Stop Selling WordPress Maintenance.  Just Stop It.

Ya know that wonderful feeling you got when you woke up that one morning and knew you were going to buy that thing you’ve been dreaming about for months or years? Maybe it was a Gibson guitar, a new car, or the new iPad. You couldn’t wait to get to the store and shell out hundreds or thousands of your hard-earned money to get that thing! Remember that feeling? Felt pretty good, huh? Well, believe me when I say this: Nobody ever felt that way about “WordPress Maintenance”.

People the world-round hate maintenance. We hate maintaining our homes, our cars, our computers, our bodies. It’s a necessary evil that most of us avoid until we’re stuck in disrepair and have no other choice!

Rule #1 of Selling WordPress Maintenance: Don’t sell WordPress Maintenance.

Nobody gets excited about buying WordPress maintenance. It doesn’t matter how many options you offer, how many hours, how much support – it’s not a remotely-interesting product. It’s a necessary evil.

Ya know who people hate calling?  Maintenance people, that’s who! Those nickel-and-dimers! Scammers! You’ve heard the way people talk about cable repair people, plumbers, electricians, lawyers – all the people that we call upon to fix our unmaintained stuff. Trust me – You don’t want to be lumped in with these people! (I’m sorry to my friends who work in these fields, because they are doing hard honest necessary work…but people only reluctantly call them for their services.)

The Less I Talk About Maintenance, the Better.

Maintenance is included in everything The Mighty Mo! sells, but I know from experience, if we’re talking about “maintenance”, we are dying. WordPress maintenance is a means to getting other stuff done. Other upsells. Because if a WordPress site is functioning well, and if I’m listening properly, I’m ahead of the curve and am able to pitch marketing, analysis, and sales!

“Maintenance” Implies “Broken”

You don’t need maintenance unless something’s broken or woefully-out-of-date.

When’s the last time you wanted to pay a bunch of money to fix something that wasn’t totally broken or to upgrade something that wasn’t out-of-date?  Never.

So every maintenance conversation is about fixing broken or deficient stuff.  Those are bad conversations.

Provide maintenance, because you need it to lead to other wins. Maintenance isn’t an end, it’s a means to an end.

Websites need maintenance even if their owners think they don’t.

Website maintenance is business overhead

Every business owner hates business overhead. In fact, a primary goal of every single business on Planet Earth is to reduce business overhead!

Your goal as a business owner is to never get looked at as “business overhead”, because that’s the first thing that’s cut when belt-tightening starts.

People don’t want to pay for additional overhead. And that’s how WordPress maintenance is viewed – “additional”, “unnecessary”.

Yet we know from experience – WordPress maintenance can save them hundreds of headaches and business-stopping website issues.

Here’s How to Sell WordPress Maintenance

Since no person in their right mind would buy “maintenance,” I decorate my WordPress Maintenance product with all sorts of features that customers will buy.

From a sales perspective, “WordPress Maintenance” is a required throw-in, more-or-less, that provides no value to the sales conversation. But ya know what does add value to a sales conversation?  Sales, conversions, whatever moves the needle for the buyer!

Some things my customers will gladly pay for:

  • Website advice on how to increase sales.
  • Website feature improvements that will help them build their email list.
  • Landing page design & builds that help them promote their events.
  • Pro-active conversations about website traffic.
  • Basically, anything that is forward-facing. The problem with maintenance of all sorts is that it’s backwards-facing!

When I do talk about maintenance with customers, I try to stick with the 1 single forward-facing thing that maintenance provides: security from embarrassment and WordPress-related business failure. Or put differently: addressing their fear!

Effectively, if you’re talking about maintenance, it’s your God-given duty to scare customers into taking the action that is clearly in their best-interest (avoiding future embarrassment, loss of sales, hacked SEO, etc.)

Things like improving SEO, SEO security, website speed improvements, security guarantees, avoiding the embarrassment of seeing Viagra ads in your google results for your site, and unlimited website support…  They’ll pay for that stuff! 

And that important, valuable stuff is, literally, WordPress Maintenance.

Originally posted Aug. 2018.
Updated Oct. 2019.

Toby Cryns

Toby Cryns is a freelance CTO and WordPress Guru. He also writes for