Recently a client wrote me asking: “I would also like to understand what the maintenance and hosting fee covers exactly, and what is included in that?”
Our annual hosting and maintenance fee covers the following:
- Site hosting – the space on our servers (we pay about $1,000/month to our colocation partner for the servers we use for our clients)
- Bandwidth fees – having your site connected to the internet
- Daily backup service – we backup the site every day on a 24 hour cycle in the event that the site is hacked, gets compromised, has some kind of database error, or anything else that requires us to be able to recover it quickly.
- Regular updates – we manually update the site every time wordpress issues a new release of the core software that runs the site. This happens about once every 2 months.
- Plugin updates – we also update any plugins or extensions on your site – these periodic upgrades are required to keep the site secure from automated hacking attacks from around the world.
- Managing update conflicts – sometimes these updates reveal a conflict or problem between the plugins, the theme we use and wordpress – we resolve these conflicts or find alternate solutions
- Site monitoring – we monitor the site for uptime 24/7 and react to any site downtime when it occurs to determine the issue.
- Record keeping – we keep accurate records of your domain registration account, email handling, and other important logins for you.
- Service – I pay Jason and Christine full-time to be available to make edits or answer questions quickly.
- SEO – we register your site with google and monitor it for any SEO issues or crawl errors.
Case in point – about 2 weeks ago google issued a directive that says they will be deprecating the search performance of sites that do not run under a secure certificate – this used to be required only for ecommerce sites but now they have decided it should be all sites. This single decision on their part means that Jason and I have to update the addressing of all the sites we manage to be “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP” – doing this upgrade is necessary for your site visibiltiy and is covered by your maintenance fee.
Hope that helps! Yes, you can host your site with godaddy.com for $10/month but basically that would give you the first two bullet points. Otherwise you would be on your own and if a problem came up likely you would have no recourse for a speedy recovery.