Technical Maintenance Agreement
Your WordPress website consists of several components, and these pieces change as technology evolves, security concerns crop up and web standards change. These updates must be done to make sure that your site isn’t vulnerable to attack and you don’t begin to experience those site quirks that impair site functionality or your ability to manage the site.
What are the pieces?
To best explain the why and how of technical maintenance, we first want to explain the pieces that come together to form your site and how they interact. Typically, your site will consist of these things:
- WordPress Installation
This is the base framework for your site. It pulls the pieces together, and stores basic information about your site, from users to page content, and more. It is created by developers under the Automattic company umbrella. They update and maintain the framework on a regular basis to ensure that the framework users always have the best base on which to build.
- Theme Files
Theme files create the look and feel of the site you see. Themes can be free, from the WordPress Theme Repository, or they might be premium (paid), from a popular theme repository. Themes are created by development teams known as theme authors.
Plugins add functionality to your site. Each plugin is designed to add a specific feature to your site, whether that feature is simple, like preventing spam comments, or complicated, like adding on a site e-commerce store.
We offer technical maintenance packages to you to ensure site support is conducted in a timely manner, and that your site stays running smoothly. We designed our technical maintenance packages to be affordable and to cover what’s required with as little impact to you and your site as possible.
What Does it Cover?
Technical Maintenance covers up to 2 hours of work for the following updates to a WordPress site.
We update your site framework to the latest version of WordPress, available directly from the framework repository.
When? WordPress updates are performed each update round, and sometimes more frequently if the fix is critical.
We update your WordPress theme. We’re careful to make updates that are necessary and low-impact. Depending on how your site was initially set up, a theme update can be as simple as the click of a button or as disruptive enough to break your entire site. Here’s what we analyze before making a theme update:
- What’s in the update? Theme updates may offer minimal functionality or security updates and simply aren’t worth the risk they may carry. Sometimes a theme update carries a critical fix that should be implemented as soon as possible. Other times, the update could contain a major rewrite which might generate significant changes to your site.
- Is your site set up properly? Your site should be set up with a parent and child theme arrangement. That means that any customization work that was done during your site creation should be kept in a separate area from the core of the theme itself. During an update, the parent theme gets updated to give your site the new code. The child theme then inherits the new code without disturbing the customizations. Generally, this is the least disruptive way to integrate code changes into your site ecosystem.
- Is it a free or paid theme? Typically, paid themes are higher quality with better support. Theme authors who are paid for the work they do and have a business reputation to maintain tend to do a better job of making sure that their updates go well. And, if the updates have an issue, a support team will be available to help resolve.
When? Theme updates are done on an as-needed basis when the update passes muster as beneficial.
We update site plugins in your site, to ensure that critical features are working as expected and you are getting all the functionality they can offer. We run plugin updates through a similar criteria check to ensure that an update will help the site overall, though plugin updates tend to be less problematic.
- What does the plugin do? Plugins that offer simple backend functionality can typically be updated with a minimum of trouble.
- How long since the last update? Plugins that update on a regular basis tend to do a better job of introducing a series of tiny changes that gradually move your site’s code forward.
Plugins developers do not generally offer guarantees of compatibility with other components in your site, though they might help examine the site if needed.
When? Plugin updates are done unless they have been identified as problematic to your site.
Prior to each update, we take a full backup of your site, stored on your hosting account. We keep a month worth of backups to your site. Restoring a site from backup is a last resort as you will also lose any changes to the site since the time period (bookings, memberships, etc).
When? Site backups are taken immediately prior to updates of any kind on the site, every time.
We install a security plugin to add an extra layer of protection to the site against common hacks, issues, and malicious login attempts.
What Doesn’t It Cover?
Troubleshooting Site User Issues
That said, typically our approach here is to provide a quick check to make sure that a) the user problem isn’t a result of the system or system updates and b) provide basic instructions to help people use the system appropriately. If you have a particular issue that recurs, we can assess the system to see what could be done to mitigate the problem, but that may result in an additional quote for the work required.
Such as changing pages, text, images except as needed to troubleshoot issues caused by technical updates. We do offer a content maintenance package that covers basic changes of this type.
Creating additional features or functions for your site is always available, but quoted based on the work required.
How does it work?
At least once each quarter, we will log in to your site to run backups and complete the updates. Typically, this is the 15th or 30th of the month, after working hours to ensure that any issues are low impact. We perform a check of your site to ensure that nothing is broken as a result of the update.
Troubleshooting / Issue Resolving
In the event that updating the site causes an issue, we look to identify the problem and resolve it within the time frame you have for the quarter.
If it appears to require time beyond your 2 hours, we will assess the time needed, generate a quote for the work, and restore your site backup. We would then send you an email explaining the situation and the time required. If you approve the quote, we’ll reschedule the updates and resolve the issue.
Your 2 hours for troubleshooting is for the maintenance quarter only and does not roll over to the next quarter.
In order to offer you the best support, we ask that you do not perform your own updates on the site (or have any other developer or administrator perform them). Updates performed independently from maintenance void plan guarantees.
We use specific plugins on your site for security and to connect it to our backup and update systems. Please do not disable plugins on your site as this will void your plan.
Your maintenance plan is set to renew automatically each maintenance period. If you need a different frequency or cadence, let us know and we can set it up differently.
You can cancel your technical maintenance for a full refund unless maintenance has already been performed.