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Updates to WordPress core: WordPress core upgrades release periodically, and even through WP core will eventually update itself on site within time, it’s a good idea to update these core files manually and then check the front end to ensure that the site is still functioning in order.
Theme and plugin updates: To ensure compatibility between all site software, themes and plugins should be upgraded when new versions become available.
Backups: A website maintenance plan should include some sort of backup plan. These backups (of site files and the database/s) should be executed as often as possible. Automatic backups can be set up using a number of free, freemium or premium plugins, with a cloud storage option used for storing site files. Automatic backups can be set up using UpDraftPlus (free version available), BackupBuddy or VaultPress.
Manual backups: As an additional security measure, it is recommended to execute a manual back up of the website’s files and database/s relatively regularly. If the event that a client publishes content on a frequent basis, the term should be shorter. To run manual backups, export the SQL database from phpMyAdmin (accessed via the web hosting control panel) and create an off-site copy of the site files using an FTP client such as Cyberduck or FileZilla.
Security: Preventing website hacking and attacks is of utmost importance, thus adding site security measures and reporting to a maintenance plan is a great practice. iThemes Security used in conjunction with Wordfence and Sucuri make a great team for site security.
Support: Depending on the client, you may find yourself receiving more emails than you’d like. Adding a dedicated time for support into a maintenance plan will allow you to tend to a client’s support queries and get paid for your time.
Site Health Checks: If you’re interested in working a bit closer to your client, consider offering general site health check, including scanning for 404-page errors or broken links, and suggesting fixes. These can be assessed and reported by using Google Search Console.
Content management: If your clients are fond of contacting you to request minor changes to their content, you could add a few hours per month into a maintenance plan to address their needs. These content requests can range from either updating rates or prices, adding new staff members, entering workshop/event/promotion details or even adding a new blog post or two per month. If this is a service you’d be happy to offer, simply add a fee into a maintenance plan for x amount of hours per month.
Data tracking and reporting: If you’re a fan of stats and graphs, you can easily add reporting to your maintenance plans. From email to social to site traffic tracking tools (Google Analytics and Search Console), you could easily set up automatic reports for your clients, or, you could add a personal touch – possibly with some strategic recommendations based on trends and patterns in the correlated data – for an extra fee.