Before Hiring Anyone for Ongoing WordPress Support, Ask These Questions

Maintaining a successful WordPress website is similar to nurturing a thriving garden. Just like a garden requires constant care and attention to flourish, your WordPress site demands ongoing support to stay secure, functional, and relevant. That’s why partnering up with the right people is imperative to support your WordPress website. Before hiring a WordPress developer for ongoing support, ask the questions below.

But first, what exactly does ongoing WordPress support entail?

A person holding a question mark.Ongoing support services for WordPress, also known as a retainer, encompass a spectrum of activities to ensure your website’s smooth operation and continuous improvement. From troubleshooting issues and implementing new features, these services form the backbone of your site’s longevity and effectiveness.

But why, you might ask, would your company need to hire a dedicated WordPress developer for ongoing support? The answer lies in the intricate nature of WordPress itself and the evolving landscape of technology. While WordPress empowers users with its user-friendly interface and plethora of plugins, its complexity can present challenges that require specialized knowledge to navigate effectively. This rings especially true if your WordPress site requires specialized security implementations, is headless, or runs on a multisite network.

As your company grows and your online presence expands, so do the demands on your WordPress website. From scaling up to accommodate increased traffic to integrating eCommerce functionalities or optimizing for search engines, the need for expert guidance and technical proficiency becomes increasingly apparent. In this context, entrusting your website’s ongoing support to a skilled WordPress agency can spell the difference between stagnation and success in the digital realm.

Questions to Ask Before Hiring Ongoing WordPress Support

Hiring a company for ongoing WordPress support is no easy feat, nor should it be. After all, your company’s website is important. Partnering with the proper developer should take planning, forethought, and careful consideration. Don’t rely on sponsored Google ads to lead you to the best decision, and you definitely don’t want to simply hire the cheapest. That’s a bad call.

Instead, look for a WordPress agency with longevity, stability, and industry recognition. Additionally, before hiring ongoing WordPress support, ask these questions. If you feel comfortable with the answers, you’ve found a good fit.

How long have you been working with WordPress?

Scrabble letters spelling out WordPress.Experience matters. At WebDevStudios, we’ve been building and supporting amazing WordPress websites for 16 years. The best option is clear if you have to choose between a company with that much expertise or a developer with three years of existence in the industry.

What specific services do you offer for ongoing WordPress support?

Do your due diligence to understand your required services before meeting prospective WordPress developers. You’ll know which company is right for you based on your needs and their answers. Don’t assume anything. Your prospective developers should be able to list out their ongoing WordPress support services.

Can you outline your approach to WordPress security and backups?

Every WordPress support developer or agency should have processes and systematic approaches for handling your WordPress security and backups in place. If you ask this question and they can’t give you a clear answer, your WordPress website is not safe in their hands.

How do you communicate?

Before asking any developer this question, know in advance what your preferred method of communication is, such as email, phone, or chat. You want to know how this possible partner delivers updates. Here are some other communications-related questions to ask:

  • What are the office hours?
  • How are communications handled during weekends and holidays?
  • Do communications occur in real time, or is there a delay?
  • What is the response time when a client submits a support request?

Just as the case is in any relationship, your WordPress developer’s communication should match how you want communications to happen.

How do you ensure transparency in your WordPress workflow?

People pushing life-size letters to spell out trust.Transparency in business transactions is important to the customer because it creates a foundation of trust, clarity, accountability, and satisfaction. However, when it comes to your WordPress website, transparency is especially important because you need a dependable partner who is willing to be held accountable.

Anything that goes wrong with your website impacts your bottom line. By providing upfront information about ongoing support and workflow, you can make an informed decision on hiring ongoing WordPress support. This helps to reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings or dissatisfaction later on. Here are some more related questions to ask:

  • What steps do you take to keep clients informed about the tasks you’re working on?
  • Can clients expect detailed breakdowns of the tasks, estimated timelines, and an estimate of costs before the WordPress support work begins?
  • Do you provide a system for clients to approve tasks before execution, ensuring alignment with their expectations?
  • Is there a project management system that you use for both document building of custom features and recap meetings?
  • Do you use a ticketing system where clients can track progress on specific issues?

What is your pricing structure?

Discussions about money can often be sensitive and uncomfortable for many people due to various reasons, including cultural norms, personal beliefs, and financial insecurities. According to a survey conducted by HubSpot, nearly 40% of salespeople cited “getting a response from prospects” as one of their biggest challenges. Within this challenge, a significant portion of clients may withhold their budget information, making it difficult for sales professionals to tailor their offerings effectively.

When you’re hiring ongoing WordPress support, it’s important that you are transparent about your budget and that your prospective WordPress developers are transparent about their costs. While we highly recommend you do not settle on a partner based on the cheapest costs, it’s important that your budget matches the pricing structure of your chosen WordPress company. Here are two more questions to ask:

  • Are there additional costs not previously disclosed?
  • Who handles the licensing expenses of premium plugins?

Just like your chosen WordPress developer should be transparent about workflow, they should also be transparent about costs. Be sure you have a clear understanding of how their pricing structure will affect your budget.

Can you provide a detailed contract outlining the scope of ongoing WordPress support services?

This goes along with the pricing structure question mentioned above, but we think it’s so important it should be its own point. Once pricing is ironed out, get it in writing in the form of a contract. Set it in stone.

How do you approach website updates to ensure minimal downtime?

This is a pink timer.The last thing you want is for your WordPress website to be down for an excruciatingly long time impacting user experience, sales, and profits. Minimal website downtime during updates is crucial for maintaining a positive experience and preserving the reputation and credibility of your website. Here are some things to ask when you’re shopping around for ongoing WordPress support.

  • What is your process for testing updates and changes before implementing them on the live website?
  • Do you work with development, staging, and production environments?
  • What is your process for code management and deployments? (For example, version control with Git, feature branch workflow, containerization with Docker, etc.)

In summary, minimal website downtime during updates is essential for preserving user satisfaction, maintaining business continuity, improving SEO performance, managing reputation, and enhancing security. By prioritizing uptime and implementing efficient update procedures, you can ensure your WordPress website remains accessible, reliable, and secure for your audience.

How do you handle website scalability?

This is especially important if your business grows and your WordPress website needs to accommodate increased traffic or features. You’ll also want to know if these prospective WordPress support companies can provide additional development services. For example, you may have partnered up with a WordPress agency simply needing ongoing security and performance improvements, as well as new features added, but over time, you may find yourself desiring a website redesign. Can your chosen WordPress support partner provide that?

How do you empower clients to manage their content within WordPress?

Asking a developer how they empower clients to manage their content within WordPress is essential for several reasons. You don’t want to be dependent on your WordPress developer for everything. Here are the reasons why this question is crucial.

Client Independence

Empowering clients to manage their content gives them autonomy and control over their websites. By understanding how the developer facilitates this empowerment, clients can gauge their level of involvement in managing and updating their website without constant reliance on the developer for every small change.

Ease of Use

WordPress is known for its user-friendly interface, but how content is structured and managed can vary based on how the developer sets it up. Knowing how the developer enables clients to manage content ensures that the content management process aligns with the client’s skill level and preferences, making it easy and intuitive for them to navigate and update their website.

Training and Support

Does the ongoing WordPress support company offer website training? At WebDevStudios, our team takes the time to show clients how to use their websites, especially when new features are implemented.

Effective empowerment goes beyond simply providing access to the WordPress dashboard. It involves comprehensive training and ongoing support to ensure clients feel confident and proficient in managing their content. Understanding the developer’s approach to training and support helps clients assess the level of assistance they can expect throughout their website ownership journey.

Customization and Flexibility

Different clients have different content management needs and preferences. Some may require basic text and image editing capabilities, while others may need more advanced functionalities such as custom post types, page templates, or integrations with third-party plugins. Knowing how the developer customizes and tailors the content management experience ensures that it meets the client’s specific requirements and allows for future scalability and flexibility.

Efficiency and Productivity

A well-empowered client can efficiently update and manage their content, saving time and resources for both the client and the developer. Understanding the tools, workflows, and best practices the developer implements to empower clients can help clients maximize their productivity and make the most out of their WordPress website.

What WordPress hosting companies do you work with?

Not every WordPress host is a good fit for your website. When hiring ongoing WordPress support, working with an agency that knows what the different hosts bring to the table is important. Ultimately, you decide who you partner with for WordPress hosting services, but it’s great to have a support company that can make dependable recommendations and explains why those are their recommendations.

What happens if a client decides to end the ongoing support agreement? How is the transition handled?

Scrabble letters spelling out the end.At some point, after hiring ongoing WordPress support, you may decide you no longer need the services because you’ve hired an internal team, or you may simply find another company to be a better fit. Whatever the reasons, how does the support company handle the transition when your agreement ends? Below are the reasons why it’s important to know the answers upfront.

Clarity on Termination Terms

Understanding what happens if a client decides to end the ongoing support agreement provides clarity on the termination terms, including any notice period required, potential penalties, or conditions for termination. This information helps clients make informed decisions about entering into the agreement and ensures that both parties are aware of their rights and obligations in case the agreement needs to be terminated.

Smooth Transition Planning

Knowing how the transition is handled facilitates a smooth and seamless transition process if the client decides to end the support agreement. The transition may involve transferring access credentials, website files, databases, and other relevant assets from the support provider to the client or a new service provider. Having a clear plan in place minimizes disruption to the website’s operation and ensures continuity of support services during the transition period.

Protection of Assets and Data

Effective transition planning includes measures to protect the client’s assets and data during the handover process. This may involve ensuring secure transfer methods, safeguarding sensitive information, and maintaining backups to prevent loss or unauthorized access to valuable resources. Understanding how the support provider prioritizes the protection of assets and data during transitions instills confidence in the client’s decision to engage their services.

Continuity of Service

Even if a client decides to end the ongoing support agreement, they may still require assistance with their WordPress website in the future. Knowing how the support provider handles transitions ensures that clients have access to continued support and assistance beyond the termination of the agreement. This may include providing documentation, offering post-transition support options, or facilitating knowledge transfer to empower clients to manage their websites independently.

Professionalism and Accountability

How a support provider handles the end of an ongoing support agreement reflects their professionalism, accountability, and commitment to client satisfaction. A transparent and well-defined transition process demonstrates that the support provider prioritizes client interests and aims to uphold high service delivery standards, even during contract termination.

Know who you’re hiring for ongoing WordPress support.

After 16 years of providing WordPress design, development, and ongoing support services, WebDevStudios has spoken with many clients who have shared with us their past stories of working with WordPress developers who let them down. This is how we understood what questions businesses and organizations should ask when hiring ongoing WordPress support.

We hope you will use this blog post as a checklist when speaking to different WordPress companies. Your WordPress website is your most important digital marketing asset. Do all you can to protect it, and when you need a reputable team of WordPress experts to help you accomplish that, contact WebDevStudios.




Have a comment?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

accessibilityadminaggregationanchorarrow-rightattach-iconbackupsblogbookmarksbuddypresscachingcalendarcaret-downcartunifiedcouponcrediblecredit-cardcustommigrationdesigndevecomfriendsgallerygoodgroupsgrowthhostingideasinternationalizationiphoneloyaltymailmaphealthmessagingArtboard 1migrationsmultiple-sourcesmultisitenewsnotificationsperformancephonepluginprofilesresearcharrowscalablescrapingsecuresecureseosharearrowarrowsourcestreamsupporttwitchunifiedupdatesvaultwebsitewordpress