You’ve decided to hire a WordPress maintenance service and stop wasting time fixing your site every time a new version of WordPress comes out? Smart decision! After some googling, it seems like there are dozens of nearly the same companies, offering the same “best” service for the same low price.
Wrong! We thought so too, but after comparing nearly 50 WordPress maintenance services (twice, once in 2017 and now again in 2019), it’s obvious there are vast differences between the companies. Some data we got is astonishing and sheds new light on the entire WordPress maintenance business. Get the best service for your buck by accurately comparing maintenance services based on your precise needs.
I just click “update everything” and… it’s all good!
That’s an understandable approach. In most cases, it works out fine. It’s also a calculated risk you’re obviously willing to take. That’s the bottom line here – risk and consequences of things going sideways. If you’ve been around computers long enough (more than 5 minutes), you know things eventually do go wrong.
If you’re updating your cat’s blog and the process fails – who cares (ok, except Snuggles)? It’s a cat blog, not your livelihood. But if you’re updating a business site that supports your business as a marketing asset or actually is your whole business – can you afford to be down for an hour, three or maybe even a few days? What if you’re updating a site for a client?
Is “let’s hope for the best” gonna cut it? Probably not!
It seems unreasonable to risk prolonged periods of downtime if you can almost eliminate the risk for $57 /month.
Paying $57 per month (that’s the average price across all services we analyzed in 2017) is like insurance. Even with almost 25% of the increase in 2019, (the average price now being $71), you can’t really put a price tag on your peace of mind. If everything goes well, and we sure hope it will, it’s sort of “wasted money”, so it might seem a bit too expensive for you.
But, if anything goes south, even a little, it’s a minuscule price to pay to get it fixed. The monthly fee is still, in most cases, lower than a one-off fix fee! Bottom line – if a site means anything to you, leave the maintenance to professionals and spend your time doing business, not wrangling code and obscure bugs.
I do my own maintenance as good as they do!
While doing WordPress maintenance is not brain surgery, it’s still a job that can be done in an amateurish way (politely said) or in a professional one. If you see yourself in the latter group, that means you:
a) are a seasoned WP professional with years of experience in various scheduled and unscheduled (urgent) tasks ranging from DNS issues to plugin compatibility problems
b) have plenty of free time, more-less always, and value your work at around $20-$35 per hour
How did we get to that per hour range? The average cost of monthly maintenance was $57, now $71. If the company spends a bare minimum of 2 hours per month on your site (and with “small fixes” often offered for free they can spend a lot more), it means they charge 20-ish, up to 30-ish dollars per hour.
And if you are in fact someone who does or wants to do website maintenance on your own then you should know that the maintenance process shouldn’t be visible to the public. Instead, it should be hidden with something called an under maintenance page.
The easiest way to create these sort of pages is using the Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode plugin which provides you with a drag-and-drop builder, 170+ themes, pictures and videos directly from Depositphotos or Unsplash, best-in-class SEO setup, autoresponder and emailing services, plus many more features that will enable you to build the perfect under maintenance page in minutes.
Aren’t the prices higher in 2019?
Indeed, they are. Not to leave you with 2017ish information, we did a double-check. The prices were not as high as we expected them to be. Still, the 25% rise in average monthly maintenance price is not to be dismissed as “nothing important”.
We went back to our table and made sure to note any changes. While the increase is higher, only 16 of 47 companies increased their prices. That means that over half of the people using these services are not paying anything more than they used to. Here is the list of companies that started valuing the maintenance they do higher.
Increased their prices:
- MaintainPress +71%
- Newts Labs +32%
- Novage 1,120%
- WP Dude 16%
- WP Minder 100%
- WP VIP Services +17%
Lowered their prices:
- Steady WP -36%
- The WP Butler -5%
- WP Curve -6%
- WP Fix It -31%
- WP Maintenance With Love -5%
- WP Relieve -50%
- WP Tonic -20%
When it comes to one-time fixes, the results were quite interesting. Overall, there has been a 22% increase in average price (currently $83, $68 back in 2017). However, this increase in average price is not what it seems.
It is a simple shift of whether a company is doing one-time fixes, or not. Three of the companies that used to solve these “tiny issues” no longer spend their time on it, and three of the companies started providing these services, for quite the price (ranging from $100 to $299 per fix)! Only one of the companies provides lower prices for one time fixes, but they have increased their monthly maintenance fee.
Even with new prices in 2019, keep in mind that we have discovered that less than half of the companies (35% of them, to be precise), increased their monthly price, and about 20% of companies changed their one-time fix offers.
Overall, with over 65% of companies still doing maintenance for $57, you still value your work at around $20 per hour.
Is $20 your hourly rate? It shouldn’t be.
Hence, that work can be outsourced and done for the said amount, despite you thinking that your time is much more valuable. It may be, but in this case, people are willing to do it for less, so that’s still the market value.
If you’re taking care of your site, and especially if it’s more than one site do yourself a favor – realistically calculate how much is that costing you.
You could be charging $100 per hour for doing some other work, but you’re not. You are doing maintenance instead and losing money. To make matters worse, if this kind of work is not your specialty, it means it takes you a lot longer for the same task than somebody who is highly specialized in maintenance-related work. At some point, you’ll have to invest in some tools and plugins, so you’ll waste even more money.
When dissected, “saving money” all of a sudden turns into “losing money”. So, if you’re taking care of your site, and especially if it’s more than one site, do yourself a favor – calculate how much it costs you. Be fair to yourself while crunching those numbers.
WordPress technical support & more than just maintenance
Although the focus of this roundup is on maintenance, if you look at any of the listed services’ websites, you quickly realize they offer more than just maintenance. In fact, for the (often low) monthly price, many offer so much more that we don’t quite understand how’s financially feasible for them.
“Unlimited small fixes” is something you’ll often find and as ambiguous as “small fix” is, we’ll assume that these support providers will assist you with practically any WordPress issue, besides building a new site. Some even offer free migrations. So if you’re looking for technical support for WordPress and thinking of hiring a freelancer to help you, think twice before doing that. Getting a monthly support/maintenance service for a few months might be a lot cheaper and more pleasant experience.
How to find the best WordPress maintenance service?
Finding the best service that will take care of your WordPress site isn’t that easy. Although most of them offer the same basic package, details like the price and specific services vary. If you take the time to look deeper, you’ll realize a lot of these “companies” are a one-man-band operation. We value their efforts! But there’s only so much one person can do and sooner or later he needs to sleep, so having at least a few people available is a huge plus. We didn’t include any company size data because there’s no way to verify it.
Another “thing” we stumbled upon is a lot of name changing. One could call it rebranding, but honestly, it’s just changing the service name and domain. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you visit bestdogfood.com and send them an email, and they reply from bestcatfood.com, it doesn’t instill confidence in their services.
How did we test the companies?
After gathering the data available from their sites, we tested their response times and general demeanor when addressing potential customers. So, we came up with a simple email that we sent to each company on the list. Here’s the original email:
My name is Ivan, and I run a personal travel blog for about a year now.
So far, I haven’t had many problems, but for the last month or so, my site has been loading quite slowly. I noticed the changes myself, and people have started complaining about it and yet some popular plugins I’ve tried haven’t helped me much.
I was interested if I subscribe to your monthly plan, would you be able to speed up my blog and solve several other issues that I’ve been experiencing?
Can you also tell me where are you from? I want to make sure that you can help me with the blog at any time during my working hours.
Thank you for your time,
Some services have automated email responses which we didn’t consider. We were interested in emails sent by actual support agents.
All emails were sent around 2 pm GMT+1 time. Yes, that might seem unfair because it’s normal business time for some and the middle of the night for others. However, problems with sites happen all the time so, 2 am or 2 pm – it’s not really an excuse. Also, since we didn’t know where most of the companies were located, we couldn’t customize the sending time to be more friendly. We also hope that emails are prioritized so things like “my site is down” are taken care of before everything else.
As emails started coming back, we noted down the exact time it took them to respond. Those response times, as well as complete emails, are available in the table. As you can see, most services really did their best to describe what they offer and were more than polite. Some, on the other hand, replied with a very short email.
Please note that many companies are available for live chat and phone calls. They do so by using a call center software. Contacting them through those channels will surely give us a faster response, but we wanted a uniformed approach for all test subjects.
There are NO affiliate, referral or sponsored links of any kind in this article. So, click away 😉
Find the best WordPress maintenance service for your needs
We are providing you with their responses and what their services entail. However, with almost 50 companies on our list, it probably doesn’t help much. You still need to go through them and find the one for you. If this was the case, then this article would have been a complete waste of your time.
Luckily, we thought of that, so you can filter through our table of companies to find the right one. Filter it according to what you need, their price or location, or your preferred method of contact to get more specific results!
Unfortunately our tools for filtering maintenance companies are not optimized for small screens such as the one you’re using right now. Please open the article on a bigger screen to fully utilize our tools.
|Company Name||Min Monthly Fee||One-Time Fix||Live Chat||Phone||Response Time||Location|
|24x7 WP Support||$19||$6.66/h||Not tested||San Jose, California, USA|
|AndiSites||$79||$100||12h 39min||North Carolina, USA|
|Barrel Roll||$49||removed in 2019||3h 52min||Virginia, USA|
|BitofWP||$19||$49||added in 2019||Not tested||Canada|
|FixRunner||$59||$49||Not tested.||Delaware, USA|
|IvyCat||$35||4h 40min||Washington, USA|
|MaintainPress||$60+71% since 2017||53d 4h 44min||California, USA|
|Newt Labs||$87+32% since 2017||$96-52% since 2017||removed in 2019||16min||UK|
|Novage||$500+1120% since 2017||added in 2019||Not tested||Singapore|
|OptimWise||n/a||n/a||1d 0h 49min||South Carolina, USA|
|SkyrocketWP||$79||removed in 2019||Not tested||Tyler, USA|
|SteadyWP||$35-36% since 2017||Not tested||Sweeden|
|The WP Butler||$39-5% since 2017||$100||didn't respond||Oregon, USA|
|The WP Help||$45||Not tested||Colorado, USA|
|Theme Location||$29||added in 2019||10min||Pakistan|
|Total WP Support||$49||$299||removed in 2019||5h 11min||Canada|
|TriSummitSolutions||$97||2h 51min||Texas, USA|
|Valius WP||$59||$65||added in 2019||37min||California, USA|
|WordXpress||$77||Not tested||Salt Lake City, USA|
|WP Agents||$69||Not tested||UK|
|WP Always||$49||1h 54min||Michigan, USA|
|WP AOS||$29||$99/h||Not tested||Canada|
|WP Cope||$65||didn't respond||India|
|WP Curve||$46-6% since 2017||didn't respond||n/a|
|WP Dude||$29+16% since 2017||added in 2019||14min||UK|
|WP Fix It||$34-31% since 2017||$39||didn't respond||California, USA|
|WP Hero||$179||1h 3min||Ireland|
|WP Maintainer||$99||4h 38min||n/a|
|WP Maintenance with Love||$35-5% since 2017||added in 2019||28d 0h 6min||UK|
|WP Minder||$60+100% since 2017||removed in 2019||3h 1min||Colorado, USA|
|WP Relieve||$99-50% since 2017||8h 14min||New York, USA|
|WP Site Care||$79||added in 2019||5h 5min||Utah, USA|
|WP SitePlan||$29||removed in 2019||Not tested||Ohio, USA|
|WP Support Services||$35+17% since 2017||$59+16% since 2017||29min||UK|
|WP Sync||$99||$39||added in 2019||2h 30min||Florida, USA|
|WP Tonic||$39-20% since 2017||$50||added in 2019||3h 12min||Nevada, USA|
|WP Tweaks||$39||$39||4h 26min||UK|
|WP VIP Services||$99+102% since 2017||removed in 2019||3h 47min||Florida, USA|
|WPsitehelpers||$39||$99||removed in 2019||9h 38min||Arizona, USA|
|Zen WP||$79||1h 44min||California, USA|
Recommend me someone!
Sorry, don’t have a crystal ball to do that (as we don’t know any details about your needs) but we’ll give you an easy recipe. Filter companies by location. That will provide you with some choices in your timezone, which, we believe, is crucial. Write an email with what you need and expect; be as specific as possible. Send the very same email to all companies. Be sure to ask if they provide a 24/7 service or what their hours are. Based on their responses, you’ll end up with two, maybe three companies. Chose the one that you like the most or let the price be the deciding factor.
If you decide to do maintenance on your own that’s fine; many people do. Just remember that it’s a chore like any other. If neglected or not done at all, it’ll come back to bite you big time at the worst possible time. Be smart, make backups, keep things updated, and install a maintenance mode plugin while you’re doing work so that visitors don’t see your site broken.
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