Don’t Sign up for WordPress Maintenance

Don’t Sign Up for WordPress Maintenance

I’ve hinted at this a few times, annoyed colleagues and friends with my soapbox, and now it seems it’s time to take the conversation to the internet. Valet will not sign up any client for “WordPress maintenance”—for good reasons.

The idea for Valet came from a lack of availability for ongoing strategy and support for WordPress sites. In 2010 and 2011, the number of business owners looking for continuous improvement to their sites rose far above the number of those requesting new full site builds.

This makes a lot of sense. As the web matures, site owners are more interested in an approach that strategically  considers their current content, structure and branding. Sure, they want to do new things, but they also need regular, ongoing help to keep their sites  running—long after the initial site build is completed. Minor improvements and iterations are needed on a more frequent basis, and business owners value having a reliable team to handle these.

When we launched WP Valet in 2012, we used the tagline “Management. Support. Peace of mind.” I’ve always liked that one, and honestly, it’s still one of my favorites. Note the lack of the word maintenance though. It’s missing on purpose. The term was being tossed around within the WordPress community, and over the next couple years we saw the rise of “WordPress Maintenance” companies. Ugh. Let me share with you why I think this is totally wrong for anyone who makes their living with their website.

Don’t Just Maintain Your Site

Maintenance is totally fine for your dishwasher or other kitchen appliance. With proper maintenance, you can eek out a bit of extra life before entropy has its way. This is, however, totally inadequate for your business. You don’t want to “maintain” anything. You don’t want to eek out a little bit more life. If you’re running a business you want to pursue growth, improve, iterate and do better.

Maintenance—A Backwards Concept

Maintenance is a completely inadequate and backwards approach to running a business. If you start off with this mindset, you’re likely to get mediocre results at best. Instead, what your business likely needs is strategy and support. At Valet, we offer our customers these services by default as part of our core vision.  How do we do it? Well, we have a key, underlying principle:

You can’t improve what you don’t measure.

Our (Invaluable) Data Nerds

Under the foundation of our account reps, designers, and developers, we have a bunch of data nerds. This works out really well, and it works over all areas of digital health. Here are a few ways we use data analysis to make sure you have an ongoing support agency that provides true value:

  • Baseline Stats – If you don’t know your status before beginning work with a company, how will you know the benefits you’ve gained?
  • Contextual Metrics – Knowing your goals for the month, quarter, year as well as metrics from your competitors helps set the priority
  • Target Values – Also known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) these are the important factors crucial to evaluating success
  • Scheduled Benchmarks – How often should the data be refreshed? What’s a good sample size? When do we make changes and iterate on our approach? These questions should be answered and agreed upon up front.

Move Beyond WordPress Maintenance—Get Measureable Growth

If you’re not getting all of these things as part of your monthly support, odds are, you’ve hired a maintenance company.  This doesn’t mean they’re bad at their job or useful in keeping things afloat, but if you’re looking for measurable growth from a digital partner, it may be time to look elsewhere.  Hit up our contact form to learn more about what you can get from one of our digital audits.

Photo cred: Ryan McGuire