When people think of the cost of WordPress, they tend to focus on how much it takes to get a WordPress site up and live. But, what about the yearly fees for maintaining your WordPress site?
The costs associated with a site don’t end once the site is built. Building a good WordPress site isn’t just about getting a domain name and paying for hosting. WordPress users should think about the long term and how much WordPress will cost them over time.
Once your site is set up on a self-hosted WordPress installation, you generally have 3 options for maintaining your website:
Option 1: Let it be – don’t back up, upgrade, or secure your site. Your recurring time of involvement and costs are zero. But you have a higher risk of something going wrong, and it will cost you more money to fix it. You will also have the most significant potential downtime with this choice. This is, lamentably, the most common choice among WordPress users.
Option 2: Hire an expert to do it for you. Back up and upgrade your site but don’t do security. If your backups are done correctly, you should be able to quickly recover your website in the event of a disaster. But you will probably lose any changes made since the last successful backup;posts, pages, comments, etc. Your site may be down or broken for days or weeks, depending on how fast you can identify the problem after it appears, and how soon you can get your developer to fix it.
Option 3: Do your research and learn how to maintain your website on your own. Back up, upgrade, and secure your site regularly. Identify what themes and plugins to use, how to restore from a backup, how to fix broken PHP code, etc. When you’re doing it all yourself, you don’t have to wait for your developer to fix things, but this requires significant effort from you.
The price of maintaining a WordPress site depends on the type of website. If you have a modest blog, the resources needed to keep that site in top shape are likely a lot less than if you’re running an ecommerce site with thousands of products.
Think of WordPress maintenance like car or bike maintenance. You have to do maintenance services every once and a while to keep your vehicle running. Your WordPress site is no different. If you want your website to have a long and healthy life, you have to put in some extra thought.