One of the great benefits of WordPress is that the core software is free, as are updates released by the WordPress development team.
However that doesn’t mean that running a WordPress website is free – things you would often pay for include:
- Web hosting (and technical support for hosting issues)
- Domain name
- License fees for premium plugins adding functionality to your website
- Plugin update service (to keep WordPress and any add-ons up-to-date and secure from hackers)
- License fee for a theme (design layout) for your site
- Graphic design
- Hands-on assistance from WordPress developers or consultants
- Additional marketing tools (e.g. mailing list)
- SEO analysis and hands-on assistance
- Pay-per-click advertising
- WordPress training / advice
The good news is that WordPress is still a smart investment; the availability of ready-made plugins, resources and documentation means that running a WordPress website is usually far cheaper than a corporate CMS solution.
What do you (Square Eye) charge for?
If we have built and launched your site, you’re under no obligation to call on us for assistance in future. You can arrange your own hosting and backups, update your own plugins, pay your own license fees for any premium tools, look for training online – or simply use another agency to support your website, and we’ll be happy to set them up with what they need.
If you do call on us, then we have a transparent system: we charge for any time we spend working on your website. This may include:
- Installing and configuring plugins to add new features
- Modifying your theme (design)
- Original coding of new features
- Testing, troubleshooting and bug-fixing
- Advice on the use of WordPress, or customising your dashboard
- Liaising with third-party suppliers
- Managing hosting issues (if you arrange your own hosting)
- On-site meetings or lengthy phone calls
Other agencies may throw in some of this for free, but then their hourly rates or monthly fees may be much higher, or they may bill in days where we bill in hours. We find our system works well for our clients and for us.
Hosting, plugin updates & license fees
If you sign up to our Technical support package, then your web hosting, backups, plugin updates, and technical support to do with hosting issues are all included; so are license fees for certain premium plugins. So if your website goes down because of a problem with the server, we will liaise with the hosts to make sure it’s fixed, at no extra cost to you.
The other work above is billable. If you sign up for one of our retainer packages (Quality, Marketing or Strategy), then a certain number of discounted hours (and priority response rates) are included in your package; if they are used up within the month, then additional requests would be billable.
Please note: we take no responsibility for the performance of WordPress or any plugins used on your site. We are happy to make recommendations based on our experience, and to solve problems on your behalf where asked to, but use of any third-party CMS or plugin comes with risk. And because WordPress is free, you have no contract with its developers and no expectation of support from them.
What do we not charge for?
We won’t charge you for:
- Hosting-related support, if you arrange your hosting through us
- Work you didn’t ask to be done on your site (unless you have asked us to take a proactive role in maintaining and improving it)
- Work you’ve already paid for (e.g. a previous layout change that was rolled back by mistake)
- Minor housekeeping of your WordPress dashboard done at our discretion (e.g. updating code because it helps us)
- Quick questions where we can point you at ready-made answers or tutorials
Can we agree a quote for every task in advance?
We don’t give fixed-price quotes for small jobs, because it’s too hard to predict how long they’ll take, especially if you might have follow-up requests, and it’s also not practical to discuss a quote for every request we receive. So if you make a request that is likely to take half an hour or less, we will simply perform the work and add the charge to your account; in the rare case you need to, please query any charge (see below).
Also if you’d like to keep exact control of your spend, ask us about top-ups: blocks of hours, pre-purchased in advance at a discount.
What if you’re slow to meet our request?
We don’t offer formal service level agreements (SLAs) whereby we commit to meeting requests within a certain timetable; but we do have target response times for clients on Quality, Marketing and Strategy packages. All requests are billable whether we meet the targets or not. But, if we regularly miss our targets, you will stop using us – so please talk to us if you’re on a priority support plan and unhappy with our response times.
What if you forget to do something we asked for?
You might ask us for multiple requests in the same support ticket, and we might miss one part of it. We apologise in advance for such cases (and try not do this regularly) – but the follow-up work would still be billable, as it would have been if done all at the same time.
How do we dispute a charge?
Please do look at your invoice when it comes (at the end of each calendar month), and ask us if you feel any item is included that shouldn’t have been. If you dispute a small charge, we will waive the fee and remove the corresponding work from your website. If you feel there has been a misunderstanding over a larger job, we’ll discuss how to handle it with you.
Such disputes are very rare; we try very hard to be as clear and honest about our charges as possible, and we depend on keeping our clients happy in the long-term.