How to get the best from WordPress Support & Maintenance.

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WordPress support and maintenance is more than just technical assistance.

What should you be able to use your support time for?

We think that if you are paying a company for WordPress support, that support should cover every aspect of your site, not just updates and technical support.

When you have a support contract with a WordPress agency, you generally buy an amount of time each month for work on your site.

Therefore, this time should be available for all types of WordPress requests, including:

  1. Technical help
  2. Theme development work
  3. Theme and Plugin updates
  4. Installing and testing plugins
  5. Technical optimisation
  6. Design work
  7. On-page SEO
  8. Copy editing
  9. Copywriting
  10. Keyword research
  11. Site Audits and improvements
  12. Internal linking
  13. Image optimising

We’ve explained each one below in more detail.

Using support time for technical help.

This is the most common service provided under a WordPress maintenance contract.

Technical support does what it says on the tin; it’s supports with the technical aspects of WordPress that only experienced WordPress devs can do and is usually outside the scope of non-developer types.

If you’ve ever spent hours trying to fix something yourself in WordPress only to find a developer who does it in 10 minutes, you’ll already know the importance of technical help with WordPress.

Get started with support

Theme development work as part of a WordPress maintenance contract.

Theme development work is ‘technically’ technical support, but it’s more focused on developing your theme, so it gets its own slot.

Every WordPress site is powered by a theme. The theme controls the styling and layout of the site and contains code that makes things work.

There are three main types of files in your theme:

  1. Template files
  2. Function files
  3. CSS files

These three types of files form the core of your website.

All themes are different, and you may choose an off-the-shelf theme or a bespoke theme—both of which have pros and cons.

You should be able to use your support time for any theme-related work, such as adding a new page template or changing some CSS styling.

Theme and plugin updates via a support contract.

WordPress has made the whole process of updating things a lot easier in recent years, but it is still something that can cause issues.

There is more to an update than pressing the blue button.

Your site has three main things that need to be updated as part of WordPress maintenance:

  1. WordPress
  2. Themes
  3. Plugins

Updating WordPress

This updates the core WP files to the newest version. Generally, this goes smoothly, but it can still cause issues (see below).

Updating themes.

If you have an off-the-shelf theme, the developers will update this regularly to ensure it works correctly; again, this can often cause issues.

Updating plugins.

Updates become available for plugins as and when the developers push them live, so plugins need to be updated all the time.

What problems can arise from WordPress updates?

Most WP sites combine free and paid plugins and free, paid or bespoke themes.

A WP site has a lot of code that needs to play nicely with other code, so when one thing updates, it sometimes causes issues with something else.

Other considerations include the PHP version your server runs—often, plugins stop working with older versions of PHP when they update, which can take down your site.

This is why using your support time for WordPress updates makes good sense. Your support team can test this and check everything is going to work correctly.

Get a WordPress support plan

Installing and testing plugins as part of a WordPress support arrangement.

If you need to install a new plugin on your site, it needs to be tested first to make sure it doesn’t break your website.

When a new plugin is installed on your WordPress site, it can sometimes cause issues with existing plugins, so this process is best done on a staging server (a clone of your website that is not live).

You should be able to use your WordPress support time to have your site cloned for staging, installation, and testing of the plugin there.

If everything works fine, the staging site can be pushed live, or you can repeat the process on the live site.

Although this does effectively use twice as much time as going straight in and installing in the live environment, it does avoid downtime.

Using support time for technical optimisation

This is definitely somewhere where you should spend support time.

Technically optimising your site is time well spent as an optimised site will rank better in the search results.

Making your site faster is a top priority if you are investing anything in SEO, so your WordPress support team should be able to help you improve your site speed.


Get a WordPress support plan

Using a WordPress support contract for design work.

This is interesting as a lot of WordPress maintenance companies don’t have design capabilities.

We think you should be able to get design work done as part of your WordPress maintenance, which is why we offer this service.

Toast has a design and development team, so we can provide this added-value service as part of your overall support contract.

It’s also not limited to web design as our creatives have experience across branding, print work, reports, infographics and all the other services you’d expect from a full-service design agency.

We can provide the full range of web, branding and print design services as part of your WordPress support package.

Get your on-page SEO sorted.

Another service where purely technical support lets you down is on-page SEO – if you have a team already working on your site through a support contract, SEO is a real bonus.

Again, this is something extra that Toast brings to the party when it comes to WordPress support.

We have two in-house copywriters with plenty of on-page SEO experience, so you can use your support time on any page of your site to improve on-page SEO.

Get a WordPress support plan

Copy editing for SEO will help your site rank.

Closely linked to on-page SEO, copy editing is where our team help you perfect your site’s content.

You can’t just write content for the search engines; you have to create knowledgeable and lengthy articles to demonstrate that your website’s page deserves to rank above everyone else.

Using your support time for copy-editing can be part of the overall SEO process to improve the content score of pages on your site.

Support time can be used for copywriting services.

And we don’t mean copy written by AI.

Our in-house team can help you with everything from the initial keyword research to article research, planning and copywriting.

Using your support contract time for copywriting can mean you get a steady stream of well-written articles on your site that boost you in the search results.

We offer an extremely flexible and value-for-money WordPress maintenance plan.

We’re a full-service agency, so our WordPress support clients benefit from being able to use any of our services as part of their support time.

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Targeting better keywords to get your site ranking for more terms.

Finding the right keywords for your site means using tools like SEM Rush and ahrefs.

These tools are not cheap, but as a larger WordPress support agency, we invest in them to deliver valuable keyword data for our clients.

You can use your support time to have our team research long-tail keywords that could open up new opportunities for your site and bring you new business.

Get a WordPress support plan

Getting audits as part of your WordPress support.

Third-party site audits are an objective way of benchmarketing and improving your site.

We use both SEM Rush and ahrefs for website audits, which provide an effective reporting system for site issues and errors.

A good use of support time is to spend it correcting any errors that creep into your site over time and making sure it’s running at 100%.

Internal linking: the most under-used SEO benefit.

When search engines spider your site, they try to understand what it’s about and where it should rank. Good internal linking helps them to understand things.

Spending support time on analysing and improving your internal linking is another aspect of WordPress support and maintenance that can deliver great returns.

Internal linking is often an afterthought when writing content, but it should be one of the main reasons you write new content!

We can help you look at your existing internal links and how to improve them – we’ve even written our own plugin to help with the task.

Invest some time in optimising your images for a faster site.

If your website has 100s of overly large images on the pages it will slow the site down and prevent bots from indexing things properly.

There are four things when it comes to images:

  1. Image sizes
  2. Image ALT tags
  3. Image file names
  4. Image titles

Firstly you don’t want your image to be too large for your site, so these should be resized in Photoshop prior to uploading.

Your images also need to have meaningful ALT tags to describe the image.

Believe it or not, we also think that image file names are important; don’t upload a file called 34242343.jpg as it means nothing, instead, wordpress-support-contract.jpg makes much more sense.

Finally, ensure that all the image titles are correct and optimised – this, too, can make a big difference to SEO.

Using spare support time to optimise your image is another thing that you can use your support time for.

Get a WordPress support plan