The world loves WordPress. It is by far the most popular platform for websites, and it's easy to see why. WordPress just makes it simple to manage a website. Instead of dealing with a bunch of code, you can use the friendly WordPress interface to set up your content exactly the way you want it. The price of “free” helps, too.
But the dark secret of WordPress is it can develop time-sucking errors. Too often a WordPress website falls prey to an internal server error, or a database connection error, or (worst of all) the dreaded White Screen of Death. Then there's the hundreds of other annoyances that can pop up when trying to get ones website to function a particular way. So, what is a person to do? You're busy. You don't want to invest time in becoming a web developer. For many, the answer is hiring a WordPress support service.
In this post we will look at the pros and cons for one of our favorites WordPress support companies: Maintaingo.
In brief, we found Maintaingo to be an excellent resource for keeping our test site safe and fast. They provided full, organized access to WordPress experts who employ best practices developed from years of supporting WordPress sites. They are backed by a full digital agency, and we found the experience to be a bit more “white glove”, possibly as a result.
It's affordable, too, for what you get. Many companies add a web master or IT professional (or an entire IT department) to their payroll to help them maintain their WordPress sites, which costs a fortune in salaries and benefits. The pricing schemes seem to be a good fit for companies in that position.
Our chief complaint is the lack of a hosting option. Maintaingo provides the support and development services, but work on their customer's hosting. For us, that made sense. We like our host. But for those seeking an “all-in-one” solution, Maintaingo may not be the right choice.
Maintaingo's plans start at $49/month for a bundle of services that focus on security and speed of the site.
How It Works
After you set up your account, Maintaingo works with you to do an on-boarding, typically over the phone. That alone set Maintaingo apart, as most WordPress maintenance services stick to email and support tickets. Talking to a real human about our site was a refreshing change. They used this time to ask about our needs, and set priorities for implementing that work. If you opt for the “Speed & Security” bundle, they'll install those services, too (website access firewall, security scans, offsite backups, etc.).
Maintaingo will then create support tickets for the work discussed, provide estimates, and after receiving approval from you, implement that work.
Then, whenever you have an issue with WordPress, just let Maintaingo know. You can give them a call, send an email, or use the ticketing system on their site.
You must pay for hours of service before Maintaingo's support team will work on an issue: these can be purchased à la carte or with a monthly plan. Plans come in 1, 3, and 5 hours per month options. They also let us know that some clients have larger, monthly orders.
Communication is one of the biggest concerns for businesses using a remote website maintenance service. You don't want to be left hanging when you're in need of support. Downtime hurts sales, so you'll likely get a bit anxious when you're waiting for a fix. Maintaingo is aware of this anxiety. They'll update you regularly while they're working on an issue. They also might ask you questions in order to help them solve the problem.
Another concern businesses often have with services like these is that they'll pad the amount of hours it takes to fix issues and overcharge their customers. That's not something you need to worry about with Maintaingo. With their tracking system, you'll be able to see exactly how long it took them to solve each problem, down to the minute. Everything is clearly documented in your client dashboard, and updated daily. There are no “surprise” invoices each month.
How To Open A Support Ticket
Maintaingo's online ticketing system is easy to use.
Go to Maintaingo's homepage, select “Login” at the top of the screen, and enter your credentials.
Signing into your account takes you directly to the Maintaingo client dashboard. The first section of the dashboard displays your support hours balance.
Scrolling down will take you to the form for a new support ticket.
To monitor the progress of your submitted tickets, scroll down further to the ‘My Support Tickets' section.
What'd we tell you – easy, right?
In addition to getting the Maintaingo team to fix urgent issues with your site, you can also use your support hours for problem prevention and general WordPress advice.
‘Speed & Security' is Maintaingo's basic plan. For $49/month, you get:
- Daily off-site backups
- 24/7 security monitoring
- Site downtime alerts
- Broken link monitoring
- Access to Maintaingo's CDN
The ‘Speed & Security' plan gives you access to US-based support agents for questions and advice. To have these agents actually work on a problem, you need to purchase support hours à la carte at a rate of $110/hour. Or, you can signup for a recurring hourly plan, and pay $99/hour.
Maintaingo's monthly plans will get you a better deal on support hours. The ‘1 Support Hour' plan is $99/month, the ‘3 Support Hours' plan is $297/month, and the ‘5 Support Hours' plan is $495/month. These plans don't include the features of the ‘Speed & Security' plan, but you can add ‘Speed & Security' to the ‘1 Support Hour' plan for $39/month, and you can add it to the ‘3 Support Hours' and ‘5 Support Hours' plans for just $29/month.
You also save money with these monthly plans because, instead of resetting each month, your unused hours from one month roll over to the next month. If you don't use them for a month, don't fret — you can use that time you paid for next month.
Many website maintenance services will try to lock you into a yearly contract. Maintaingo's month-to-month payment structure gives you the freedom to leave whenever you want. Also, all of Maintaingo's plans have a 30-day money back guarantee.
Service Time Estimates
Maintaingo recommends the ‘1 Support Hour' plan to small businesses that only need one or two fixes a month, the ‘3 Support Hours' plan to companies with weekly website needs, and the ‘5 Support Hours' plan to companies that want help with more than just upkeep.
To further help you decide how many support hours you'll need, Maintaingo has a WordPress support services catalog that tells you how long it usually takes them to solve specific issues. If you know exactly which services you want, you can get a good idea of how many hours you should purchase by using the catalog.
These estimated times range from 5 minutes to 5+ hours. Most services fall in the 15 to 45 minutes range.
Here's how long it takes Maintaingo to solve a few of the most common WordPress problems:
- Error Establishing Database Connection – 20 minutes
- White Screen of Death – 30 minutes
- 500 Internal Server Error – 40 minutes
- Malware Removal – 45 minutes
But you don't need to wait for your site to be broken to contact Maintaingo. They offer services that will protect your site from bugs, malware, and hackers, reducing the chance that there'll be a problem to fix in the first place. Maintaingo offers services that will make your site load faster as well, including bulk image optimization (2 images per minute) and code minification (15 minutes).
Finally, Maintaingo can help you with search optimization and other online marketing efforts. Here are some examples of Maintaingo's SEO and CRO services (they tend to take a little more time):
- Setup Landing Page Call to Action – 45 minutes
- User Flow/Bounce Rate Analysis and Recommendations – 45 minutes
- SEO Audit and Recommendations – 1 hour
- Make Site Mobile-Friendly – 1 to 5+ hours
Without Maintaingo, how would you maintain your WordPress site?
You could try to do it yourself. That's one option.
Do you have the technical skills to fix bugs and protect your site from attacks? Remember, downtime can cost you a lot of money. Your site needs to be functional if you're going to use it to convert visitors into customers. Downtime is also bad for your reputation – it makes you look unprofessional. This isn't something you should try to do by yourself unless you really know what you're doing. Your company's reputation is at stake.
Your other option is to hire someone instead of using a third-party service. But even Maintaingo's highest monthly price of $524 (the ‘5 Support Hours' plan with added ‘Speed & Security') is significantly less than what you would pay to add another person to your staff. An employee would probably cost you more than that per week.
Maintaingo gives you access to the same level of expertise as an in-house IT guy at a price that's much more affordable.
Clutch, a Washington, D.C.-based B2B research firm, named Maintaingo one of the top 15 Seattle web developers.
In an environment like Seattle, home to Amazon, Moz, and countless other internet companies, it's hard to stand out as a web developer. It's easy to see why Maintaingo was awarded this honor, though. Clutch collects client reviews, and the feedback for Maintaingo has been glowing.
“They definitely have a lot of integrity; whereas other companies that I had worked with years ago never gave me any idea what I paid for or if I got my value,” wrote Shannon Felix, co-owner of Avalon Glassworks. “Maintaingo always keeps in touch with me about what they’re doing, how long it’s taking them, and what it’s costing.”
Elizabeth Kennedy, a project manager at Square Tomato, had this to say: “They’re excellent – always cheerful, always positive, always staying on top of everything.” When asked if there were any areas in which Maintaingo could improve, Kennedy simply wrote “No.”
The Final Word
Choosing a company to take care of your website is all about trust. With their see-for-yourself tracking system and positive customer reviews, Maintaingo has proven that you can trust them. This is the perfect service for setting up your site and making sure it stays up.
Coupon and Signup
We have arranged a special deal for SourceWP readers: 30% of Maintaingo's Speed & Security Bundle. Click here to claim the offer.