Over the years, WordPress has built a solid reputation as a democratizing force on the internet. With this popular open-source platform, pretty much anyone can DIY their own website for very cheap (or even free).
Yet, even as user-friendly as WordPress is, the time it takes to maintain, update, troubleshoot, secure, and make improvements to your site can add up to a lot. If you’re a website owner “going at it alone,” you’ll likely end up in one of three camps (or in some cases, a combination of all three).
Issues Website Owners Face
The website owner who has absolutely no idea what they’re doing. “Hmm, should I hit the ‘update WordPress’ button or will that break my site? Why is my site blacklisted by Google? Uh-oh, why is this plugin suddenly no longer working? I have a site issue and my cheapo hosting provider is telling me to contact my developer. What do I do now?”
The website owner whose life becomes consumed by website maintenance. “Ugh, I’m spending more time researching how to maintain, troubleshoot, and improve my website than I am on running my actual business! Is this actually worth the labor I’m putting in?”
The website owner who is trying to take their site to the next level but isn’t sure how to get there. “What’s the best plugin for this very specific functionality I require? How do I improve my site speed and performance? How do I optimize my site for search engines? What should I be doing to prevent a site hack?”
If any of these hypothetical website owners sound like you, then it’s probably time to bite the bullet and bring in a professional. Hiring a dedicated in-house developer is likely a bit overkill for many businesses. Especially if you just need someone to periodically update WordPress, manage backups, make minor site updates, liaise with your hosting provider as needed, and provide timely, on-demand site support. That’s where a WordPress support agency comes in.
In this article, we walk through three of the most common challenges faced by WordPress site owners. And we explain how hiring a WordPress support agency, such as WP Site Care, solves these issues.
Challenge #1: Keeping Your Website Safe and Secure
WordPress websites comprise more than 32 percent of the internet’s top one million websites. It’s also the most widely used content management system on the internet — representing about 60% of all sites known to be using a CMS.
Given how versatile, affordable, and simple it is to use, it’s easy to see why WordPress is so popular. But there is a dark side to that popularity.
The sheer volume of WordPress websites out there is a major reason why cyber attackers are so attracted to hacking them. WordPress has sometimes been called the “Microsoft of the web” as a result. And due to the open-source nature of WordPress, certain WordPress security vulnerabilities may arise in certain plugins or themes. If hackers can exploit a vulnerability in a commonly used WordPress theme or plugin, they can hack thousands of websites at once.
Isn’t WordPress Secure?
Let’s be clear — WordPress isn’t an insecure platform in and of itself. The team that develops and maintains the core software releases regular updates and is very responsive to any security threats that crop up. That said, WordPress users do need to exercise due diligence and properly maintain their site. This is to ensure they aren’t opening themselves (or their site visitors) up to a security risk. This means:
- Carefully vetting plugins and themes before installation
- Updating your theme, plugins, and core in a timely manner
- Serving your website over a secure connection (SSL)
- Enabling two-factor authentication for site logins
- Limiting login attempts to prevent dictionary attacks
- Backup WordPress website in case all else fails
Even with all the due diligence in the world, bad things will happen. The problem is that many business owners don’t exactly have a lot of spare time to keep tabs on the latest cybersecurity threats against WordPress.
Ask yourself: Are you doing everything you can to secure your site and protect your site users? What recourse or support do you have to fall back on should you find yourself facing a worst-case scenario?
This is why a WordPress support agency is so valuable. For example, at WP Site Care, our WordPress security experts help prevent security issues from happening in the first place, and if your site is compromised, we know what to do to get you back in a good spot. This means you can spend less time worrying about whether your site is a security risk and more time running your business.
Challenge #2: Preventing Site-Breaking WordPress Updates
Update WordPress website in a timely manner is crucial for ensuring that your site is safe, secure, and performing well, but you have to tread carefully. Under certain circumstances, the simple act of clicking on an “Update” button in your WordPress dashboard can totally wreck your site — but why and how?
It all boils down to the open-source nature of WordPress.
Open-source development is brilliant for creativity, problem-solving, and other innovative technological leaps. In fact, it’s one of the reasons WordPress has risen to such dominance on the internet. If you require a specific type of functionality for your site, someone out there has almost certainly built a plugin that can address that need.
The complicating factor is that just as the WordPress core team releases regular updates, authors of plugins and themes must release their own updates in response. Therefore, if you update to a new version of WordPress without checking for plugin or theme updates first, you may end up breaking your site. (If this happens, we sincerely hope that you have a backup!)
When and How to Update WordPress Website?
Knowing when (or when not) to update your site can be overwhelming for the average WordPress user — especially when you consider that there are as many as three core updates released per month! That’s why having a WordPress support agency in your corner gives you peace of mind knowing that your core, plugins, and theme are all being updated in a timely and safe manner.
Another reason to hire a dedicated partner for WordPress support is that they can manage your backups and help you quickly restore your site should you encounter a site-breaking update. At WP Site Care, we back up our customers’ sites using BlogVault. During a rigorous evaluation of the best WordPress backup plugins, we found that BlogVault is the best backup plugin for most WordPress users. Its ease of use, affordability, and comprehensive set of features (including WooCommerce backups) makes it stand out.
Challenge #3: Getting the WordPress Support Experience You Deserve
If you have managed hosting, you might think that hiring a separate partner to handle your WordPress support and maintenance is unnecessary or redundant. After all, don’t many managed WordPress hosting providers now offer support and maintenance services?
Some hosts do offer limited technical support for WordPress sites. But the scope and quality of these services are ultimately limited by the realities of scalability. The simple fact of the matter is that scaling quality WordPress support is difficult.
To provide the scope of support and level of quality offered by a dedicated WordPress support agency, hosting providers must commit to building a customer support department comprised of experienced people who —
(a) can provide a personalized experience for clients, and
(b) know their way around WordPress
That last point is especially critical — simply hiring support people to monitor phones and email inboxes is not enough. WordPress support experts must be ready to diagnose and solve customer issues without needing to kick it up the chain to someone more experienced (or worse, giving up and telling you to “contact your developer for help”).
Finding a Good WordPress Support Agency is a Challenge
Ryan Sullivan, founder of WP Site Care, writes about the obstacles of acquiring that kind of talent to meet the demands of hosting provider’s massive customer base:
“In order to match the level of service and quality that we’re able to provide at WP Site Care, these hosting companies essentially need to have developers in all of their support positions. And even if they decide they can pay developer rates for support roles (I’ve never met one who was willing), finding a group of developers large enough that’s also willing to work support full-time is nearly impossible. Not to mention the internal investment for training and continuous education.”
WP Site Care is the largest WordPress support and maintenance agency in the world. Even as we continue to grow and take on new clients, we make it a priority to ensure that we always have experienced developers in customer-facing support positions. This allows our team to conduct advanced troubleshooting and provide truly actionable solutions. We won’t tell you to “contact your developer for help” because we are your developers!
In addition to troubleshooting work, a WordPress support agency also manages WordPress updates, backups, and site security. What sets WP Site Care apart from other site support agencies is our personalized concierge-level guidance. We regularly consult with our clients on how to improve the speed, performance, and search visibility of their sites. Major managed hosting providers are not equipped to offer specialized support experience on a large scale.
We recommend managed hosting to any individual or business that is serious about growing their digital presence and online revenue. But if you’re looking for a reliable service to maintain your site and provide you with expert guidance, your best bet is to partner with a dedicated WordPress support agency.
Simplify Your WordPress Site Management
Ready to streamline the management and maintenance of your WordPress site so you can truly focus on growing your business? Learn more about our WP Site Care plans.
This is a guest post by Catie Leary, Content Strategy Manager at WP Site Care.