How to build a WordPress maintenance plan for your clients

How to build wordpress maintenance plans

Building a killer WordPress website is a real challenge for digital agencies. Between the design, the coding, the project timeline, you better have experience and master the client needs and requirements. On top of that, as soon as your perfect websites go live, your WordPress instances will start to display these nasty red notifications: updates, updates, and… more updates!

The question is: should you also offer your clients a WordPress maintenance plan? The answer is: yes, definitely, but… better be ready for it! In this article, we’ll share with you some tips on how to build and sell WordPress maintenance packages to your clients.


WordPress maintenance plan - notifications

What is a WordPress maintenance plan?

The first thing to ask yourself is: how do I define a WordPress maintenance plan?
You know how it works: the client always wants more, so the limitations of your maintenance plan have to be crystal clear to avoid any misunderstandings. 

A typical WordPress maintenance plan would include:
– regular updates of the WordPress plugins used
– regular backups
– insights and stats
– theme updates
– reporting
– content updates
– …

To manage expectations, we advise you to be specific about your conditions: weekly plugin updates, weekly backup for instance. One major advantage for WordPress is that the ecosystem is constantly evolving. But it also means that there will always be things to update. 

Offering WordPress maintenance certainly does not require your presence behind a screen 24/7.  Your WordPress maintenance plan should be a highly calibrated and automated machine, running tasks on schedule. This will allow you to master the number of tasks to run, the time required, and of course your margin.


Why offer WordPress maintenance?

Every successful owner of a digital agency will tell you this: you can’t only run on one shot deals. Solid account management is vital in an agency, and long-term relationships and collaborations make your business grow in a sustainable way.

If you build WordPress websites as an agency, then we definitely think that offering a WordPress maintenance plan is a must have. We often get contacted by agencies on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The website they just launched for a client went bugging because of a conflict of plugins or an unstable update. 

The reasons every agency should offer a WordPress maintenance plan right from the start are numerous:

– it helps you maintain a long-term relationship with your client. Building their website is a first step, but keep in mind that the purpose of a website is to live and evolve. Enabling long term support will help you create recurring revenue streams.

– it helps you build satisfaction and trust towards your agency. Keep in mind that referrals play a major role in bringing new business: a happy client means potential new business on the horizon.

– it helps make projects clearer. Having a pre-built maintenance package will avoid you to spend unpaid support hours, and streamline the sales agreement right from the start.

How to build a WordPress maintenance plan

WordPress maintenance covers a large scope of tasks. We advise you to be very specific when building your maintenance plans, making sure you master the associated costs and margins for your agency.

A good place to start is to use two types of WordPress maintenance packages:

– a standard plan, covering: WordPress website backups, theme updates, plugins update, plugins compatibility testing, WordPress core updates.

– a more advanced plan, with extra services: guaranteed 24h response time, content updates, page debugging, guaranteed 48h turnaround time, weekly security updates,…

Ideally, your maintenance plans should also come with general terms and conditions, mentioning execution and response times for each task.

To be 100% reactive and prepared, we also advise you to use a solid ticketing system. 10 requests are easy to manage, but they soon become 100 and you need a solution to help you organize the work. Check our post about ClickUp here, a solution we love to work with.


How to sell this plan to your clients

Once you have built your maintenance plans and ensured you’re ready to go live, selling it to your clients should go smoothly.

The best step to do it is at the beginning of any new website project. Most of the time, offering a WordPress maintenance plan will give you a serious competitive advantage and reassure the client about your agency.

Some tips you can use to sell your WordPress maintenance plans:

1. Play the “peace of mind” card.

Most clients will want the flexibility of a WordPress website, but without the technical hassle. Show them how your maintenance plan enables them to focus on content and forget about the rest.

2. Illustrate the “with or without” approach.

Without being scary about WordPress technical requirements, you can display a list of tasks the client will have to perform by himself, with or without subscribing to your maintenance plan. Do not hesitate to indicate in both columns the time required for the tasks.

3. Use the “security” approach.

Malwares, viruses, hacks, DoS attacks… so many things can go wrong with a non-secure WordPress instance! Demonstrate that subscribing to your maintenance plan leads to more security.

4.Highlight the user experience.

No bugs and optimized WordPress = better user experience. Most clients are expecting to offer the best possible experience to their website visitors. Highlight that a WordPress website can quickly generate bugs if not properly taken care of.

5. Upsell premium support.

If you go with at least 2 plans, include fast availability and on-demand content updates in your premium package. There will always be clients wanting to have everything sorted, so upselling your premium maintenance plan will work pretty well. 


Getting the help of a White Label WordPress partner

We strongly believe focus is key to the success of any business. As a digital agency, your primary focus should always be on the client: are they happy, how can you bring added value, how to help them grow…

When it comes to offering the best wordpress maintenance plan, there’s also no place for improvisation: as an agency, it is key to team up with a white label partner to take care of all technical operations induced by WordPress maintenance.

With more than 3,000 WordPress projects a year, we’re more than happy to help you do it. Our white label WordPress maintenance packages help you offer the very best to your clients, without being overwhelmed by all the technical hassle.

Want to know more? Get in touch with us!


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