Creating the website of your dreams, whether you do the work yourself or hire a creative agency like ours to help complete the design and development, is typically a sizable investment of your time and your finances. As with any other purchase or investment, it’s necessary to routinely care for your website to keep it healthy and functioning well.
Let’s talk about what exactly a site care plan is – what’s included in a care plan (and what’s not) – and why you really should have one.
What Is a “Website Care Plan”?
A website care plan is exactly as the name implies – ‘health’ care and regular checkups for your investment. It is a bundle of necessary services to keep your website safe, secure, and functioning at its best. All of our plans include site and database backups, managed plugin and theme updates, uptime monitoring, security and performance scans, database optimization, and spam removal. Our larger plans also include fixing broken links and help with website content updates.
Ideally, your new website is one of the most valuable members of your team, and for that team member to work for you the way it should, it must be in optimal health. You can choose to spend time each week or month managing all of these individual tasks on your own, or you can ignore the alerts in your site dashboard (although we wouldn’t recommend it). Or you could hire a virtual assistant to help with some of the backend tasks for your website, though this is an added expense and a VA may or may not research and monitor plugin conflicts or software version bugs the way our team of developers do. The goal of our site care plans is to put our skills and knowledge to work for you so the upkeep of your website is one less thing stealing your focus, time, and money.
What’s included in our monthly plans:
We are often asked by clients or potential clients what services we include in each of our site care plans. Here is a quick recap and explanation of those:
- Weekly WordPress and Plugin Updates – We monitor each website for software version updates and perform those updates once weekly or when a ‘bug fix’ version is released.
- Weekly Full Database/Site Backups – In addition to the daily server backups (if we host your website), we also create weekly or twice-weekly backups stored safely in our maintenance dashboard.
- Weekly Database Optimization – We perform weekly database optimizations to reduce the size of the database and increase website performance.
- 24/7 Security Monitoring and Weekly Security Audit/Malware Scan – Because WordPress websites often represent around 90% of hacked websites (due to plugin updates that are left unattended), we run regular weekly security scans for all websites we host or maintain via site care plan.
- Weekly Spam Comment Cleanup – During normal weekly site maintenance and care, we also remove all spam comments, which is another layer of security for your website.
- 24/7 Uptime Monitoring – If your website goes down for any reason, we are notified immediately and can resolve the issue promptly.
- Tech Support (via email or scheduled call, depending on plan) – Our lower site care plans allow for a half hour of tech support time each month, via email or recorded video, while the higher level plans allow for a scheduled Zoom call when necessary.
- Discounted Add-on Hours (monthly billable time) – Any other site updates or support needed each month is billable at a reduced hourly rate for our site care clients (currently $50/hour rather than our normal $65/hour rate).
- Monthly Personal Site Check – Once per month, we will access your website dashboard directly (not via our maintenance dashboard) to be sure all is well.
- Discounted Website Hosting (on MRM’s server) – All of our site care clients receive a discount for their managed WordPress hosting on our private server.
Mid-level or higher plans also include:
- Content and/or Plugin Changes – Mid-level site care plans include up to a half hour of simple website content or plugin changes. We have several clients who use this time to schedule their monthly blog posts or add new events.
- Monthly Report – Each month, site care clients on a mid-level plan or higher will receive a full report that details all the care we’ve performed for your website in the previous month. This includes a recap of all the updates and backups, the uptime of your website, security performance, and any other relevant metrics you should know.
What’s not included in our monthly plans:
Our site care plans are designed to do just that – care for your website. Think of site care and maintenance like the app and iOS updates on your phone. Each month, we access your website via our maintenance dashboard and perform all pending “app” updates and ensure there are no conflicts with the updates.
As a courtesy for our site care clients, we are happy to spend up to a half hour per month offering email or video tech support to show you how to navigate certain areas of the website or perform content updates for yourself, even sometimes troubleshoot website issues for yourself. Not only do we prioritize building websites our clients can manage without us, we truly love educating them as needed once a site is launched.
When it’s necessary for our team to log into a website to solve an issue, correct a plugin conflict, or make a tech support type change, though, this is billable time and is not included in our monthly site care plans. Likewise, whenever a client on our lower level plan requests content changes, such as the addition of new speaking events or blog posts, this is billable time at our reduced hourly rate but not included in our monthly site care plans. Similarly, any of our other services, such as graphics, website hosting, or adjustments to third party services (like Google Analytics, the Search Console, or payment gateways for your eStore) would be outside of the scope of our care plans.
Why Do I Need a Website Care Plan?
Simply put, like any other investment, your website needs “insurance” or a “product protection plan.” You invested a lot of time and money creating a website you are proud of and that is performing great. A site care plan is necessary to ensure it stays that way so you can focus on your mission or business rather than worrying about being your own IT support.
More times than not, our team is aware of and has resolved website issues or errors well before anyone else even knew the problem occurred. That’s peace of mind and security you can count on. A hacked or compromised website can sometimes be extremely difficult and expensive to reclaim or restore. Preventive measures are a far more worthy investment (and much less costly).
As we say often, let us do what we do best so you can focus on your calling and purpose! Protect your investment by hiring us to protect your website.