- What does the Shopify Maintenance & Support Plan Cover?
- What to Consider While Choosing the Right Shopify Maintenance Plan?
- Figure Out Your Maintenance Needs
- Calculate your Budget for Website Maintenance
- Consider your Growth Plans
- Note Down Services Provided
- Analyze the Pricing Structures
- Explore the Option of a Complimentary Trial
- Check Plan Flexibility
- Ensure Emergency Support is Included
- Look for Support During Holiday Seasons
- Verify their Experience in Your Business Niche
- Inquire About References from Past Clients
- Prefer Consistent Reporting & Transparency
- Seek an Easy Onboarding Process
- How Do You Choose the Right Shopify Agency for Your Maintenance Needs?
- Bottom Line
There are thousands of Shopify support and maintenance plans available. And you’re still confused about which plan is the right choice for you.
I can help you find a maintenance plan that is the right fit for your Shopify store. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have knowledge of what makes an ideal Shopify maintenance plan.
In this blog, I’ll be telling you each and every necessary aspect that you need to consider, as well as any extra benefits that are worth grabbing on Shopify support and maintenance plan. Moreover, I’ll also show how to make a choice between various service providers, with a step-by-step process.
So, keep reading till the end. And at first, let’s start with the basics.
What does the Shopify Maintenance & Support Plan Cover?
To say it simply, a Shopify maintenance & support plan covers regular optimization of necessary aspects within your Shopify store, to keep it up-to-date.
Here I’m adding a list of aspects that a Shopify Maintenance and Support services Should Include.
- Gathering and comparing data from analytics tools
- Performing regular backups
- Keeping third-party apps and themes updated
- Transition from legacy Shopify store theme
- Identifying and fixing broken links
- Ensuring cross-device compatibility
- Addressing technical issues
- Keeping design and content updated
- Upkeeping Shopify website performance
- Conducting security checks
… And more. In short, Shopify support and maintenance services are an ongoing process that make sure your store’s functionality is fully optimized, which brings in plenty of benefits — And I’m adding them here.
Benefits of Shopify Store Maintenance
- A dedicated team to manage your online store
- Expert support whenever you need
- Consultation for your business
- Guidance on Shopify trends
- Faster load times
- Protection from vulnerabilities & cyberattacks
- No more website downtime
- Improved SEO rankings
These are the benefits you get through the Shopify maintenance plan. Now that you’ve understood what does Shopify maintenance and support plan covers. Let’s move to the next section.
What to Consider While Choosing the Right Shopify Maintenance Plan?
This question comes with confusion and confusion. But have you had any thoughts on it? Or have all those plan offerings overwhelmed you to the point that your thought process feels numbed?
Well, it happens, and I’m here to help you out. To do so, here I’ve added a list of areas you need to consider when you’re choosing a maintenance and support services for your Shopify store.
- Figure out your maintenance needs
- Calculate your budget for website maintenance
- Consider your growth plans
- Note down services provided
- Analyze the pricing structures
- Explore the option of a complimentary trial
- Check plan flexibility
- Ensure emergency support is included
- Look for support during holiday seasons
- Verify their experience in your business niche
- Inquire about references from past clients
- Prefer consistent reporting & transparency
- Seek an easy onboarding process
If you ask why all these areas are necessary to consider, I’m explaining that right below. So, stick around to figure things out.
1. Figure Out Your Maintenance Needs
Start with understanding what you want in your maintenance and support services. Because when you know what’s needed you can choose things that are right for you.
If you don’t have enough information on what your maintenance needs could be, here I’m adding a list of common maintenance needs of Shopify store owners.
- Security patches
- Shopify apps and theme build/update
- Content updates
- Bug fixes
- Shopify Performance Optimization
- Security scanning
- User management
- Accessibility testing
- SEO monitoring
As I said, these are some basic maintenance needs that Shopify store owners usually have. You can consider your unique requirements and add more to this list.
Your maintenance needs have a direct effect on the cost of the plan, so once it’s figured out, consider calculating the budget.
2. Calculate your Budget for Website Maintenance
If you’ve already finalized a budget for your Shopify site maintenance, kudos to you! Knowing your spending limit helps you narrow down your options and ensures you’re not caught up by any unexpected costs in the future. Plus, it makes financial planning easier.
And If you haven’t figured it out yet, that’s alright; you’re not too late to do it now. Take a look at your business goals and resources, and figure out an approximate amount you’re ready to spend on Shopify support services. Moreover, you can consider areas such as;
- Your financial comfort
- Unplanned costs that may occur
- Additional store expenses
Considering these areas will bring you to a budget amount that is perfect for your business operations. Also, don’t stay entirely stuck with your budget, keep it flexible enough to fit in with maintenance plan variations.
Once you do that, don’t forget to consider your future business plans, and let’s check how they can affect your decision while choosing a plan.
3. Consider your Growth Plans
Your growth plan often revolves around your business expansion, which ultimately points an arrow toward more website traffic, more products, and additional features.
Consider this scenario: You start with an agency while using the Shopify basic plan. But as your business expands and you aim for Shopify Plus or a headless setup, your current agency may not be ready for the transition, forcing a complex provider switch.
Hence, when your select Shopify support services for your online store, prioritize providers that can adapt to your evolving needs.
So now, you’ve your maintenance needs, budget, and your growth plans in your hand. And it’s time to start analyzing the services included in the plan.
4. Note Down Services Provided
Understanding the plan offerings before purchasing it brings you clarity of what precisely you’re getting.
So, prioritize getting familiar with their offerings. By examining all the services included in the Shopify maintenance plan, you can avoid any surprises or misunderstandings with your service provider.
Earlier, we also discussed what a maintenance plan should include. It’s time to put that information to work and compare what different service providers offer. Keep in mind that it can be different from one provider to another or depending on the package you choose.
Once you’re familiar with their services included, move to understand their pricing structures.
5. Analyze the Pricing Structures
All the service providers have a variety of plans to offer. But usually, the pricing structures for maintenance and support plans are hourly or monthly.
If you ask me, which pricing structure would be perfect for Shopify store maintenance, my answer would be simple — It will depend on your unique requirements. But let me help you a little.
- When you need work done on specific areas only — an hourly package is ideal.
- When you require frequent customizations, fixes, redesigning, and more — monthly hiring would be a suitable option.
So, determine your requirements and choose the package that is a match for it. Now, let’s check some additional benefits you should hunt for in a plan that can help you match your budget.
- Price Negotiation: Ask them if they are ready to negotiate their price to match your budget. If they do, it’s a benefit you consider.
- Payment Flexibility: You can inquire if they allow payments in installments. It helps you deal with unexpected costs or budget constraints in the future.
Additionally, determine if their pricing package comes with any additional costs you should be aware of. Later on, figure out if they have something unique to provide their customers, such as a free trial or something. Let’s talk about it in the next section.
6. Explore the Option of a Complimentary Trial
Most Shopify store owners, including you, are skeptical, they won’t invest until they see it working for them.
So, it’s great if you can find a plan with the option of a complimentary trial. They are highly convenient, allowing you an opportunity to experience their service quality without any financial commitment upfront.
That’s not all, it helps you evaluate necessary information about your service provider, such as;
- Their working style
- Their work capabilities
… And more. Not all Shopify support maintenance plans have complimentary trial options but many of them do. After you do that, it comes to understanding how flexible the maintenance plan is. Let’s talk about it now.
7. Check Plan Flexibility
When you choose from a variety of plans available, there is a probability of choosing the wrong one. To avoid mishaps, it is suggested to inquire about plan flexibility before you finalize your plan.
The level of flexibility offered by many service providers has been added here, so you can consider them as an example while choosing the plan.
- Rollover hours
… And more.
Looking for these flexibilities in a maintenance plan is more like having a safety net. Because when you purchase a plan, you don’t know if it will be a perfect fit or not. So, inquiring about it in advance will save you headaches later.
Now, let’s move to another area that you need to consider.
8. Ensure Emergency Support is Included
Having Shopify support services is about regular checkups, and keeping store up-to-date, right? Well, it’s also about having a team who rushes to provide reliable and timely support, in case of emergencies.
Imagine your Shopify website crashes during a high sale period — it’s a critical issue to be solved as quickly as possible. In this situation, without emergency support, you’ll be scrambling for help. Not getting help may lead to a loss in sales and frustration among your customers.
This makes it necessary for you to always look for emergency support on your maintenance plan. So, even when you are caught up in any unexpected issues, you at least have peace of mind that your service provider will manage it all.
Check for emergency support is highly crucial, and support during the holiday season is equally important. Let’s understand why it is necessary.
9. Look for Support During Holiday Seasons
A peak sale season, be it; Christmas or Black Friday, all you wish for is better store performance and security. But when your maintenance plan doesn’t provide adequate support during the holiday season, you risk losing sales due to slow website performance and potential security breaches.
Looking for support during the holiday season becomes necessary as your Shopify website requires more prep than usual during this peak sales season. Below are the kinds of services that fall into the holiday maintenance category.
- Optimizing website speed and performance
- Preparing your storefront to align with the holiday sale
- Enhancing security measures to protect against potential threats
- Ensuring that your website can handle the increased load without any hiccups
Having these services included in your Shopify support and maintenance plan will be a great benefit for you. So, inquire if the service provider offers support during the holiday season within their maintenance services.
Now, let’s check another area that you gotta consider.
10. Verify their Experience in Your Business Niche
Before you choose any support & maintenance plan, do inquire if they have experience working within your eCommerce niche.
Because when your Shopify maintenance provider knows the ins and outs of your business niche, they can do better work. Previous experience in similar industries will allow them to:
- Implement proven industry-specific strategies
- Suggest relevant upgrades, tools, plugins, third-party apps, and more.
In short, having experience in a similar industry will help them bring in better solutions. And once you have that considered, it’s time to check what their past clients have to say about them. So, let’s check why.
11. Inquire About References from Past Clients
Client reviews often reveal insights that are rarely mentioned elsewhere. In order to determine the credibility of the maintenance plan, take a moment and explore what their previous or existing customers have to say. The areas you can understand thoroughly are:
- How the client issues were addressed
- How professional the team was during the service period
- How their Shopify expertise helped previous customers
… And more. When you evaluate customer testimonials, you gain a clear image of what you can expect from their maintenance service. Once you’ve considered what their previous clients think, it’s time to move on to something that’s equally important.
12. Prefer Consistent Reporting & Transparency
Reporting and transparency are necessary as they reveal:
- What’s happening behind the scenes and
- How well your chosen service provider is working for you
So, make sure the maintenance plan includes consistent reporting and transparency. Also, these are not fancy add-ons that you can request. They are basic necessities, as they show you what’s happening behind the scenes.
When you see your service provider putting efforts into your Shopify store, you can feel relieved, knowing you have a reliable partner who is keeping everything under control.
Now, let’s move to the last area, you need to consider.
13. Seek an Easy Onboarding Process
You might not think the hiring process to be a “big deal” while looking for the right maintenance provider. However, let me tell you, it reveals a lot about your service provider.
So before you commit to any maintenance provider, look for a straightforward onboarding process, rather than a complicated one.
Why? Because if the process is seamless and quick, within a short period, your maintenance plan will be up and running. However, when the onboarding process is complex, you may find it challenging to gather the requested information. This can lead to frustration.
Moreover, Understanding their hiring process will help you figure out,
- If the plan provider is adaptable or capable of managing your project
- How they handle projects and client relationships
- The culture and values of the service provider
… And more. So, make sure to look for an easy onboarding process while choosing the Shopify maintenance plan.
This was it. Here we can wrap our discussion on aspects you need to consider for choosing a value-filled Shopify maintenance plan. But all this doesn’t end here. To find the perfect fit, we must conduct thorough research on agencies as well.
So, Let me help you do that with the next section.
How Do You Choose the Right Shopify Agency for Your Maintenance Needs?
In this section, we’ll follow a structured method, that will help us identify the right agency for shopify website maintenance services.
It’s easier than it seems. All you have to do is list things down. We’ll go step-by-step, so make a sheet or take your pen and paper. And below I’m starting to explain the process.
Step 1: List Down your Maintenance Needs and Budget
Earlier I asked you to figure out the services that you require within your plan and calculate your budget for maintenance. So, once you’re done with that, list them down on a paper or a sheet.
I’ll also follow these steps with you, and here’s how I did it.
I’ve included some essentials of Shopify maintenance services, and you can add more to this list as needed. The budget I’ve provided is for reference, and you can adjust it to suit your specific Shopify business.
Step 2: List Down Shopify Agencies
After you list down your maintenance needs & budget, start to hunt for Shopify agencies that are close enough to match your maintenance needs and budget. To do so, you can conduct a Google search, or you can also use platforms like Clutch and GoodFirms.
To find some great service providers on Google, you can search for a keyword such as “Shopify Maintenance Services”.
For choosing agencies from Clutch and Goodfirms, you can add relevant filters such as; budget, location, services, industry, and more to match your preferences.
Doing this will bring you closer to the right agency. Once you do that, list down 5 agencies that seem like your choice.
Here, I’ve list down 5 Shopify agencies (prospects) along with the parameters we need to consider for choosing the right agency. And I’ll be comparing them for you.
(Template to choose the right Shopify maintenance plan)
Step 3: It’s Research Time
Once you’ve finalized the agencies, it’s time for you to do thorough research on them and rate them. Here I’ve set a scoring range of 1-5.
Now, to gather their information, you can conduct your research in a variety of ways that I’m listing right below.
- Analyze their service page
- Review their case studies
- Read customer testimonials and reviews
- Visit their Google My Business (GMB) page
- Check their Clutch profile
… And more. Let me demonstrate how you can do this for each parameter we’re considering. I’ll also provide a rough calculation of how you can conduct your research and rate agencies.
To check their industry experience, you can visit their website or clutch profile. This information is typically highlighted in their case studies, on their service pages, or within their portfolios.
You can follow this process for all the agencies you’ve picked, explore their experience in your specific niche, and rate them as they match your preferences.
Here, my specific consideration for a niche is home & decor, so I’m adding ratings accordingly.
I gave Orange Mantra a lesser rating as I was not able to find any experience in the home & decor niche. It is how you can assign ratings in a similar situation.
Hiring & Onboarding Process
Many agencies mention their hiring & onboarding process and below are the examples.
Some agencies may also add their onboarding information in the service FAQs section. So, you can research your prospects the same way, and add your ratings. In case, you don’t find it anywhere, you can inquire to them directly.
Here I’ve added my ratings for the hiring and onboarding process.
I’m rating 5 to the first 2 prospects, as they are transparent about their onboarding process. You can consider doing the same.
Many agencies ask you to ‘Get a Quote’ rather than providing a fixed pricing number, as pricing depends on your specific maintenance requirements.
However, it’s still crucial to understand if their pricing range aligns with your maintenance budget. So, reach out to their clutch profile, and figure out their pricing range.
Once you do it for all the prospects that you’ve listed, you can rate them according to your budget criteria.
My budget criteria range from $25-$45, so I’m rating accordingly.
Here, WeCanFly, Sunrise Integration, and Charle Agency have a bit higher price range than my budget criteria, so I’ve rated them accordingly.
Plan flexibility is often mentioned on service pages, so research their service pages to determine if their plan is flexible.
Here again, I’m adding the unique pointers you can consider while measuring plan flexibility.
- Plan upgrading
- Plan downgrading
- Rollover hours
- Plan cancellation
In case, they haven’t mentioned them on their service page, you can inquire to them.
Once you figure out plan flexibility, you can provide them a rating accordingly.
I didn’t find many of my prospects specifically mentioning plan flexibility, but I believe most maintenance plans are flexible. Therefore, I’ve deducted half a point for lesser transparency. You can consider doing the same.
To check for complimentary trials, you can visit the agency’s service page. Usually, agencies that offer complimentary trials prominently feature them on those pages.
Once you go through their service page and figure out if they have a free trial option, you can add a rating for them.
Most prospects didn’t mention a free trial, so I deducted a point. To confirm if they offer a free trial, you can reach out to them and adjust your ratings accordingly.
Turn Around Time
To check if they are good enough to provide a quick turnaround time, you can read customer reviews on Google or Clutch.
Once you check reviews for all of your prospects, you can add in ratings for them. Here’s how I did it.
Reporting & Transparency
To check the level of reporting and transparency in the service, we can once again turn to customer reviews & examine past client experiences.
Here, I’ve added ratings and you can do the same.
To identify which agency is highly esteemed by its customers, you can check testimonials on their website, Google reviews, and platforms like Clutch.
After checking reviews for all the agencies, you can update your ratings in the sheet.
Holiday Season Support
Mostly, when companies are providing holiday season support, they are loud about it on their service pages.
So, you can go through their service page and figure out if they provide support during the holiday season. If they haven’t mentioned it on the service page, you can contact them and inquire about it.
Most prospects didn’t mention a free trial, so I deducted a point. You can add your ratings after inquiring about them.
Okay, until now, we’ve understood where to fetch data and how to add ratings for agencies. Again, it’s worth noting that the ratings I’ve assigned might not be completely accurate. So, it’s advisable to reach out to the service provider and inquire about their offerings before you finalize your ratings.
Now, let’s move towards our next step.
Step 4: Calculate the Winner
Once you’re done with adding ratings for all the parameters that we need to consider, it’s time to calculate the total score for all the Shopify agencies.
I’m adding the score after the calculation here.
That’s it. You can add any other parameters you wish and calculate scores for each company based on your research, intuition, and data.
Take your time when choosing the right Shopify maintenance provider – there’s no need to rush, as it directly impacts your store’s security and performance. So, instead of hurrying and taking risks, follow these steps to determine the Shopify support and maintenance package that’s right for you.
Decision-making comes with a bunch of confusion, and it always requires a helping hand. So, I hope this blog shares enough information for you to make the right choice on your maintenance plan.
As you start your journey to finding the right plan, don’t rush into things, take your time, and put all that we learned into practice.
PS: We Aureate Labs, are a team of 10+ years of experienced Shopify experts, with up to 150+ successfully running Shopify stores. We are eager to serve up to your comprehensive Shopify maintenance needs. Contact us today and let us be your Shopify partner to keep your online store running smoothly.