Many people believe they can save money by getting novices on an ad-hoc basis to take a look at their website and make changes, updates or add features. “You get what you pay” for is an expression that may not always pan out to be true, however “if it is too good to be, true it is” rarely so. So beware the hidden costs of low cost, cheapest bid vendors on online marketplaces. Not saying you cannot save money at times but at least be aware of the potential risks and the total costs involved.
Even for smaller tasks you are still hiring someone, you are still having to go through some kind of selection process before hiring someone to perform the task. This takes time, sure there are websites like Fiverr and Airtasker that might make it easier to find someone to do a simple task on the cheap, just be sure you understand the platform first. Do you know how to check the veracity of the reviews, see that the reviews are relevant to your line of work and are genuine?
Whilst these marketplaces may make it easier for you to find any number of willing bidders on your WordPress tasks, there is still some selection and due diligence that you need to perform.
Some tasks are generally fine to outsource, and a certain level of elevated access to your WordPress site to enable those kinds of edits and updates. If the task involved only requires Author or Editor access you are on the most part safe from the worst possible problems.
However you really should think long and hard before providing admin access to your site. This goes beyond taking the time to ensure the person working on your site is genuine and at the very least semi-professional. All kinds of things can go wrong if the person is inexperienced or indeed experienced but not intimately familiar with peculiarities of your particular WordPress installation.
The main problem with a budget job from someone who will only ever work on one or two tasks on your website is tunnel vision in respect of the task at hand, with often times no real regard given to the overall impact on your website. Whether that is plugin incompatibilities or otherwise. You are paying for a specific feature or functionality to be added to your site, as often as not you will identify exactly what plugin you want installed or configured. That is a task, you have not paid to have the developer check how that impacts with the rest of your site, if there are issues with previously working functionality as a result of that install.
Beware the hidden costs of outsourcing on the cheap!Nely, WPMilk
You need to be reasonable in your expectations and you should not expect a true WordPress professional to be available to help for minimum wage or even close. To do a job right on a site you do not know does require some checks to be made first. Getting to know any peculiarities of your site and hosting environment takes a little time and you should be prepared to pay for that. It is not just the correct thing to do ethically, it is the only way to be sure of professional results.
Horrors of using non-professionals
Whilst we believe real rogue players and bad actors are thankfully a minority they can and do appear and can cause you problems well after you think a job is complete. Here are just a few real life horror stories.
- Install plugins from disreputable sources or with cracks and nulls resulting in hacked sites days, weeks or even months later;
- Install malware either by design or error that compromise security of your WordPress site;
- A slapdash approach can result in some or all of your content, members or orders being lost;
- Images, Media and other content is often not properly licensed opening you up to expensive legal expenses down the road.
These are just some of the problems that can result from selection someone who is not a true WordPress expert and assigning what might seem like a simple task. A real professional will need time to assess your site, the plugins used and other aspects of your hosting environment. This need not always take too much time, nor need it take long to make a backup. But no admin task can ever be completed professionally in 20 minutes by someone who does not already know your website.
A couple of pieces of advice before outsourcing on the cheap;
- it is absolutely your responsibility to make sure you have a backup of your site first
- Make sure you are running a good security logging tool and know how to use it
To be honest the backup may prove useless if the issue is does not surface for weeks or months. Often times a problem can be occurring but only for some visitors some of the time, these smart WP compromises set to avoid you detecting them. A good set of security plugins and tools can help you keep your site secure and monitor what changes have been made, but if you are not sure you thoroughly know how to use it and have it configured correctly it may well be a false sense of security.
The team at WPMilk understand and sympathise with small business and their struggles with cashflow and ever tightening budgets and smaller margins. If you are a previous client concerned about what it might cost for us to provide minor updates, reach out, let us know your situation and we will see how we can accommodate your requests, including providing interest free financing.