5 Things To Look Out For When Choosing a WordPress Maintenance Service Provider!
Read on to find out what are the 5 important things you need to look out for when selecting the most suitable service provider for your company or business!
1) Where Is The Service Provider Located?
The first thing to look out for is where the WordPress maintenance provider is located.
In some cases, the provider is based in Singapore but their support team is located overseas. This means whenever you correspond with the service provider in future, you will be communicating with their overseas counterparts instead.
From our experience talking with business owners, most of them prefer to work with someone who is based locally as they have had their fair share of poor communication experiences with overseas-based personnel in the past.
One of the main drawbacks of working with a team that is located overseas is the response lag arising from differences in time zones. A simple issue can take a few business days (or longer) to resolve if both of you are in different time zones!
Does your business or company prefer to work with a team that is located in Singapore?
If yes, then it’s best to verify with the service provider upfront on where their team is located (especially the people who will be maintaining your website), so that you have a clear understanding of what you’re signing up for.
2) How Fast Can The Service Provider Respond To Your Request?
Nobody likes to work with a slow service provider. Over the years, we’ve had quite a number of clients who decided to switch to us (WebBuddy) because they’re tired of working with their sluggish maintenance provider.
When you need help to get something done, it is frustrating to wait for days (sometimes even weeks) before you hear back from your service provider!
If you choose a maintenance company that is based in Singapore, does it mean that their response time will be fast? Unfortunately, no. We’ve heard about our clients’ experiences with service providers that are based locally but don’t respond to their requests either.
Hence, it is important that you understand beforehand what is the average response time of the maintenance provider before you decide whether they’re a good fit for your business.
One simple way to do this is to send the website maintenance company an email with your queries about their services.
This early interaction can offer you a glimpse into what their response time is like (though this method is not foolproof, it’s better than not knowing at all).
If the experience is positive, you can then follow up by checking with them what their average turnaround time for customers’ requests is.
I’d say an average response time of 24 hours is considered satisfactory in today’s website maintenance services market. Some service providers can respond even faster (within hours) for critical issues like website downtime or hacking issues.
Another important thing that you want to look out for is the maintenance company’s operating hours because some providers may not work during weekends and public holidays.
If you prefer to have access to maintenance support during after-office hours, you need to state this requirement upfront to be sure that the service provider can accommodate your request.
Apart from response time and operating hours that we’ve mentioned so far, there’s one last important thing you need to find out – what are the ways that the maintenance provider can be reached when you need their attention?
When it comes to communication, it’s a safer option to go with a service provider that offers more than one communication channel for support. For instance, at WebBuddy, our clients can either email or WhatsApp us when they need our assistance.
In case of need (especially if it’s regarding an urgent matter such as website hacking), having a secondary communication channel is a lifesaver in the event that you’re unable to reach your maintenance provider quickly via their primary channel.
3) What Is The Service Scope Of Their Maintenance Service?
Getting a prompt WordPress maintenance provider is a good start and the next important factor you want to consider is the scope of the maintenance service.
In our experience, the most basic coverage should include the following essential services:
- Daily scanning of viruses and malware
- Removal of virus/malware upon detection
- Improve website security
- Daily backup of the website
- Safe update of the plugins and WordPress version
- Error fixing
Do check carefully if the service provider has included the above in their maintenance service offering.
There are also some other good-to-haves like:
- Monitoring website uptime
- Update website content (if you need)
- Able to assist with website-related queries
At WebBuddy, I often have clients coming to me with questions about suspicious emails, search engines or digital marketing and I’m always happy to share my experience and advice with them.
Being a business owner, you will surely encounter website-related questions/doubts/issues along the way too. And when you do, having a reliable support team who can help to address or clear your doubts is very important.
The reality is, most website maintenance services typically do not cover this aspect (or they may not explicitly state it as part of their service offering) as it is not a standard “maintenance service” per se.
That said, I’d still recommend you to be on the lookout for maintenance providers that come across to you as genuinely helpful (or if you prefer, you can clarify whether this aspect is covered). Because having someone whom you can turn to for timely suggestions or advice is something that you’d find valuable for your business down the road!
4) Do They Have a Rigid Pricing Structure?
Now that you have an idea on what to look out for in a maintenance service, let’s discuss maintenance packages and pricing.
WordPress maintenance providers typically sell their service in the form of pre-designed pricing packages with different combinations of maintenance services to cater for different business needs.
Most website maintenance companies offer at least two different packages (or more), and you can compare to see which one suits your budget and needs best.
In terms of payment frequency, most service providers mainly work based on yearly maintenance contracts.
For WebBuddy, we also offer flexible monthly plans to accommodate different business preferences. If you prefer not to be tied down with a year-long commitment, you can check with the maintenance provider to see if monthly billing can be accepted.
Sometimes, pre-designed maintenance packages may not entirely fit what you’re looking for. In which case, you can contact the service provider to request for a custom maintenance plan for your company.
This is also a great opportunity for you to assess the provider’s response and how flexibly this company works.
If the maintenance provider is open to listening and is willing to customize something for your needs, they could potentially be more flexible and accommodating when you work with them in future.
Vice versa, a provider that is not responsive to your request may hint that they operate on a relatively more rigid working model and may be less accommodating to requests that you make in future.
Do ponder on this, so that you can make a prudent choice of the service provider that you want to work with!
5) Don’t Forget To Check The Reviews
Last but not least, finding out what other customers have to say is a practical way to assess if this provider is someone you look forward to working with.
There are several online sources where you can check out reviews for a WordPress maintenance provider, including their Google business profile reviews, social media profiles, and their official website.
Customer testimonials – whether positive or negative – provide additional insights into what it may be like to work with a particular service provider and help you to make a more informed decision (though we need to be mindful that any kind of reviews online, including Google reviews, cannot be guaranteed to be 100% accurate).
After gathering all the information you can get your hands on, ultimately, you’ll need to take a leap of faith to experience the service for yourself.
As a maintenance provider, we understand that this is not a straightforward decision for clients, especially if the maintenance company is new to you and you do not know anyone there (either personally or through referral).
In our experience, what some of our new clients did was to go for our monthly plan for a start.
Monthly billing meant that they won’t have to be tied down with a long-term commitment from the onset. In addition, they have the flexibility to discontinue their subscription anytime if they want to.
Over the course of the months that followed, our clients were then able to test out our service quality and working synergy. When they feel confident enough, they can then choose to switch to a longer term package for greater convenience – all at their own pace.
I hope what I’ve shared has been useful to you and that you’ll be able to find the right WordPress maintenance provider for your needs!
If at any point, you may need our services, just feel free to contact us and we will be happy to connect! Till then, take care, and all the best!
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