WordPress Support versus WordPress Maintenance

What’s the difference and which do you need?

The difference between WordPress support and WordPress maintenance services

If you’ve spent any time looking into WordPress services online, there’s no doubt you’ve encountered the terms “WordPress support” and “WordPress maintenance.” These terms are often used interchangeably, but they don’t necessarily mean the same thing. So what is the difference and which does your website need?

Here is the simplest way to differentiate them: WordPress maintenance focuses mainly on preventing problems whereas WordPress support focuses on fixing them after they’ve already occurred. But these aren’t hard and fast definitions— especially when the service providers themselves don’t abide by them. 

This breakdown of the two terms and the services they refer to will clear up any discrepancies and help you decide what to look for when seeking assistance with your WordPress website.

WordPress Maintenance

The principal purpose of a WordPress maintenance service is to prevent your website from crashing or encountering show stopping issues. They provide regular website upkeep so that there are no lapses in performance or security. They keep the wheels greased, so to speak. WordPress maintenance services should always be proactive, meaning they are doing their thing in the background without you constantly having to reach out to them with requests.

WordPress maintenance services generally (hopefully) perform the following tasks:

  • WordPress core updates 
  • Server updates
  • Updates to WordPress plugins
  • Website monitoring
  • Security patches
  • Website backups
  • WordPress theme license renewals

If you currently manage your own site, you’re most likely familiar with these tasks. These are the baseline requirements for maintaining a healthy WordPress website. And if you are the one responsible for this to-do list, you know how quickly time spent on each task adds up. A WordPress maintenance service will take this list of duties off your plate.

WordPress Support

WordPress support services, on the other hand, are more like help desks or customer service agencies that provide assistance with website issues and may perform other special services upon request. The term “support” in the tech or retail world generally implies that a live interaction with a human being is involved. The same is true in the world of WordPress. WordPress support involves a phone hotline, email, or ticketing system where you can submit requests for specific issues to be fixed. 

WordPress support generally helps with:

  • Emergencies
  • Bug fixes
  • Questions and concerns

While proactive support should be the goal, support is generally more reactive to issues that have already occurred. Unlike WordPress maintenance, WordPress support is not usually “set it and forget it” and requires you to reach out for assistance whenever a problem pops up.

Which do you need?

If you are a tech savvy or experienced WordPress user with the time to keep up with routine maintenance on your own, then occasionally reaching out for support may be the best route for you. 

If you lack the time and/or technical skills to maintain the code that runs your website, then subscribing to a WordPress maintenance service is worth the investment. They will take the daily, nitty-gritty upkeep of your website off of your hands, freeing you up to focus on the work you’d rather be doing.

In most cases, it is best to seek a service that offers a combination of both. Part of the reason the terms are used interchangeably is that they are often offered as a package deal. Unfortunately, it is common to find services that fall short in either or both categories. For example, they may provide regular maintenance, but when you reach out to ask a question you can’t get in touch with anyone. (But don’t worry, we have you covered there, too.)

Managing a WordPress website can be a full-time job, and you probably already have one of those. Passing the buck to a full-time maintenance service and having a support team to reach out to when you’re stressed or confused can be a huge relief— and highly worth the investment.