You are getting pretty good at WordPress. You are wondering if you can save some money and take over your own website maintenance. How hard can it be to maintain your own WordPress website? Sure you can do it. Absolutely! And if you have been one of our WordPress Website Annual Care clients, we’ll even help make that happen for you. You might not want to though, after you see what it will cost.
What it will take:
- Your own hosting account,
- Your own premium plugins,
- Your own copy of the theme framework and child theme.
There might be more but that will usually cover it. Let me know before the end of your annual plan and I’ll check your site for specifics.
You might already have your own hosting, in which case this can be checked off. If you are in our shared hosting, you’ll need to find and pay for your own hosting account. We can give you recommendations. Some hosts will move your site for free, others will move them for a charge, or we can move it for a charge. If you are using our managed hosting, and we highly recommend it, we’ll just transfer that account to your own account and credit card. Your monthly charge might go up a little.
Basic, out of the box WordPress is incredible. It does so much. However, we always want some additional functionality. Security, site backups, contact forms, photo management, each site needs its own combination of plugins. “Plugins” is what we call the software that gives WordPress the additional features.
There are many great free of charge WordPress plugins and we use them. However, sometimes the free options just are not exactly what we need and a premium plugin is the better choice. “Premium plugin” means a plugin you have to pay for. We buy licenses (usually annually) for these plugins for our maintenance client sites. You’ll need to choose a free plugin or buy your own license to the premium plugin if you are going to maintain your own wordpress site.
We’ll let you know what plugins your site has that we paid for and will have to remove and what they do. The one plugin and service that we use with nearly every maintenance client site is BackupBuddy and Stash Live. That will probably cost you about $80/year but we really recommend it! You should have some kind of backup software and BB handles the software, content, and database backups in one step. We use it to store your site backup offsite on Stash, and download a backup to my hard drives before doing updates, plus we keep a couple in the hosting account. That gives us three locations for backups. We need that to feel comfortable. You also have solid backups if you are in managed hosting. My experience with shared hosting backups is that if you need a backup, the host will have some wild excuse for why they haven’t been backing up your sites.
We use the Genesis Theme Framework and child themes to control the appearance of your site. That sounds more complicated that it really is. The folks at StudioPress did a great, great job. Using their well-coded themes makes your site look good and it improves site security. Generally, you buy a license for them for about $100 and you are good to go. You can use this link to StudioPress Themes for WordPress (affiliate link) to purchase your themes.
Yes, you could can change to a free theme. Please, please don’t even think about that. It’s not so much that the free themes are not good themes. Some are very good. But if you are going to maintain your own WordPress website, you want to get the hang of that first and learn theme customization later.
Basically, you’ll just need to keep things backed up and updated and unbroken and unhacked. Learning to maintain your own WordPress website is not rocket science, you can do it. It just takes time, a good system, and some cash. And of course we are always happy to help on a task by task basis in the future. Our hourly rate is higher than it is for maintenance plan clients, but we are still here to help.
It might just be easier and less expensive to join* or continue one of our WordPress Service Plans.
*Only available to our site building clients.