If your business relies heavily on a WordPress website, especially one that is very large or complex, having reliable access to trusted, capable, and professional WordPress support is mission critical if something goes wrong. An online business owner can face a whole range of technical issues as websites age – everything from security breaches to update issues to evolving business needs. The best approach for many businesses is to hire a WordPress developer or development team on retainer.
What is a WordPress Development Retainer?
Simply put, hiring a WordPress developer on retainer is much like hiring a lawyer on retainer: you pay an agreed monthly amount to cover a certain contracted amount of web development work every month. That work could be to fix emergency website issues, offer administrative support, or to improve the website aesthetically or technically, depending on the nature of the particular retainer.
Advantages of a WordPress Development Retainer
If you are aggressively trying to grow an online business, knowing you have a set month of hours of website development to work with can really ignite creativity and business development. The developer or developers on retainer become part of your team and can work with you to find cost effective solutions or identify possible pitfalls as new business ideas and goals are developed. The developers you’re working with become an integral part of the process, rather than just someone you scrambled around trying to hire to execute an idea that hasn’t been technically vetted yet.
Often a business will set a yearly budget for website maintenance and development. However, when the time comes to actually do the needed work, resources are spent seeking, negotiating with, and hiring a web development company to do the work. Breaking that budget up into monthly installments with a development company that is proven to be great to work with not only ensures you will have support at those critical times when you need it, but will also be consistently and fluidly moving forward with technical goals for the web-oriented business.
Lastly, web development companies that work on retainer are looking for long term business partnerships. They are committed to your success and gain a deep familiarity with your website and its critical workings. This is especially relevant if a technical issue is encountered. Hiring web developers for a one-off project and then hoping they will be available later when you need something often doesn’t pan out. If they are a good web development company that focuses on singular projects, it is likely that they will be fully immersed in a new project with deadlines and unavailable to help you.
Is a WordPress Development Retainer Right for Your Business?
A website development retainer has always been considered a more premium service. For many smaller businesses who have more simple website needs, a retainer is probably far beyond the business’s budget or needs. However, as commerce grows ever more dependent on the web and mobile, even this is starting to change. Some web development shops like ours, who have a small team of experts in all areas of digital business, can actually put together more affordable retainer programs by actually including other services. We’ll explain more about these full-service digital retainers below.
A good clue that your small business could benefit from a WordPress development retainer is if you could say yes to the following three things: 1. A great portion of your business income relies on your website. 2. You’ve had continuous issues with your website and are constantly spending valuable resources to seek and hire website support. 3. Over the course of a year you are spending a small fortune putting out website-related fires.
The key to knowing if a web development retainer is right for you comes down to knowing your budget, knowing your goals, and being committed to taking a more proactive approach to your web business. Which brings us back to the aforementioned option, the full-service digital retainer.
The Benefits of a Full-Service Digital Retainer
A full-service digital retainer is the same as the development retainer, but includes digital marketing and SEO components. The reason this is sometimes a good choice for a smaller business is that they are quite often already spending ample time and money in marketing their businesses online. Hiring a full-service digital team on retainer means having marketing professionals to oversee the marketing strategy and guide inhouse staff to more effective results. And there is usually also a web developer on hand to help with the more technical aspects of the web marketing.
With a full-service digital retainer, the real cost benefits become apparent as you realize you have a full team dedicated to your business’s success. Resources can be quickly shifted to where they are needed most and if a critical technical issue arises, you have a web developer on hand who is familiar with your site.
In the end it comes down to talking with some digital agencies who offer retainers and seeing if the services they have to offer fits your budget and need. It may also require a bit of soul searching about how your present business model is working for you, but if it’s not, hiring professionals who have a long-term commitment to your success might be just what you need.
If you’d like to know more about our WordPress development retainers or full-service digital marketing, please call (941) 548-9950 or send us a message via our webform below.