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Website Maintenance Plans

Monthly Maintenance Plan


Think of WordPress maintenance like car maintenance. You have to do maintenance services every once and a while to keep your car running. Your WordPress site is no different. If you want your site to live a long and healthly life, like you want your car to, you have to put in some extra care.


Efficient WP estimates it takes at least 100 hours to learn the intricacies of WordPress necessary for managing a WordPress site well. The key phrase is managing a site well. Even if you become familiar with WordPress, this isn’t a guarantee you will do a good job or know what to do if disaster strikes.


WordPress Backups

WordPress backups should be performed on a regular basis. Daily is optimal. Weekly is good, but monthly is the longest you should wait to backup a site. Fortunately, I offer incremental backups as a service to clients without you having to manually back up each and every site you manage.

Suggested Frequency Options:

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly

Monthly Maintenance Plan

WordPress Core Updates

Updates are difficult to fit into a predefined schedule, especially WordPress core updates. WordPress core updates have happened infrequently in the past. However, they have been getting more and more frequent in the past couple of years, so it may be a good idea for you to designate one day out of the month to check for and apply WordPress updates to all of the sites you manage.

Suggested Frequency Options:

  • Immediately
  • Monthly

Plugin Maintenance

WordPress plugin maintenance generally involves two components:

  • Plugin Updates
  • Plugin Audit

Plugin Updates

WordPress suggests checking for and applying updates to plugins every 3 to 6 months. However, as a WordPress developer, you likely realize how poor this advice can be for WordPress sites that must function properly on a daily basis.

Suggested Frequency Options:

  • Monthly

Plugin Audit

This maintenance task is a little different than simply checking for and installing plugin updates, and it’s not something you’ll add to your calendar every month out of the year.

The first thing this audit involves is ensuring there are no unused plugins installed and activated on any of the sites you manage. Some clients may get into the habit of trying out new features without your consent, features that involve installing new plugins and forgetting to deactivate and uninstall them afterward.

You should also make note of which plugins haven’t received updates in a while. Unupdated plugins face the risk of becoming unsupported, which can create security risks. Help your client find a suitable replacement if you discover an unsupported plugin.

On that same note, you should also keep a watchful eye on plugin quality and see if there are better plugins out there if a particular plugin performs poorly consistently over time. For example, the official Disqus plugin has a poor reputation for being buggy and outright broken, so a developer took it upon himself to develop his own, bug-free version of this plugin for the community to use.

The last part of this audit involves reviewing the Plugins directory folder to ensure any plugin you or your client has uninstalled completely uninstalled itself.

Suggested Frequency Options:

  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year

Theme Maintenance

Your schedule and tasks for theme updates should look nearly identical to the schedule and tasks you perform for plugin updates. This means you should check for new theme updates using the same schedule you use to check for plugin updates, assuming you’re using a theme from a third-party developer.

Suggested Frequency Options for Theme Updates:

  • Monthly

Theme Audit

This is another area where you should use your experience as a developer to determine the tasks you perform and frequency you use to conduct WordPress theme audits.

This, similar to a plugin audit, involves checking to make sure there are no unused themes installed the site and that at least one default theme exists in case a site experiences issues with the main theme.

If you’re using your own theme, this also means going over your template files and stylesheets to ensure everything is in order and that your code is still validated. If you’re using a third-party theme, ensure the developer is keeping up with the code, has not added bloated code, and is still offering support.

Suggested Frequency Options:

  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year

Feel free to use your own development schedule if you’re using your own theme or styles on the sites you manage.

Overall Site Health

While monitoring your website I’ll setup Vulnerability Updates that alerts me of the vulnerable plugin, theme, and WordPress core files running on your website. It also allows me to monitor uptime and ensure your site is performing as well as possible!

Suggested Frequency Options for Monitoring Vulnerabilities:

  • Daily

With automatic malware scans, I can enable 24/7 security monitoring with the pro maintenance plan.

Suggested Frequency Options for Security Monitoring:

  • Once a Day
  • Several Times a Day
  • 24/7

The last thing to consider is the overall performance of a site, meaning its page load time, its optimization scores as well as the size of it. I’ll run an automated Performance Scan to notify me when improvements can be made.

Suggested Frequency Options for Site Performance:

  • Monthly

Content Health

These maintenance tasks may require you to work alongside your client a lot more than the other tasks do. They have less to do with WordPress development, but they should still be considered.

They include checking for 404 errors or broken links and ensuring your client optimizes their 404 pages.

Suggested Frequency Options:

  • Monthly

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Setup Google Analytics and monitor SEO rankings with monthly reports about your website.

Suggestion Frequency Options:

  • Monthly
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year