When you think about WordPress and the Cost of Developer Maintenance & Hosting vs. DIY the mind can boggle. There’s a lot to take into account. We realise there are countless factors to consider when managing or setting up a business but that money is often the #1 consideration.
In fact, your website may be one the bigger cost factors for your business to manage. It is certainly possible to reduce the costs. In exchange you will simply have to dedicate time to learning how to manage your own site. Ultimately, someone has to do it more or less weekly.
With this in mind, we are about to discuss the cost of paying an expert like laneways.Agency vs. doing it all yourself. This article is designed to help you with the making the correct choice. It’s better to understand the cost now, rather than later.
Time keeps on ticking
If you’re unfamiliar with WordPress, it could be rather time consuming to learn how to manage it. Then, you have to manage it!
After all, you’re learning to use an entirely new software. The ins and outs of all its functionalities. In fact, it’s generally accepted that a minimum of 100 hours may be required to learn and understand how to manage your WordPress site. That is, if you want to use it well and minimise the chances of technical issues occurring.
In short, you should be time conscious when it comes to hiring a developer vs. DIY. Managing your site is a 24/7/365 job because if things go wrong, it will likely happen at odd times! So if your site goes down during Sunday lunch – get your laptop out! However, if you love learning new things and are willing to commit the time, there is nothing to stop you learning how to manage your own site.
If you have other business matters to oversee though, worrying about things like backups and updates could take a toll. In addition, DIY also requires changing/ improving layout, choosing themes and security checks.
If you’re time poor, maybe lean towards hiring a developer to do all that for you. They are likely to have done this dozens of times. Therefore, they’re more likely to know how to do it properly and efficiently. The bottom line, they’re paying full focus on making sure your website is looking great and running as smoothly as possible.
Dollar, Dollar Bills
Do you still feel you could manage the website all on your own? If so, great. It’s a fun skill to learn. In fact, there are some great online courses out there. Be warned, paying for courses online can be pricey. However, there are many free online YouTube video courses too.
WordPress isn’t just about designing the website, choosing a domain name and adding the right content though. Far from it. It’s about managing the website and making sure everything is running correctly. Here are just some of the aspects of a WordPress website that the developer will be handling for you in the background.
Security & Monitoring
Arguably, this is the key aspect of site maintenance.
Your software developer will understand that your website needs to be protected 24/7. Security measures include site backups, website scanning and blocking foreign login attempts. Identifying hacks and removing malicious code.
If you think this won’t apply to your ‘little site’, remember that hackers are often only using your website and server to carry out malicious tasks. They are likely not interested in your site itself. It’s simply that your site is an easy staging point.
Worse, when this happens YOU will get the blame. Why? Because it’s your site and your responsibility what it is being used for. In that sense, hackers are like joyriders and your insurance had better cover it. Essentially, a software developer providing security services equals website insurance.
Note: Hacks are very time consuming to resolve. Often, you have to work into the night because the authorities will give you a time limit to resolve issues before they blacklist your site. This can be very costly so if you are going to manage your site yourself, be thorough and avoid hacks.
Your entire site should be backed up regularly.
At some point it will crash – that sh*t just happens – and if you have no recent backup you will have to start all over again. The worst case scenario is that you have to pay again for a new website. At the very least, make a backup of your site from new – you may need it one day. Even then, it will like be very out of date within 6-12 months and this could complicate re-instating it so think of this as a get out of jail card but with no one waiting at that gate!
If you are using a professional hosting service, back ups should be daily and part of the plan.
Plugins need to be updated regularly – often weekly. This is a prerequisite for them to function properly. Also, you benefit from the most recent features. Furthermore, it aids with the security for your website since out of date plugins may allow hackers access to your site.
A site can become very outdated very quickly – be on top of it weekly.
WordPress releases updates almost weekly. These need to be applied to your site and may make it look or act unexpectedly. Your developer should make sure your site is updated, then test it to ensure nothing broke!
Out of date WordPress software is one of the main causes of website hacking worldwide. This is a serious issue for you. In short, a WordPress website that’s fully updated will allow your site to function quickly and utilise the latest updates. In addition, it minimises the chance of hackers breaking into the website.
Your WordPress website almost definitely runs on a theme. If not, it’s probably a custom site and even more work. Assuming you do have a theme, you may also have ‘Child’ themes. All of these will require regular updates. If not, over time the website will degrade, security risks will appear and functionality will diminish.
Optimisation deals with how fast and efficiently your site works. Images need to be optimised. Caches need to be cleared. Mobile devices must display the information correctly. Make sure you have optimisation planning in place and that you regularly review the site.
General Site Maintenance
The developer is basically the website janitor. They will be there to remove spam, oversee updates and minimise overall ‘mess’ for the website through regular maintenance. According to The Definitive Guide to WordPress Maintenance, Regular maintenance is essential for a healthy and stable website.
In conclusion, you can learn a lot through managing your own WordPress website. It can also be a lot of fun. So, if you have the time, inclination and patience, go for it!
However, if not then it could cost you more money in time and mistakes than it would to simply hire a professional. Also, it will probably not work as well or look as good as it should, especially on mobile devices.