Owning a WordPress website is like owning a car.
It will not run perfectly forever. WordPress requires periodic updates, usually about every 6-12 months, where the software is upgraded to the latest, safest version. Any maintenance work — updating pages, posts, graphics, core WordPress, themes and plugins — constitutes additional work not included in the web design and development project we do for you. If you’d like to hire us to do maintenance, we’ll give you an estimate for the work.
Maintenance and Software Updates
We don’t offer flat fee maintenance packages; the cost to perform updates is site-specific and depends on a number of factors:
- quantity and nature of plugins that are installed,
- # of plugins that need to be updated,
- age of theme, whether there’s a security update required
- components used by themes (e.g., the revolution slider was used by lots of theme makers and it had a security flaw that required partial theme updates for 25% of our clients)
- what’s new in WordPress. For example, if jQuery has been updated in WordPress, which is a toolset that powers a lot of the animation in themes, it could affect a large number of plugins. JQuery updates increases the amount of testing and fixing your site will need during an update.
In general, the cost to upgrade and test everything ranges from $250 for a very simple site with 5 plugins and a newish theme to $1000+ for a complex site with lots of content, extensively customized theme and 20+ plugins.
Our maintenance process includes making a full sandbox copy of the site on our servers, upgrading, testing, and then applying the updates to your live site.
If something breaks when we update on the sandbox, then we’ll come back to the client with an estimate to fix it or replace with a different plugin. This kind of thing happens very rarely, but we have to structure maintenance projects this way. WordPress plugins are all coded by different (many of them kick-ass) WordPress developers around the world. Some WordPress plugins are given freely out the goodness of a WordPress developer’s heart (such as our own Secure HTML Video Player plugin). Others are licensed for a fee. Still others are freemium, which is a blend.
The end result is a large volume of pretty good code, at a very reasonable cost. The code is managed pretty well by the WordPress community to ensure quality, but we can’t guarantee they’ll always be compatible with each other.
Does your website need a tuneup?