I’m a web designer and developer and yes it would be great to have that extra income on offering website maintenance plans.
Why did I choose not to offer web maintenance as a service?
Because I went through hell and back taking over from a previous developer for a site I used to maintain.
The relationship between the site owner and developer didn’t end well.
The owner didn’t know the login to their hosting company, had no control of URLs purchased and the developer wouldn’t release the site to him because of a payment dispute. Needless to say I was stuck playing referee between the two of them.
The owner also wanted the site moved over to another hosting company. Migrating a site 6 years ago was not an easy thing.
Thank goodness these days there are hosting companies that do this for you or blog posts to guide you. This post by WPBeginner has it all covered.
I got lucky, in my situation the developer felt bad for me and helped with the migration.
Another Issue Developer Plugins
Plugins for your site in where the developer has the pro package and adds the plugin to the sites they maintain (a pro package allows adding the plugin on a certain amount or unlimited sites for a higher fee, generally this is a yearly fee).
Well what happens when the owner wants to have another developer maintain their site or they want to maintain the site on their own?
Developers aren’t required to pass on access to a premium plugin.
I encountered this issue with another site owner who needed some maintenance to their site. They didn’t know the login for the premier plugin and in order to update it I needed the license number.
So more time taken to reach out to the developer and wait to hear back.
Get Access to Everything That is Used to Run Your Site
If you are working with a web designer or developer to build your site, ask the right questions. A reputable person or firm will lay all that out for you in the discovery call, the contract or the major points of what is included in their services.
For Web Designers Who Offer Maintenance Packages
Many businesses don’t have the time or resources to maintain their own site.
If you’re a business that will offer maintenance services to your clients, make sure you have a clear contract on what is included with your web maintenance packages.
Are you making small content changes and charge for this service. Is there a separate charge for updating WordPress, and plugins?
You want to start your relationship right. Keeping your clients happy turns into referrals for future business. You should create a list of passwords for your client. Be transparent on what happens if the relationship should terminate.
Don’t be that person and hold back passing on the site to the new web business.
Businesses grow, they might need more than what you offer in your packages.
Or their cousin, niece, nephew or other family member might be breaking into the web design space and want that person to take over the site. It could be a multitude of reasons and in the online space it’s a good idea not to burn bridges.
You never know, they might not mesh with their new designer or web agency and come back to you.
I know of many designers or developers that pass business on to other designers or developers. You don’t want to have a bad review left about you on someone’s FaceBook post or tweeted in Twitter.
And, you wouldn’t want the same thing to happen to you while taking on new web maintenance business.
Outline what will happen upon termination, if the plugins you have are a pro package (plugins allowed on unlimited sites) will it be included in the change over (in my opinion I think clients should purchase all premium plugins needed for their site).
I have not worked with any WordPress maintenance companies but I did some research for you.
Here are some useful links if you ever need to go that route.
WP Tangerine As of this writing WP Tangerine was not included in the review above. I checked them out and they have good ratings. They offer three different packages, with the lowest being $147 per month and a FREE expert site review.
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What are your thoughts about wanting control over your site or having a company or web designer handle it for you?