This is focused towards those who make a living or at least generate an income from selling custom WP websites to clients.
I am quite new to producing custom themes in WordPress and really like the look of WordPress as a CMS having read a few books on it and produced a few of my own custom themes for clients.
I work for a small agency and have started using wordpress for client sites. It seem much better/flexible/easy-to-work-with than the other CMS that we use here but the more I do the more I get concerned about future support.
I mean, these free and awesome plugins that are updated regularly, what happens if the developer just stops and the latest version of WordPress ‘breaks’ the ‘old’ version of the plugin. Does that mean my clients site will just stop working one day?
I would love to know how others who generate income from providing clients with a CMS (and using WP) deal with this prospect.
What I am also interested in is how people deal with updating WP to the latest version for clients, or whether they let the client hit the ‘update WP now’ button. Do you add it into the service agreement and check every few weeks if anything neeeds updating or something else?
Not sure if this is the best place to ask the question, but would be really interested to here people’s views
Assuming your clients are mostly hands off… I’d build it into your service agreement to manage updates for them… this allows you to review the configuration and what might break before it occurs and allow you to plan for it.
The ongoing support/maintenance/development of a site is almost more important than the initial setup… making clients understand the complexity of a dynamic website and evolving software/technologies, setting expectations and having a clear and comprehensive service agreement is extremely marketable and where your customers must see the value. If your agency doesn’t already emphasize this, then you are asking the right questions for sure… I imagine you will get some great feedback in this thread from others in a similar position or with past related experience.
Licensing is important when it comes to what plugins/addons you are going to utilize… … you want to ensure that if the developer abandons the plugin/addon, that you will have sufficient rights to develop the plugin/addon yourself(or hire someone to do so) and allow you to maintain your client websites or possibly even re-release the plugin/addon for the entire community.
So the way to do it is to just be very up front about the sytstem that you are using and some areas it may have weaknesses and a plan to deal with them.
Also, I guess a lot of clients would be concerned that the WP core has many regular updates, but this can also be (and is) ultimately a good thing. I’m aware you can restrict the user from seeing the update messages too