If you’ve decided to use WordPress to power your website, you’ll likely need some help staying on top of everything. Picture the scene:
- You’re working on an online project and need help managing the technical side of things.
- You are part of a company that has moved the website (and website maintenance) to your department.
- You want to focus on delivering your business’s services instead of spending time on website maintenance.
- You need some security for your WordPress website and want professionals to lean on for those rare instances you need timely, expert WordPress help.
You need WordPress help, but WordPress help isn’t easy to come by. Why not?
WordPress has achieved such a prominent place in the internet ecosystem because it’s free, open-source software, which means that you can simply install the software to your hosting server and use it to power your website. But this also means that there is no official support for WordPress.org sites. As you can probably imagine, this is a significant limitation of the WordPress platform.
If you’re using WordPress to power your small business website or run an eCommerce store, you’ll understand how frustrating it can be to run into a problem with your site and not be able to find timely WordPress help.
The good news is that you can outsource WordPress help to professionals who will integrate website support and development into your workflow and take care of site maintenance for you.
In this article, we’ll explain how you can get WordPress help for your website, what to look for when evaluating options for getting the best WordPress help, and how to choose the right solution for your specific needs.
But before we begin, let’s quickly take a look at what you can do to troubleshoot WordPress help issues on your own and why that isn’t always a viable option.
Troubleshooting WordPress help issues on your own
If you’re technically proficient, you might be inclined to take the DIY approach. While it’s certainly possible to try and troubleshoot problems by yourself, it might not always be the best option for you or your business. If you’re unsure about what you’re doing, troubleshooting can take a lot of time, as you’ll have to scour the internet for solutions, work out which is the best advice, and then action it yourself. And that’s assuming you do it right - there’s every chance that you could end up doing more harm to your WordPress website than good.
Let’s say you work in your company’s marketing department. Your job is to create advertising campaigns, monitor market trends, and develop targeting strategies based on various metrics. If you take on the responsibility of supporting the business’s website, WordPress admin and troubleshooting WordPress issues as well, you’ll likely be sidetracked from what you’re actually supposed to be doing.
Keeping both your job and your WordPress website running is mission-critical for doing business in 2020 – especially considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the decline in brick-and-mortar business presence.
Limitations clients feel with getting WordPress help
As a WordPress site manager, you might feel your options are pretty limited when it comes to resolving WordPress problems. As we mentioned earlier, WordPress.org is free, open-source software, which means there isn’t dedicated support available from the developers. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any support available for when you need WordPress help.
We’re Valet, a full-service agency that’ll take care of everything for you, and we wrote this article! Our service enables you to integrate professional website support and development into your day-to-day workflow. As a result, you’re able to outsource maintenance and site upkeep off to WordPress help and support experts so you can focus on growing your business.
Five options for getting WordPress help
Here, we’ll lay out the different options available to you for getting WordPress help for your website or online store.
Valet provides professional WordPress website management, consultation, and development services. It’s the go-to solution for business owners that need WordPress help regularly (or from time to time) to manage the technical side of running a website.
In addition to WordPress maintenance and support, Valet also offers website health and speed audits and assessments, the option to add WordPress experts to your team remotely, and scanning and remediation for website accessibility issues.
Valet is a full-service company that takes care of everything for you, leaving you to work on what you’re best at - your own work and business! Depending on the type of WordPress help you’re seeking, you can sign up for different Valet services.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the services Valet offers and how they can help you keep your business website running smoothly:
- Core WordPress Maintenance. Valet’s WordPress website maintenance features offer secure code backups, malware scanning, and uptime monitoring to help protect your site and make sure it’s up and running around the clock. It includes ensuring the WordPress core, themes, and plugins are always up to date. The team can also help you with CDN and HTTPS setup – both of which are critically important for business sites.
- eCommerce Maintenance. Valet’s eCommerce website testing workflows help ensure that your online store is running smoothly at all times. This includes making sure important pages load successfully, testing guest (and logged-in) user checkout workflows, and verifying contact forms work properly. Valet works with all major eCommerce platforms, including WooCommerce.
- Professional Support and Development. Valet gives WordPress businesses the option to expand their tech team with project managers, full-stack developers, and other resources without having to worry about hiring talent during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This means you can outsource WordPress help-related tasks like troubleshooting and development, such as creating custom code to add new features to your site.
- Audits and Assessments. Valet provides a complete Website Health Assessment and Speed Assessment to help WordPress businesses figure out where they stand and what they need to do to improve their website.
- Accessibility. Valet is an online ADA partner that provides scanning and remediation for accessibility issues, helping you ensure your WordPress site is accessible by people with disabilities and socio-economic restrictions, and to eliminate legal liability for noncompliance.
Why Valet is the best choice
One of the main reasons why Valet is the best choice for businesses looking for WordPress help is that it provides full service, instead of just standard WordPress maintenance. In other words, it’s a one-stop-shop for managing your entire WordPress website or WooCommerce store.
When it comes to finding good WordPress help for your business, you need to think long term. Ask yourself:
What happens after you get support? Will you be able to do the work you need to do? What if it’s development-related?
You don’t want to end up in situations where you’re vetting service providers on freelance websites for specific tasks. You might end up hiring a freelancer one month to take care of WordPress maintenance and a few more people the next month to help with WordPress development. You’ll have to keep continually on top of who has done what, why, and when, and end up becoming an impromptu project manager for a project you don’t even understand!
Valet, on the other hand, takes care of all of this for you and brings years of professional experience to the table.
Whether you’re running an online or brick-and-mortar business, if you don’t have people with technical experience to keep WordPress secure and up-to-date, it makes sense to outsource site maintenance and upkeep to a single, cohesive team of professionals. It gives you peace of mind knowing that you won’t get bogged down by technical work.
Even if you’re technically proficient, it helps to have someone constantly monitoring your site’s uptime and stats and able to take care of things if your site goes down. Less hassle and more peace of mind for you.
The best part is that Valet’s WordPress professionals work as an extension of your team, rather than the ad hoc nature of getting freelancers in to solve problems. By developing a long term relationship with your site, the Valet team understands your site’s infrastructure. It’s a relief when they can quickly resolve any issues you’re facing without requiring you to go into in-depth explanation, as some of our users told us:
“Valet gives us peace of mind and frees up a lot of time when fixes or development needs to be done, as Valet's team already has access to our framework and understands the infrastructure.”
“We see Valet as a partner to help us maintain and update our website. They are proactive to keep it updated and running smoothly and quick to react and solve any problems or custom solutions we may need.”
2. Free support from WordPress.org
WordPress.org is free and open-source, which means it’s supported by volunteers, not a dedicated support team. This means that you shouldn’t expect to access support via email, live chat, or phone.
Keep in mind that WordPress.org is different from WordPress.com (by Automattic), which is a hosted platform that comes with dedicated support.
That said, WordPress does have a support page on its official website, which is basically a knowledge base with documentation, step-by-step tutorials, and FAQs covering the following broad topics:
- Getting Started
- Installing WordPress
- Basic Usage
- Basic Administration
- Advanced Topics
In addition to this, the official WordPress support page also links to volunteer-led support forums. This allows WordPress users to see if other users have experienced similar issues and get WordPress help from the community.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can get similar support for specific themes and plugins if you download and install them from the WordPress Theme Directory or the WordPress Plugin Directory. You can do this by heading over to the WordPress theme or plugin’s page and navigating to the View support forum link to access the forum.
For example, if you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin, you can visit Yoast’s support forum to learn about common issues WordPress users have had with it and the community’s recommendations on how to resolve them.
This sort of WordPress support is fine for basic WordPress issues and tasks that aren’t time-sensitive. For example, if you’re a website owner running a simple online magazine or personal blog, you can rely on the free support you get from WordPress.org. However, your forum post might not get a response for weeks or even months! Businesses that need their site to be running smoothly at all times are best off looking elsewhere.
3. Support from the premium theme or plugins you’re using
If you’re using a premium WordPress theme or plugin, you might be able to get some WordPress help from the developers - though this will often depend on the pricing tier you're on. However, the team will likely only be able to resolve very specific problems related to their product(s) rather than general WordPress errors.
For example, if you’re using a premium WordPress theme or page builder (like Elementor) and aren’t sure why your website is slow, there’s only so much the theme developers can do to help you to get it to speed up. For this, you’d need professionals to perform a speed assessment for your WordPress website and develop an action plan.
The theme developers will, however, have the know-how to help you to customize the look and feel of your website’s front-end and figure out where to insert custom CSS code. You will need to write the code yourself, though.
Similarly, if you’re using premium plugins, the WordPress developers can help you figure out why their plugin isn’t working on your site as it should, or how to set up a widget in your site's header or sidebar. For example, they might recommend making sure you’re using the latest PHP version, but they can’t go into your hosting server and site to check it for you.
Depending on your needs, it might make more sense to work with a professional WordPress support and development agency, like Valet, that’s an extension of your own team. This way, you’ll get timely replies and be able to resolve issues faster, no matter the trouble. Plus, you can even ask them to write up some custom CSS for you!
4. Managed WordPress hosting providers
If you’ve been in the WordPress space for some time now, you might have heard of managed WordPress hosting providers. For those unfamiliar, managed WordPress hosts only take care of the hosting side of things.
For instance, they’ll help you install WordPress to your hosting server after you sign up for a managed WordPress hosting plan, make sure your server is configured properly, install an SSL certificate, and help you configure the MySQL database. Beyond this, managed WordPress hosting providers aren’t responsible for conducting speed audits or making sure your site is secure.
It’s important to bear in mind that managed hosts will only support WordPress installations running on their hosting servers. In other words, they don’t offer support for the WordPress software itself. This means that they can help you resolve plugin conflict issues if they’re related to your hosting environment but can’t help you figure out how to extend the plugin’s core functionality using PHP code for a specific, development-related task, set up a page builder (like Elementor), or resolve WordPress back-end issues.
In addition, they won’t be able to help resolve issues related to eCommerce websites powered by WooCommerce or membership sites that use a combination of plugins to run. This is a major downside of relying entirely on managed WordPress hosting providers if you’re running an online store.
Put simply, if you sign up for a managed WordPress host, you shouldn’t expect to receive in-depth support for WordPress core issues or theme and plugin problems. They can only provide support for WordPress issues related to hosting.
It’s easy to understand why WordPress users are increasingly frustrated with the support experiences they receive from managed hosts. Most complaints fall under one of three broad categories:
- Long wait times.
- Slow response times.
- Support tickets getting passed around several different support tiers before finally ending up at one that can give an answer
And, many times, after all that the managed hosting provider won’t actually be able to help you resolve your issue. On the flip side, a WordPress management, support, and development company, like Valet, solves everything for you, whether it’s related to the hardware side of things or the software.
5. WordPress maintenance and support services
There are some other options available to you when it comes to getting WordPress help. A quick Google search will turn out maintenance and support services for getting basic WordPress help. You can sign up for WordPress maintenance and support services provided by companies like GoWP or WP Buffs.
However, these services typically just cover basic WordPress support and maintenance related tasks. This typically includes making sure the WordPress core and themes and plugins are up-to-date and making sure your site is backed up. Some might even help you with search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, social media integrations, or making sure your plugins play nicely with Elementor page builder.
The first step to solving a problem with your WordPress site is to understand what exactly the issue is. If you don’t have a clear understanding of the problem, it’s difficult to get support or WordPress help. Valet’s professionals have real-world experience and can help you resolve issues with your WordPress site in a timely manner instead of implementing quick fixes.
If you run into a scenario where there’s follow-up work that needs to be done, many of these one-time support sites will leave you on your own. For example, if you have trouble getting your CDN to work smoothly with your WordPress site, then a WordPress maintenance and support service provider can help you configure your CDN plugin’s settings, but you’ll have to mess around with the actual CDN yourself.
Valet, on the other hand, solves all of these problems for you since it’s a full-service provider that’s always ready for you and your site. The team ensures that you have professional support available to you around the clock that you can reach out to via phone or email. This saves you from having to submit support tickets and waiting for a representative to get back to you.
Get WordPress help for your business
If you’re running an online business, brick-and-mortar business, WordPress side-project site, online store, or membership site, you might need some sort of WordPress help sooner or later.
Instead of spending time troubleshooting issues on your own or worrying about hiring in-house talent, it’s a great idea to enlist a WordPress support and development company with a proven track record of success. This way, you won’t feel limited when it comes to using the powerful and flexible WordPress CMS to power your site. You can use it to its full potential while outsourcing the technical side of things and focusing on growing your small business.
To recap, here are the WordPress help services Valet can help you with:
- Making sure your WordPress site is up-to-date, backed up, malware-free, and running smoothly.
- Setting up a CDN and HTTPS on your business website or online store.
- Create, set up, and run automated eCommerce website testing workflows to ensure important pages load successfully every time.
- Onboard project managers, full-stack developers, and other WordPress experts for WordPress help, support, and development tasks.
- Running a complete website audit and assessment (health assessment and speed assessment) to improve site performance.
- Find and fix website accessibility issues to ensure your WordPress site is accessible by people with disabilities and socio-economic restrictions.
Valet is the perfect WordPress help solution provider for businesses that don’t have time to manage the technical aspects of running a website or don’t have the technical expertise in-house. Instead of hiring freelancers or outsourcing support and development tasks to multiple agencies, it’s much more cost-effective to go with a full-service WordPress help solution provider.
Ready to get WordPress help for your business? Get in touch with Valet today!