during the good times and bad of freelance WordPress.
Problems and Obstacles to Providing WordPress Maintenance Services
When you start looking to offer WordPress maintenance services, one of the first things you'll likely do is explore what others charge and offer. You will notice that the services offered and the prices charged vary a lot among freelancers. This is because setting up your WordPress maintenance service should make sense to you and your business.
You need to be able to provide great service, which means charging enough to be able to deliver that value.
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What to offer your customers on an ongoing basis, what to charge for this work, and how to deliver it efficiently are the biggest issues you will have to overcome.
Fortunately, the folks at ManageWP are supporting you. Using the simple pricing system and the range of features, you can design a WordPress maintenance service that makes sense for your business and your customers.
Use ManageWP to deliver WordPress maintenance packages
Managing multiple WordPress websites for different clients without the help of ManageWP would involve keeping tons of different login details and manually logging in at each installation to check for updates. Not to mention creating individual backups for each website and then updating things quickly and safely.
If this sounds like tremendous pain, that's because it is. Not only is it painful, but it also takes a long time. And time = money.
The time you would spend logging into each customer website, performing manual backups and updates, sifting through and removing spam comments, and performing performance checks would reduce your profits. To make it worth it, you'll need to pass a relatively high monthly fee on to your customers, making it difficult for them to convert to a monthly plan.
For freelancers providing monthly maintenance services, ManageWP has made it all go away. In your dashboard, you will be able to easily see your clients' websites and any live personal projects you have. They are presented as a list, color coded and labeled by customer, if you want!
The color of a listed website turns orange if action is required. If all goes well, it will stay green.
Bringing together all the websites you manage gives you a central place to visit when spending time on maintenance tasks. Safely bulk update of plugins is a snap.
How to create your first WordPress maintenance packages with ManageWP
Before you can start offering this service to your customers, you need to know how much ManageWP will charge so you know what to include in your packages and how to tag your services to make your work profitable.
ManageWP allows you to add an unlimited number of WordPress websites for free and then pay individually for the services you provide to your customers. Not all of your customers will need the same services. ManageWP allows you to pay per service, per website, which comes in handy when structuring your maintenance packages.
Now that you know how much each individual service will cost, it's time to figure out what to include in each package.
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What to include in your WordPress package offering
Most independents offer a 3-tier service with increasing price and functionality:
Level one (often referred to as something like Basic, Bronze, or Beginner), typically supports small businesses, bloggers, and individuals. Use the features of ManageWP to include maintenance basics like monthly or weekly backups and essentials like plugin, theme and base updates, performance checks, security scans and deletion unwanted comments.
At this level, you might also want to add uptime monitoring which is a paid service of ManageWP ($ 1 per month, per website). Your customers with critical websites will appreciate the peace of mind that comes with knowing their website is up and running.
Advice for beginners: You can add your prices if you want to automate some of these things using ManageWP, or if you want to perform tasks like security and performance scans manually from the dashboard, you can continue to do so. for free on an unlimited number of websites. This is ideal when you are just starting out. Ultimately, it depends on your personal preferences: pay minimal automation fees or spend time manually running scans and updates. If you choose to automate and pay the small monthly fee, collect the monthly payments from your customer before providing the maintenance service and you will have no upfront fees.
Level two (this can be called Business, Silver, or Advanced) typically includes all of the functionality of level one, but also has functionality that will target your customers who run small and medium businesses with websites that change often.
They will appreciate services like daily backups (and restores if needed), daily security and performance monitoring, as well as uptime information and referral reports.
The third level (often referred to as professional or agency) targets business clients whose websites generate revenue. These customers will be so busy managing other aspects of their website that they will love to hand over the technical tasks to you.
Here you can offer everything on levels one and two, as well as additional services tailored to your clients.
The additional services you include here will depend on the type of clients you are working with. Some may be happy to hand in small content tasks to keep their content up to date and up to date. Others may want additional SEO services where you track keywords for your client's website as well as their competition (yes, throughout ManageWP!) And include SEO reports for them as well. You will need to assess the types of clients you have and decide which services to include based on that information.
Start a WordPress maintenance service with ManageWP
You have the freedom to choose the services you want to provide. It all depends on what makes sense for your business. You have the freedom to choose what you want to invoice and be responsible for it as well.
With ManageWP's easy pricing model, you will be able to easily develop a multi-tiered WordPress maintenance service that gradually increases in price and features, allowing you to serve a wide range of customers.
Additionally, as all maintenance takes place through your ManageWP dashboard, all activity is logged and can be compiled into a personalized report for each of your customers, branded with your logo. You will be able to provide something tangible to your clients that will help them see the work you have done for them.
Maintaining WordPress is a valuable service, so be sure to show your customers what you have done to keep their website safe.
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Have you recently set up a WordPress maintenance service? How did you organize your services and prices? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.