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1. Introduction

When you are on the hunt for WordPress support, it is important to ask the right questions. You are about to trust someone with your website – the online face for your business. Take the time to ask potential support providers the following questions. These questions will assist you in making a good decision on who to trust with your website. After all, it is better to thoroughly vet support providers before you start than to switch to a different one down the line.

There is a lot of support available for WordPress. You can browse the WordPress website for a wealth of information. There are many forums and other sites that offer tips and techniques. Of course, there is always the option to hire a web consultant, but that might not be feasible for you. Regardless of your needs, support is available. There are many companies and individuals who provide WordPress support services ranging from answering a quick question to full-on website management.

Everyone has experienced frustration from a website that is not working correctly. It could even be your site, so the frustration is even worse. Sure, it was easy enough to set up a website, but now that you are experiencing issues, you are thinking “now what do I do?” One of the great benefits of using WordPress for your website is that there is always plenty of access to support. Just Google what your issue is and you are sure to find the answer. But what happens when you do not have the time to research a question or issue yourself?

2. Questions to Ask Before Committing to WordPress Support

Can you provide references from previous clients? A trustworthy support provider should have a list of happy clients who are satisfied with the service that he has offered. Contacting these previous clients can give you valuable feedback on the support provider and can help you make a decision whether or not to use his services. References can also give you insight into the experience that the support provider has had and can verify his claims of having significant experience in WordPress.

What is your experience with WordPress? This is the first question that should be asked when seeking WordPress support. The support provider should have a significant amount of experience with WordPress, including the ability to troubleshoot and solve common problems. WordPress has an extensive range of plugins and themes, and it is crucial that the person providing support should be familiar with your current WordPress setup. Asking this question should be followed up by asking the support provider to explain in detail his experience with WordPress, including his opinions and reactions to the growth and changes with WordPress.

2.1. Question 1: What is your experience with WordPress?

Experience with WordPress is the most critical point to talk about when you are interviewing a potential support provider. It’s important to get a feel for just how well this candidate knows WordPress. Before doing the interview, you may want to quiz yourself a bit on WordPress to find out how much you know. The WordPress Codex is a great place to learn everything there is to know about WordPress. See if this candidate knows about WordPress what you learned from the Codex. This can be a great way to determine if this candidate is just BSing a lot of things in hopes to get the position. It’s important this candidate and you have a strong understanding of WordPress. The conversation will need to delve deep into WordPress because you will need to learn about this WP expert’s methodologies. Often, you do not know everything that happens behind the scenes with your WordPress site. It’s important to know whether or not this candidate has been making essential customizations you’re unaware of that may make things easier, more efficient, cheaper, etc. This candidate can be a brilliant WordPress developer, you’ve got to find out about the information and the experience of this talent. A smart question is to ask this WordPress expert if he has previously had problems with certain plugins/themes. If he’s experienced, he may even already know before you tell him. Lastly, what kind of experience does he have with his web design? It’s important he understands how to turn your idea into a great looking site.

2.2. Question 2: Can you provide references from previous clients?

Yes, this is an important question to ask any prospective WordPress support service. While experience with WordPress is crucial, the ability of the support agent to provide references from previous clients adds significant weight to their claims. Any good support service should be able to quickly and easily provide satisfied customers for you to talk to regarding their best experience of the support agent, and this can often be excellent reassurance for the potential client. References are also a way of substantiating the claims of experience made by the support agent. An experienced agent may still provide poor support, and by speaking with previous clients, you will have a better feel for the capability of the support agent, with insight into their support methods and practices. Any support service with genuine belief in the quality of their service and a history of satisfied clients should be more than happy to share those clients’ contact details with you.

2.3. Question 3: What services do you offer for WordPress support?

It is at this point where you need to clarify the services that you require for your WordPress site from the company or individual that you are considering to employ. Compare what they can offer with what you require and make sure that you are not paying for services that you do not need, or receiving less than what you require. Typical services to consider are theme or custom coding, custom plugin development, site migrations, bug fixes, digital marketing campaigns and graphic design. Many companies will specialize in a certain area or provide packages that will only cover certain services and it is important to be aware of this. If you have a small requirement of a one-off service, make sure you can get it for a good price and not get involved with paying a regular subscription as this often works out more costly. It is also worth considering how you would like the services provided to you. Do you have an ad-hoc requirement for a couple of hours work each month, for example making some changes to your site and doing some digital marketing? Or do you require regular support with possible emergency work at any time of day, for example an e-commerce site selling thousands of products with thousands of visitors per day? Different providers will be able to accommodate different requirements and you will need to find a good match.

2.4. Question 4: How do you handle website security?

When it comes to website security, consider asking your potential support service what specific measures are taken to secure your website. This could be a firewall, malware scanning, or disabling file editing. A quality support service will be able to give you specific details on how they keep your website secure. An example of a next best question would be “If my site is hacked, how would you fix it?” The answer to this question will give you a clear indication of the extent of support and technical ability your service provider has to offer. If it’s a simple answer such as “We would restore a backup,” then it’s a fair indication that your service provider isn’t equipped to cope with security challenges. A good answer to this question would involve steps to first remove the malware, find the source, secure the website, and then take preventative steps to stop it happening again.

2.5. Question 5: What is your response time for support requests?

Note that there is a difference between a response time and resolution time. Response time is the time it takes for the support professional to acknowledge your request and begin working on it. Resolution time is the time it takes to complete the request. This is an important differentiation with urgent requests. If your web site is down and you need it fixed immediately, a response time of a few hours is not going to cut it. A good support professional should be able to drop what they are doing and begin work to get your site up and then continue to work with you to ensure the underlying issue is resolved. Always be sure to agree on a clear deadline for the completion of your request.

In this era of instant communication and gratification, a reasonable response time is clearly important. Ideally, you want to find a professional who is able to respond to an urgent request within an hour. However, it is important to have reasonable expectations. If your request is not urgent, it is not reasonable to expect a response within an hour. Good support professionals are usually busy and are not sitting in front of their computer waiting for your request. They are typically balancing their workload on several clients and will often need to schedule requests into their work queue. So it is important to be clear on the nature of your request and when you need a response by. A good professional will be able to give you an accurate expectation of their response time for your request.

2.6. Question 6: Do you offer ongoing maintenance and updates?

By engaging with WordPress Support, you can rest assured that your site is in safe hands and that any issues that occur will be dealt with promptly. We’ll keep a close eye on your site after any changes to ensure that nothing has ‘broken’. And in the event that your site does experience a failure of some sort, we offer automatic offsite backups and can have your site up and running within a very short space of time.

It is also not uncommon for your site to generate errors or for plugins to not function correctly. You may from time to time experience the white screen of death. When these events occur, having a developer on hand to quickly diagnose and fix the problem is invaluable. Times like these are also when having a recent backup of your site becomes very useful.

We know that WordPress regularly releases new versions of their software, services, and plugins such as themes, CSS, and PHP. PHP is a recursive acronym for “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor” and is a widely-used, open-source embedded scripting language. It does, however, still need to be installed.

2.7. Question 7: How do you handle website backups?

More times than not, the website owner is completely in the dark about the status of their website backups. And when the time comes to restore their website, they find that the backup is either outdated, incomplete or simply non-existent. This is a painful (and entirely avoidable) realization which often comes with a hefty price tag.

Let me put it this way: The average website crashes at least once a year. For small business websites, this can be due to anything from a hacker attack to a corrupt database. I’ve even witnessed a website go kaput simply from installing a single faulty plugin. These issues require access to a recent website backup in order to quickly restore the site to its former working capacity.

At the risk of being pegged a doomsday prophet, I’m going to come right out and say it: your website will crash. It’s not a matter of if, but when. And when that time comes, you better hope you have a recent website backup ready to deploy. If not, be prepared to lose a significant chunk of time and money.

2.8. Question 8: What is your pricing structure for WordPress support?

Another important point is to find a service which does not differentiate between the various tasks which they will be performing on your site when pricing their support plans. Maintaining a WordPress site involves a multitude of different task types. Plugin installation and general support can often lead to custom script installation. Sometimes site owners need an entire theme restructured but an in-depth alteration such as this may cause other minor problems around the site. With a price differentiated service you might find your support provider avoiding certain tasks. Usually services will not tell you that they are avoiding work, they just won’t do it. This is because they are looking at the time vs. pay-off of the various tasks, deciding that spending 3 hours fixing something for you is not cost-effective. This sounds fair enough but is potentially damaging for you. Always ensure that your support service will do absolutely anything that you ask of them for the same monthly rate.

This question needs a multi-faceted answer. First and foremost, you need to identify a service provider who will not charge you ‘per job’. Many WordPress support services operate on a ‘job by job’ basis. This is not effective because it means site owners will often put off necessary work due to financial constraints. Running a site on old software to avoid further costs is a terrible idea and will often lead to more expenses in the long run. Plugins or themes will become outdated and incompatible with other software, PHP and MySQL updates can make your site unstable and insecure, and any modifications which you have had done may ‘break’ if not maintained with updates. Always make sure to find a service that provides unlimited support for a fixed monthly fee. This will give you a solid budget for your site and you can feel free to contact your support service at any time without fear of being billed more than your monthly rate.

2.9. Question 9: Do you have a team dedicated to WordPress support?

Check the nature of the support team. For example, if they are based in a different timezone, you might experience delays in getting your issues resolved as the support staff will only be available during your nighttime.

A dedicated team of WordPress experts means that there is a higher chance they have come across similar issues before and will be able to resolve them more quickly.

By having a specific WordPress support team, it means that you can access a collective pool of WordPress knowledge and experience. If support is provided by a general support team that handles inquiries on all manner of software, the chances are that support staff may not be very familiar with WordPress.

To effectively manage and provide WordPress support, it is ideal that the provider has a team of individuals who are experts in different areas of WordPress. This helps to ensure that the best possible solution can be found for the problems that arise.

2.10. Question 10: How do you communicate with clients during the support process?

We see a range of styles when communicating with our clients from Skype, email, and screenshare/phone when needed. We will discuss with you to see what style is best for you. We usually find that a non-formal style works best with most clients. We understand that the support process can be quite frustrating and often involves complex data. This is where we can really shine. We can partake in technical discussions with competent web developers and software engineers, but at the same time, we have the ability to dumb our language down to the ultra layman. We know that some complex IT concepts can be quite confusing and scary for some users, and we are more than happy to spend the extra time making sure you fully understand what is happening with your website. Overall, your interaction with us will be uncomplicated.

3. Conclusion

Remember, creating a website can be very easy with help from onsite website builders and simple software. Technical support is something else. Often times, you are stuck with highly technical problems which require time to resolve. Rummaging through pages and pages of forum posts that do not solve your specific problem can be quite frustrating. A support company with the ability to ‘take control’ and execute a specific task to solve a problem is very valuable. Price this service as it is likely billed as an hourly rate, opposed to a one-time fix. This can be the most cost-effective in the long run.

This article has covered the advantages of working with a WordPress support company, rather than an individual. The importance of proper research, when deciding which company to work with, was stressed. There are several key questions that you should ask before making a commitment. The chosen company should create secure services, supply you with a functioning website, and be affordable in terms of your budget. Customer service and overall service quality are also incredibly important. It is important to ask specific questions in order to ensure that you are not hiring unreliable service providers.

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Top 7 Benefits of Ongoing WordPress Support You Can’t Ignore (


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