WordPress has some rough edges and requires routine maintenance in order to run smoothly. This is very comparable to your car 🚗 requiring regular oil changes. It has sparked an entire economy of businesses attempting to solve WordPress maintenance.
From hosted maintenance tools like ManageWP, to 365/24/7 total maintenance plans like WP Buffs, to new technologies like Smart Plugin Manager being developed by/for WP Engine customers, WordPress maintenance is the wild west. Who’s going to win? Host providers? Maintenance providers? Freelancers? Developers? Time will tell.
There is no doubt that solving WordPress maintenance is a big deal. I asked, “Is it a Good Idea To Sell WordPress Maintenance Services in 2019?”, however maybe a better question would be to ask “Where is WordPress maintenance heading over the next 5 years?“. Understanding that will help to navigate from today to then.
To innovate or to sell services…
Selling maintenance services doesn’t actually solve the reasons for why maintenance services are needed in the first place. Often only large web host providers with tons of resources take time attempting to innovate in the maintenance space. Why can’t it be both? As an independent web developer I aim to do both. Resell hosting services as a way to innovate on routine WordPress maintenance.
The destination of routine maintenance is better tools. Why not write better tools yourself? Innovation is a good thing. If you have the power to make your current job irrelevant, why aren’t you? Are you just going to wait for someone else to make your job worthless? 😉Solve your own problems so that you can move on to something that has greater impact in the world.
If you agree with me that WordPress maintenance is a problem, then what do you do with it? Well, if you’re business-minded you might be thinking “How can I make money?”. That generally leads down the path of selling WordPress maintenances services for maximum profit. A better focus would be “How can I provide value?”. Attempting to provide value would be figuring out to remove the need of WordPress maintenance in the first place.
The cost of routine maintenance should be free. 🤖
The opportunity here is to actually build the robot that removes the need of providing maintenance services in first place. The goal should be to get routine maintenance as cheap as possible so the maximum amount of people can be positively impacted.
Mark my words, in 5 years WordPress routine maintenance will largely be solved. This will most likely be bundled with web hosting services for free. Smart AI focused tech is going to replace smart human WordPress developers. That means safe auto updates for everything core, themes and plugins will just be included and at no human cost. If we work backwards from this destination that means web developers who make a living selling maintenance packages are going to be fighting against robots that do their jobs far better than they themselves can do for pennies. Suddenly the high cost of maintenance plans will become irrelevant. Why pay humans when the robots can do our jobs better than us?
Automation will kill your job. 🤔 It’s OK. Enjoy the freedom and pursue other things. 📖 💭
Over the upcoming decades, automation is going to replace many jobs, not just people providing WordPress maintenance services. Some types of jobs are more easily automated than others. I don’t think this is bad. If my job becomes automated by a robot, that frees me up to pursue things which are more valuable than robot work. You are not a robot. Don’t be concerned when the robots take your robot work away. Be human. Pursue more creative endeavors. Go on more adventures. One thing that’s not changing is the human desire for connection. There will always be something of value you can do for another human being. Even after all of the robot work has been taken over by the robots.
It might be hard to imagine but there isn’t anything special about routine WordPress maintenance work that can’t be automated. In fact robots are going to do a far better job than even the best WordPress developers of today. I foresee the robot of the future being completely integrated into all parts of your WordPress website. From site monitoring to log reading, the robot of the future will be able to automatically take corrective actions in order to keep your website running smooth. Beyond that it will be able to make accurate conclusions about which theme or plugin is causing problems and properly “talk” to the developers about the underlying technical issues found.
Recommendations for today 💡
If you are able to, I encourage you to particulate in building the next generation of WordPress maintenance. Solving the WordPress maintenance problem will have an enormous positive effect on the WordPress ecosystem. Reselling hosting is one way you can enter this space.
If you see opportunities in WordPress and are thinking of jumping in, be prepared for a wild ride. Expect things to change and you’ll be prepared as they come. It’s always a good time to solve problems. Help others that are stuck along the way and inspire them to imagine how amazing the world without robot work could be. Each one pursuing work which has more meaning and value. That’s what it’s all about. ⭐