Running a website is hard. There are many areas to focus on, from content creation and admin to updates and security. Here’s how to untangle your WordPress management mess—and get a system in place so your website works.
Structure’s mission is to deliver the best website design, build, and management experience available and ultimately improve our client’s business by helping them turn their website into an asset instead of a liability.
In this article, we’ll help you do that by explaining what WordPress management is, what you should know, and how to find help.
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Why WordPress Management & Maintenance Is Important
First, like any home you’ve ever owned, all WordPress websites need to be managed (in some way or another). The depth of management needs varies highly depending on the complexity of the website, but they all need to be tended to.
Managing a website is like managing a house
If you have a small house, a simple family, and low foot traffic, your house will endure less wear and tear and require less maintenance.
However, if you have a larger house, a more complex family, and entertain often, your house will endure more wear and tear. It will therefore require more maintenance.
When you’ve got a busy house, it’s a party! But the walls get scuffed up, the dishwasher goes out, and a window gets broken now and then—the same thing with your business.
If you’ve got a small website with only a few things going on, it will require much less maintenance. You might be able to go months without making an update.
However, suppose you have a more extensive website that integrates with complex business systems and workflows, stores customer account data and supports high traffic through a blog. In that case, your website will require more maintenance.
The biggest problem is that most website managers have been burned at least once by WordPress developers with poor communication and minor to no professionalism. This makes finding website management a frustrating experience. Who to trust? Where to turn? What to spend?
The Problem with WordPress Management
1. You think you don’t need to manage your WordPress website
I recently had a conversation with one of our clients who was considering signing up for the Essential WordPress Management Package. During our conversation, he mentioned his reservations about buying the package.
“My only reservation is that we had the prior website up for a number of years without any kind of website management. It seemed to always run fine without any extra fees or work.”
Fair comment! However, he didn’t know it was severely outdated when I logged into their website for the first time to start their redesign project.
An outdated WordPress website like this opened them up to massive security vulnerabilities, and it’s a wonder their site didn’t get hacked. I’ve seen it happen before!
It was so outdated that elements on the website’s front end were broken (like its header navigation), keeping customers from finding certain pages. The logo wasn’t even showing. That’s why you need to manage your WordPress website.
What happens if you do actively manage your website
Here are a few wins when you keep up on updates and general management:
- Fix security vulnerabilities
- Repair functionality bugs
- Add updated security features
- Replace and update functionality
- Improve the performance of the whole ecosystem
Another one of our WordPress website management clients likens the management and maintenance tasks to getting an oil change in their car. To keep the engine running like a well-oiled machine, you’ve got to change the oil frequently.
What happens if you don’t actively manage your website
By not managing your site correctly and performing routine updates, you risk:
- Your site is broken or down
- Customers can’t checkout or contact you
- Content formatting is missing or broken
- All of your information gets stolen
- Your site is transformed into another site
- Your site is used to spread viruses and malware
You may not notice any issues immediately if you don’t manage your website. Updates don’t fix what will happen. They fix what may occur, and what may happen is far, far worse.
Keep your WordPress website up to date. It fixes potential issues that could ruin your site, reputation, data, and everything. Hopefully, you don’t find yourself a target. But if you are, it will be a massive problem.
2. You think you can do it yourself
Yes, you can manage your WordPress website yourself. However, I’ve never seen anyone do it!
At a minimum, WordPress Management involves regular (ideally monthly) WordPress Core, Theme, and Plugin updates.
At a maximum, management involves:
- Adding Security and Firewall Protection (and monitoring it), so you don’t get hacked,
- Activity Reporting so you can look back and see who did what on the backend of your website… and when,
- Uptime Monitoring so we get alerted the moment your site goes down (if it ever does), and we can resolve it (no joke, this happened to a client this morning, and we were fixing the issue 30 minutes before they even realized the site was down), and
- Daily Backup Storage so your site can be restored to a functioning machine if there’s an issue.
Our Website Management packages include all of these items. We also test all updates on a Staging site before updating our client’s Production site. That way, we catch bugs or broken items before they affect website visitors. This requires thorough knowledge of the website and Quality Assurance testing to ensure that everything works as intended after updates are made.
Lastly, we ensure you get a Dedicated Account Manager, 24-hour Response Time (During the Workweek), and a Monthly Detailed Website Report. Hence, you have full access and visibility into our work.
You might be website savvy and have time to do all this yourself. In that case, you don’t need our help!
Focus on growing your business
But most of the time, our clients don’t want to be bogged down managing their websites. They’d rather have us keep watch and make the necessary updates.
I seem to have many analogies for website management, but one of them is that I like to think of website management as property management. If you own one or more properties, you could manage them yourself.
However, then you’re the one who’s on the hook managing them and responding to issues when they arise. That’s precisely the reason many opt to hire a property management company. They don’t want to do it themselves.
We’ve found that those who say they want to manage their website themselves don’t want to manage their website themselves. They don’t want to pay for website management at all. You don’t let your business books go outdated without adverse downstream effects. Neither should you ignore your WordPress website.
Don’t fool yourself by thinking you’ll keep your website updated if you won’t. Hire a professional to help.
3. You think you can hire a freelance WordPress developer for less
Unprofessional, overpriced WordPress website developers are the reality for so many businesses. This is a severe problem in our industry—and one Structure doesn’t take lightly.
Because of these “bad experiences,” a handful of myths float around about WordPress Website Management, making it hard to see the value in hiring professional help. One of them is that WordPress website management is expensive.
If you’ve heard it said that “WordPress” management is expensive. That usually means paying high upfront costs, long-term commitments, or surprising fees that can feel like nickel and diming.
On the other hand, some WordPress website management is cheap. So cheap that it can only be offered at such a low price because it’s either outsourced overseas or low-quality.
At Structure, we’ve set a small monthly fee with no upfront or long-term commitment. Furthermore, you can lower your monthly fee by consenting to an annual commitment. You save quite a bit of money if you commit to a year!
For example, our Essential WordPress Management Package costs no more than outsourcing bookkeeping with Bench. If you can pay a minimum of $249/mo (when paid upfront) to ensure your books are in order, you should be able to pay a minimum of $249/mo (when paid upfront) to ensure your website is in order.
WordPress management and maintenance options
You’re convinced that you need to manage your WordPress website actively. You have a few options for keeping it up to date.
1. Manage your own WordPress website
This is an excellent option if you’re website savvy and have the time. You can download plugins, configure settings, and update your site yourself. This is a good choice if you don’t plan on making frequent changes to your WordPress website.
In this case, you’re either completely savvy, or you have a simple website and little to no traffic that would be interrupted if there was an issue.
2. Create an in-house WordPress website management team
This is an excellent option if you have the budget and resources available. You can hire a team of experts to manage your WordPress website. This allows you to control every aspect of website management and maintenance.
One of the most significant benefits of having an in-house team is that your response time to any issue will be almost immediate—and you’ll have the resources to tackle the issue. However, to build a full-stack in-house WordPress website management team, you’ll need the following specialized roles:
- Web strategist
- Web designer
- Web developer
- Content writer
That’s why most companies outsource WordPress website management to an agency or service provider because hiring for all the positions you need is more of a headache when you could plug in a ready-to-go team.
3. Outsource WordPress website management to an agency or service provider
Outsourcing WordPress website management is the next best option if creating an in-house team isn’t feasible. This allows you to offload website maintenance and management tasks while still having access to a team of experts.
Two primary ways people outsource WordPress maintenance and management are managed hosting or Hiring an Agency.
The first option is to pay for a managed WordPress hosting plan, which means the provider takes over a lot of the technical legwork that goes into running your WordPress site. They also provide premium customer support that goes above and beyond what you usually get with web hosting.
Companies like WP Engine (our recommendation), Bluehost, SiteGround, and others offer managed WordPress hosting plans. These can be a great way to offload some of your site management responsibilities, though you have to pay more than you do for “unmanaged” hosting.
Specifically, managed hosting services can significantly help you with infrastructure issues, particularly when you have downtime or an SSL expiration. However, they’re not so great for maintenance issues, as they’re constrained on what they’ll touch on your website. And while they’re typically accessible via chat, you usually talk to a technical support agent. Most of what they’ll say will likely go right over your head!
That’s why we recommend using a managed hosting plan for infrastructure management alongside an agency partner who can help maintain your site while overseeing the managed hosting.
Agency Management Services
At Structure, we offer WordPress website management service packages that fit almost every website and business. We provide you with everything you need to ensure your WordPress website stays up-to-date, secure, and optimized.
We offer plans for both small and large businesses. Our Essential plan is perfect for companies with a smaller budget—it starts at just $249/mo when paid upfront. And for larger companies needing more attention and features, our Professional plan is ideal—starting at $499/mo (when paid upfront).
No matter the size of your business or budget, we can help manage and maintain your website. We have years of experience with WordPress websites and will work with you to ensure that your website is always up-to-date, secure, and optimized for performance.
If you’re looking for an experienced team to manage your WordPress website, Structure is here to help.
The primary areas that WordPress Management services cover
If you’re like most companies, multiple people have logins and could be updating content or data at any given time.
A good WordPress management service will have a thorough knowledge of your website and can add, update, disable, or delete user roles as you need. Bonus if they monitor and can report on the website usage or activity in case you need to find out who did what.
Our Structure WordPress management packages include a comprehensive Activity Log report that’s viewable in real-time online or via the weekly or monthly Detailed Website Report.
Backups are essential for restoration. Without them, a healthy and fully functional version of your website would be impossible to return to if your site is the victim of malicious online activity.
Backups are the saving grace in any situation, even when mistakes occur or data is accidentally lost without malicious intent.
Having a reliable maintenance service available to install your site back up if anything goes awry swiftly is immensely priceless. It eliminates the anxiety of potentially losing it all. Although small companies will find this feature incredibly useful, well-informed solopreneurs can back up their sites independently and may not need this specific service.
All of our Structure WordPress management packages include backups and backup restoration. If you’re on the Professional WordPress Website Management package or higher, you also get 2+ additional hours of bug fixes included if any functionality needs to be repaired or restored.
3. Theme, Plugin, and WP Core Updates
WordPress sites are constantly updated. Plugins, themes, and WP Core must be regularly updated (at least once per month) to keep your website functioning as expected, secure from potential threats, and running efficiently.
The problem is that updates can sometimes conflict with other elements of your website or cause other problems—if done incorrectly or without proper attention. That’s why making all updates on a staging environment is crucial before updating your life site.
This Theme, Plugin, and WP Core Update Quality Assurance process is one we employ at Structure, and we would recommend it no matter the status of your website.
4. Security Monitoring
Malware Scans & Removal
Unfortunately, malicious actors are out there waiting to take advantage of any vulnerabilities they find on your website. They can cause irreparable damage, steal user data, or even completely erase your site if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s essential to have security monitoring in place—to alert you when anything suspicious is detected quickly and to help you remove any malicious code or activity.
Fortunately, that’s precisely what our Structure WordPress management services provide. Our packages include daily malware scans and removal if anything is discovered.
A firewall is essential for any website. It’s the first line of defense against malicious actors and can help protect your site from potential threats.
At Structure, our management services include a responsive web application firewall (WAF). This will stop any suspicious traffic before reaching your server and protect against malicious attacks, including DDoS, SQL injections, and more. They also offer a secure login interface with two-factor authentication to help protect your site from unauthorized access.
One of the most common cyber-attacks is bots. Cyber thieves use bots to steal data, spread malware, and much more.
Our Structure WordPress management packages include robust bot protection that will help keep your site secure from malicious activity. It monitors suspicious activity and blocks any requests before they reach your server.
Often, your WordPress website will be the target of brute-force attacks. This is when someone attempts to guess your login credentials repeatedly until they can gain access to your site.
At Structure, each package includes intelligent login protection and two-factor authentication for maximum security. This helps protect against potential cyber threats by making it harder for unauthorized users to gain access to your site.
Activity logging is another essential security measure that helps keep your website safe and secure. It gives you a clear view of what’s happening on your site, including user activity, successful logins or failed attempts, etc.
With our Structure WordPress management packages, you get access to an easy-to-read activity log that lets you monitor all the activity on your site in real time. This helps you stay on top of any suspicious activity and take action if necessary.
It’s also important to keep an eye on the uptime of your website. You need to ensure it’s functioning correctly and that no issues affect its performance.
Our Structure WordPress management packages include regular uptime monitoring, so you can be sure your site is always running at peak efficiency. We’ll alert you if your website ever goes down and help you get it back up and running as quickly as possible.
Lastly, good website Management would include tracking metrics and reporting on them. You want to keep a record week-over-week and month-over-month so you know the trends and can spot any off-the-wall activity.
Our Structure WordPress management packages deliver a detailed weekly or monthly PDF report that gives you an in-depth look at your site’s performance. If you want real-time visibility, you can view your WordPress management dashboard.
We’ll also track and report on critical metrics such as page visits, time spent on each page, bounce rates, conversions, etc., so you can see how your website is doing.
WordPress Management FAQs
What happens if you don’t update WordPress?
Nothing will happen immediately if you don’t update your WordPress installation, plugins, and themes. However, you open yourself to possible attacks and functionality issues by not updating your installation, plugins, or themes over time.
What are the best WordPress Maintenance and Management Services?
There are many WordPress maintenance and management services available. Some of the best available are:
Note that each service producer has their specialty and will serve your business differently. Evaluate each service individually and talk to their teams.
What are the best ways to secure your WordPress site?
The best way to secure your WordPress site is to use a combination of security measures such as:
- Strong passwords
- Two-factor authentication
- SSL / TLS encryption
- Monitoring activity logs
- Uptime monitoring
- Regular updates and patches
Additionally, using a quality-managed WordPress hosting provider can help keep your site secure, as they will provide additional layers of protection and make sure your site is always running optimally.
What is the importance of WordPress management?
The importance of WordPress website management lies in its ability to keep your site secure, up-to-date, and running smoothly. It can also help you track web performance metrics so you can identify any issues and take action to improve them.
You don’t have to do anything with a managed service for your WordPress site, from security patches and updates to backups and performance optimization. This allows you to focus on what matters most – growing your business.
What type of reporting do Structure WordPress management packages offer?
Our Structure WordPress management packages provide you with a detailed weekly or monthly PDF report so that you can track your website’s progress. If you’re searching for an even more in-depth overview, log into our exclusive dashboard and get real-time visibility to monitor your site’s performance!
What’s the difference between WordPress management and maintenance?
Website management and website maintenance have very similar meanings. Generally, website management refers to monitoring and optimizing your site’s performance, while website maintenance involves updating plugins, themes, core files, and other components that keep your site running smoothly.
In other words, website maintenance is something you do when you manage a website. When you manage your website, you oversee all aspects of its functioning. When you maintain your website, you take specific action to improve its performance.
The Structure Professional and Premium WordPress Website Management packages include WordPress maintenance, which includes:
- Performance Checks
- 2 or 3 hours of additional Content Updates & Bug Fixes
- Retainer Rollover
- 1-Point or 5-Point Website Audit
What do WordPress maintenance services do?
WordPress maintenance services take direct action to keep your website up-to-date and secure. These services ensure that your site remains functional and secure. Some WordPress maintenance services also offer performance optimization to ensure your site is running at peak performance.
Like Structure, they may offer additional services such as content updates, bug fixes, retainer rollover, website audits, etc. All these services help you maintain a well-running website that is secure and reliable for your visitors.
What do WordPress management services cost?
The cost of WordPress website management services varies depending on the type and level of service you’re looking for. Structure offers three tiers of plans (Essential, Professional, and Premium) to suit various budgets. Our Basic plan starts at $249/month (when paid annually), while our Premium plan is $1,099/month (when paid annually).
How to put WordPress into maintenance mode?
If you’d like professional help putting WordPress into maintenance mode while you make updates on your website, schedule a free Consult Call with Structure.
Do you manage WooCommerce websites?
Websites with advanced functionality like WooCommerce require our Professional Plan, as do membership sites, multi-language sites, any sites with on-site payments, etc.
They take more resources for us to manage. We’ll dedicate the resources we need to keep your website secure, fast, and running smoothly.
Are there any WordPress maintenance services that are free?
Jetpack is a plugin with many features, including security, performance optimization, automated backups, malware scanning, and more.
WP-Optimize provides one-click optimization of your WordPress database, including efficiently removing post revisions, trashed items, and other unnecessary data. Both are great tools to help you keep your WordPress site running as efficiently as possible.
For more advanced needs, paid maintenance services are available from companies such as Structure that can provide more in-depth support for a fee.