2019 WordPress Website Maintenance Survey

By offering maintenance services to your clients, you open the door to an opportunity for attracting more clients – and the chance to increase your income. In this article, we’ll share the results of our 2019 WordPress Maintenance Survey, along with insights on how to improve your own services!

There are a wide variety of specialties available to WordPress professionals, including development, design, marketing, content creation, and more. However, the narrower the scope of your services is, the more limited your pool of potential clients becomes.

In this article, we’ll share the results of our 2019 WordPress Maintenance Survey. As promised, we’ll include concrete data on the website maintenance services our users offer, and discuss some key takeaways from the survey’s results. Here we go!

Offering website maintenance to clients

Once again, we’ve surveyed ManageWP users on the website maintenance services they offer to clients. A total of 2,374 WordPress professionals participated, 487 of which came from Pro Sites. This is a huge increase in participation since our 2016 website maintenance survey!

Survey Participants Location

Most of survey participants were from North America (46%), with another 23% from Europe (31% if we include the UK) and the rest coming from all over the globe (from over 100 different countries in fact).

Over 80% of participants would refer to themselves as either a “web developer”, “web designer” or “web professional”:

Job Title

One of the most significant pieces of information we found is that 95% of our users offer website maintenance services to their clients. This just goes to show how popular these services are:

Do you offer website maintenance services graph

Finally, it’s important to note that 27% of our survey’s participants offer only one pricing tier for their maintenance services:

Bar graph showing the distribution of different numbers of tiers of service.

The results that follow will help to explain why this finding is important. However, in short, it means that more than a quarter of our customers aren’t using the best pricing method available for promoting their services.

Factors influencing single tier website maintenance offers

Let’s talk more about the decision to offer one or multiple tiers of service. We asked the participants who offer a single tier to tell us how much they charge for their services:

Monthly fee

A dot graph showing survey participants' fees for single tier maintenance services.

There were some significant outliers in the data, so we calculated both the average and median fees as well:

A graph showing the average and median fees for single tier maintenance services.

As you can see from this chart, most of our participants who offer only one tier charge about $50 per month.

However, a few charge significantly more, making the average more than triple the median.

The location of our participants’ clients was also factored in:

A bar graph showing the relationship between client location and monthly website maintenance fees for single tier services.

Since the single tier monthly fees vary greatly, they significantly impact average figures. We will focus on determining the median as a more reliable measure for comparisons.

Clients

We were also surprised to see that website maintenance tends to be more expensive in Australia and New Zealand. This is despite the fact that most of our participants’ clients reside in North America:

A bar graph showing the location distribution of clients of single tier website maintenance services.

Finally, we examined the number of clients these participants have, and what services they offer:

A pie chart showing the number of clients participants offering one tier of services have.

As you can see, almost three-quarters of those who offer only one tier of services have 20 clients or fewer. Most of those serve between six and 20 clients.

Services

When looking at the services offered by these participants, we noticed a huge opportunity that’s commonly missed:

A graph showing the popularity of certain services among web professionals offering single tier website maintenance services.

Updates and backups are by far the most popular services offered. However, if you compare this chart with the one below, you’ll see that many rare services – such as social media management – are worth much more:

A bar graph showing the average fee associated with various maintenance services.

 

To be completely clear, graph above shows how specific services raise the average monthly fee if they are included in the package.

Tapping into markets for social media management and SEO services could enable these participants to raise their prices and improve their income.

Managing multiple website maintenance service tiers

Tiers

For participants who offer multiple service tiers, we started by asking how many options they make available to clients:

A graph showing the number of tiers offered by those who provide website maintenance services.

Just under half offer three tiers, which in our experience is a strong pricing strategy.

Monthly fee

We also compared the average fees associated with participants’ lowest and highest tiers:

A bar graph showing the average and median fees for participants lowest service tiers.

The fees associated with participants’ lowest tiers didn’t change much based on the number of tiers offered. The costs for the highest tiers varied a lot more widely, however:

A bar graph showing the average and median fees associated with participants' highest service tiers.

Here, we can see that the fees increase as the number of tiers grows. From this information, it’s easy to conclude that the more tiers you offer clients, the easier it is to up-sell them to a more valuable service.

We also looked at the median fees based on client location:

A bar graph showing the median lowest and highest tier cost for various locations.

While Oceania and North America are still the most lucrative locations, Europe’s average fee drops significantly when compared to single-tier services.

Results for monthly fees in Asia/Africa, South and Central America should be taken with ‘a grain of salt’ due to the low number of answers.

Clients

Additionally, we took note of how many clients each participant served, and compared the results to those gathered from the participants who offered only one tier:

A pie chart showing how many clients those offering multiple tiers of website maintenance service have.

42% of those offering multiple tiers of service have between six and 20 clients, which is almost identical to the results for single tier services. However, the portion of participants with only one to five clients drops by a significant 12%, meaning that those who offer multiple tiers are more likely to have over 20 clients.

Services

Finally, we once again compared services offered to the average fees associated with those services. Just as with the single-tier offers, lower tiers tend to miss out on the chance to charge for services such as social media management and marketing:

Lowest tier
A chart showing the distribution of services offered in the lowest service tiers. A bar graph showing the average fees associated with a variety of maintenance-related services.
Highest tier

The higher tiers, however, are more likely to offer these rarer services:

A bar graph showing the distribution of services included in the highest service tiers. A bar graph showing the average fees associated with a variety of the highest tier services.

As you can see from all of these results, those who offer multiple service tiers tend to be better equipped to generate greater income. That’s because they serve more clients, charge higher fees, and have the ability to up-sell more lucrative tiers.

3 Key Takeaways for those offering website maintenance services

Data is important, but what matters most is how you use it. With that in mind, let’s look at some key takeaways from our 2019 WordPress Website Maintenance Survey, which you can apply to your own services.

1. Providing website maintenance to clients is profitable

As we saw at the beginning of this article, 95% of our survey’s participants offer website maintenance services. Therefore, if you don’t offer to maintain clients’ sites in some way, your business will be less competitive. You’re also likely to miss out on opportunities for highly-profitable work.

Let’s imagine that you offer a typical single-tier maintenance service. You’ll probably have 6-20 clients, and charge about $50 per month. That’s an additional $300-$1,000 per month in your bank account. If you offer three tiers, have 6-20 clients evenly distributed throughout them, and charge $49, $99, and $199 per month for each tier, you could bring in $694-$2,330 per month.

Plus, the more services you offer, the larger your pool of potential clients is. Offering uncommon services such as social media management could make your business more desirable.

2. Offering multiple service tiers is a smart strategy

As you can see from the example above, offering multiple tiers could easily double your income from maintenance services. This is in part due to the three-pronged pricing technique.

This technique demonstrates that, by offering multiple tiers, you can encourage customers to spend more to get more. You can also convince customers in the lower tiers to upgrade, as you gain their trust and loyalty over time.

In addition, don’t forget that more customers are attracted to multi-tier services. Plus, average lowest-tier fees are usually comparable to single-tier fees. This means you can still make more by offering multiple tiers, even if very few customers choose your more expensive packages.

3. Automating maintenance helps you earn more with minimal effort

If you’ve been looking over the data we’ve shared and think it’s intriguing, but you don’t have time to take on website maintenance, there’s good news. Maintaining your clients’ sites will take almost no time at all if you automate key maintenance tasks.

With ManageWP, you can automate almost all of that work for both yourself and your clients. The ManageWP dashboard enables you to manage all of your sites at once, making updates and backups a breeze. You can also monitor performance, SEO, security, and comments.

You can also find tools to automate social media management, which as we’ve shown is a key under-served market you may want to target. Plugins such as Blog2Social can schedule blog and social posts for you. You could also look into platforms such as Hootsuite, which schedules posts, provides analytics, and helps curate content.

Wrapping Up

As our survey results demonstrate, website maintenance is still a highly-profitable service WordPress professionals can offer. For ManageWP users, the benefits of providing maintenance services to clients are even greater, as you can easily automate many of the tasks associated with maintaining a site.

Our 2019 WordPress Website Maintenance Survey also shows that offering multiple tiers is still the best way to go when it comes to pricing your services. Pairing this technique with the features we offer can help you make more money, with minimal effort required.

Do you have any questions about offering WordPress website maintenance services? Let us know in the comments section below!

Image credit: Pexels.

Marko Tanaskovic

Product Marketing Manager @GoDaddy | Currently on a mission of either cloning himself or learning to be at two places at the same time. Latter being the preferred option.

4 Comments

  1. Chris H

    Great article, thanks for the results!

  2. Morten Ellegaard

    Great article.
    I like the comment “another 23% from Europe (31% if we include the UK) “.
    But even though the UK might be leaving EU, they will still be part of Europe. It’s really hard for a country to leave a continent… 😉

  3. Mike Manocchi

    GREAT article. I am new to website management. In fact I’ve never done it and never considered it. So my question for you is how would you recommend a newbie learn as quickly as possible HOW to provide website security maintanence for a client. I currently work with marketing via email and facebook ads and provide market research services for all sorts of niches all web based. I even target social media marketers and could help them to provide the service to THIER clients as well. I would LOVE to add this service to what I can do for my clients so any resources you might now about as far as the how to actually do it for your own sites and for others would be amazing. thank you so much for this great read!

  4. Vipul Gupta

    Indeed a great article to justify that website maintenance is still a highly-profitable service and also as from client side it is like an investment. Just like a car needs regular servicing, the website also depends on ongoing maintenance to ensure it is always ready to deliver a great user experience to visitors and generate maximum leads and sales for the business. So website maintenance is a two-way profitable business.

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Over 65,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

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Over 65,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!



Have questions? Get in touch!

Over 65,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!



Have questions? Get in touch!

Over 65,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!



Have questions? Get in touch!