Maintenance Plan for first wordpress site

Hi Ive just nearly finishing my first ever wordpress site for a client/friend . My question is about how to set up a maintenance plan. My client has no experience using wordpress so won’t know about updating themes, plugins and wordpress. Would I then offer them a care plan for myself to update the plugins , themes etc. Or should I just show them how to do so.

I did plan on just making the client a Editor not administrator just because the admin page may be slightly confusing but now I thinking twice about it. Because if the client doesnt want a care plan then obviously they wont be able to update anything.

How much would a maintenance plan be if I were just to update plugins, themes and wordpress?

Anyone know any good resources where I could learn more about how to go about offering a maintenance plan that would be very helpful.

Most of my clients are not administrators on their WP sites. Because most of them know that it’s easier for them to have me on call to check the technical stuff. With them I’ve got an annual plan, so maintenance is included already.

Now, there are a couple of others that I do not have on the annual plan. I offer them the option to have me on call, and I mail them when there’s a big update (specifically security updates, like the last one WP did). Or the option to pay me monthly, as for how much, my exchange rates are skyrocketed so probably not a good comparison. But usually, I have a plan for Backups and Updates/Maintenance that is really low cost.

How do I manage several sites on different servers and such? MainWP is awesome and Open Source

This allows me to have a price that is not really high, and I can control almost everything without having to go to each individual site.

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I spend part of the weekend helping a friend with her WP site, which a contractor set up for her, didn’t give her admin access, and then became un-contactable when he stopped contracting and got a full-time job. Fun times.

So while I agree that giving admin access to a client isn’t always a great idea, I’d also make it available to them somehow (maybe as a secondary account, in case of emergency only?), if only because it’s terrible for someone to be locked out of the site they paid for.

I really like @lesthertod’s advice on MainWP for updates and maintenance.

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You could use an hourly rate, or a fixed fee per update. But bear in mind that WP updates quite often and you may find some plugins break after an upgrade so bear that in mind.

Ugh, there’s nothing worse than a contractor/freelancer/other-company to go missing… It’s quite irresponsible to not to hand over all the data and credentials when you know that you’re not going to be in the project anymore.

And agreed, on a couple of projects I made an account that I explained them like this: ‘this is a God-mode account so beware of what you delete/change there, by no means be afraid of it, just be cautious’. After that, I told them about the backup functions. Needless to say, the account has not been used yet. But as you mention, for emergencies it’s reassuring to know you’re able to access everything.

On the other hand, if you’re charging for such services, I guess that if the client needs to do something, you’re not doing your work properly.

So should I offer a clients three options:

  1. You can update it yourself.
  2. Outsource it
  3. I can do the updates for you.

Do some people actually not offer any care plan after. Or is common knowledge that you should offer a service?

It’s normal to offer ongoing client support, whether that’s software upgrades, enhancing the current site, copywriting/SEO, marketing and so on. You don’t have to offer them all but clients are usually assured if you are there in case there’s any problems or something that needs doing.

For your original question about software updates, the majority of clients will be clueless, that’s what they hired you for to do all the tecchy stuff!

Your three options:

You can update it yourself.

-most clients won’t want to do that, even with a built in updater like WP has

  • if something goes wrong with the update they’ll call you anyway

Outsource it

  • that means finding someone you can trust with sensitive data , logins etc

I can do the updates for you.

  • that’s probably the best option, you built the site so you will be familiar with it

I’d not offer the option to look for anyone else to do something you can do. Unless you either don’t want to work with/for them or you don’t have the time/infrastructure/expertise to do it.

Mainly because you’ll be kind of hinting them that you are not essential to them.

If you’re meaning for the outsource that you’ll find for them someone to do it. Unless you can find someone that you can trust a lot, it’s going to be real hard. Mainly because the clients won’t care if they break/delete/sell/whatever, their contract and trust are with you/your brand.

As for your other question, I have two types of clients: on-going and boom-boost. The first one is the one we’ve been talking about. The former are just the ones that come ask for “a website” and leave. They are not into web optimization or oddly enough about SEO and such. For them, a website is just like an ad on the yellow pages, or a to-do item to “have” and mark it as complete. The maintenance is a chore for them. And some even say that it’s not something they will look into actively, so beware of what you sign for.

Nevertheless just work out a nice workflow and set it so it fits your times (and theirs) and you’ll be good to go with a “package” pricing. And as usual if they want something different tailor the prices as you see fit.

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