Should Businesses Maintain Their WordPress Website or Outsource It?

This article will explore the pros and cons of maintaining a WordPress website within a company versus outsourcing it to a managed hosting service provider. For each solution pathway, we will explain how implementing it can fall short of its original vision in practice. We will also identify operational metrics for these shortcomings so that business leaders and managers can make an informed decision about which option is right for their business. The focus of this article is on small to medium-sized companies with 100-200 employees.

WordPress as a CMS

While WordPress started as a blogging platform, it has evolved into a sophisticated application that includes a content management system (CMS) and is the most popular CMS on the web. It is used by small and big corporations alike to set up simple and complex websites and applications. The reasons that make it such a popular CMS are, at least, two-fold:

1. It is free: Setting up a CMS using any programing language is a significant and relatively expensive undertaking. WordPress provides a quality all-in-one CMS without costing much if anything at all.

2. It is open source: This means that any programmer can modify the code on WordPress to suit their needs. It already has tens of thousands of contributors who have created nearly 60,000 plugins to enhance the functionality of websites and allow for more customization. With WordPress, almost any website can be built, from a small blog to an entire online store.

In-House Web Maintenance

For most businesses, in-house maintenance of a WordPress website is about having an individual or a team of experts manage all technical aspects of the site. It includes installing new updates, monitoring potential security breaches, and performing backups of the site. Some businesses choose to have their independent servers as well. To be successful with this strategy, it is considered imperative for an in-house team to receive regular training and updates to be aware of the latest trends and developments.

The Pros:

There are, at least, two significant benefits for business owners to maintain their website via an internal team:

Security and Privacy: Having an in-house team of experts provides companies with greater control over their data and can increase safety. Outsourcing the website management to a third party may make the company’s data vulnerable. It is primarily for this reason that sensitive government agencies choose to maintain their own technical staff and servers.

Timely Responses: When a company needs more functionality or features added to their site, they can do so at any time without waiting days or weeks. Their staff is always available to do the work for them. They are hired for that. In business, time is money, and this can be a real-time saver.

The Cons:

Security, privacy, and responsiveness are, of course, a must for any business to stay competitive in today’s world. In reality, however, achieving those goals for a company website is far from guaranteed, even with an internal team of experts. The following are the most common downsides of self-maintenance.  

Cost: Adding new features, upgrading, and maintaining a website are often more expensive with an in-house team, who must be trained and educated on the latest trends. Not to mention that hiring IT experts is costly as they are in high demand. To keep a company’s website up to date, additional purchases often need to be made, such as security plugins, raising the cost for businesses.

Security: Outdated security systems are a major concern, as they are easier for hackers to infiltrate. It can be challenging to stay current with all changes in WordPress alone, let alone every plugin a business website relies upon. A small business may require more people than it could afford to handle those tasks, raising the potential for a security dilemma: the more people have clearance to work on a website, the greater the risk of an insider threat.

Support: There are many different ways for small businesses to be let down by their in-house team. If there is an error or one plugin is not functioning as expected, it can take days for a developer to find a solution. If the site goes down completely, then it could be weeks before anything is solved. This time-consuming and challenging task may require more than an average IT expert to solve in a timely manner.

Time: In addition to costing more money, completing tasks can take longer within a company because of limited resources. A small team of web developers can be easily overloaded with too many tasks.

Outsourcing Web Maintenance

Outsourcing WordPress maintenance happens when a website owner pays a managed hosting service provider to maintain all the technical aspects of their WordPress website, such as installing updates, daily backups, and security monitoring. Business owners usually outsource WordPress maintenance because they want to focus on their core competencies instead of managing their website’s technical aspects. Like in-house WordPress maintenance, outsourcing has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

The Pros:

Since not all managed hosting providers are the same, there is no way that the following advantages can apply to all of them. These benefits are what companies with successful experiences have reported about their managed hosting providers:

Cost-Effectiveness: Outsourcing WordPress maintenance is often less costly than developing the expertise internally. With this approach, businesses save money on hiring and training competent IT staff for the job.

Ease of Implementation: Companies often find that outsourcing managed WordPress maintenance is more efficient than managing the process in-house, as they can pass the task off onto professionals with years of experience. After all, why reinvent the wheel?

Schedule Flexibility: One advantage of outsourcing WordPress maintenance is working with a service provider that can adjust their schedule around the company’s needs.

Time to Result: Outsourcing managed WordPress maintenance can save time in several ways, including less waiting for software updates and more quickly spotting vulnerabilities that arise. In both cases, the service providers have already been dealing with these issues on their platforms for years, while most companies are still learning how to address them internally. This often results in less downtime.

Adaptability: Companies that outsource WordPress maintenance can also benefit from an agile service provider that adjusts and reacts as needs arise, usually without much bureaucracy in getting it done.

The Cons:

The flip side of the two advantages of in-house WordPress maintenance is widely regarded as the drawbacks of outsourcing WordPress maintenance:

Security and Privacy: In-house WordPress maintenance can be done on a more secure and private network which, at least in theory, guarantees that the site is secured. With maintenance outsourced to a third party, company security measures may no longer protect their online data.

Timely Responses: This can be a problem with some managed WordPress hosting providers. They may not always be responsive in a timely manner, which can significantly affect a business website’s uptime.

Reality Dictates

All the pros and cons of each solution need to be supported by real-life situations for a business owner, marketing, or IT director (or other stakeholders) to use when deciding on an option. Though some of the pros and cons discussed above are reported real-life situations from customers, they cannot necessarily be applied to every company.

Reality can turn an advantage into a disadvantage depending on the situation. For example, a company that goes with the in-house maintenance solution may find itself in trouble if its top talent leaves or becomes sick. In that case, they may have to resort back to a third party. The same can be applied to outsourcing: if an external service provider does not respond promptly, the business owner may be forced to find another solution.


Many factors contribute when determining the best solution for maintaining a company’s online presence: cost, staff size, skillsets available within the organization, time needed to focus on other priorities like product development or marketing campaigns. In this article, we discussed some pros and cons as well as operational metrics concerning each option: maintaining a WordPress website by a managed hosting service provider (Outsource) VS doing it within the company (In-House).

While it is ultimately up to a business owner to decide what is best for their company, outsourcing WordPress maintenance to a third party is almost always more cost-effective for small and medium-sized businesses. Though this option can have some disadvantages, its benefits appear to outweigh the drawbacks. One could argue that a company’s time and resources can be better used to develop new products, generating revenue, rather than maintaining their website’s technical aspects.


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Melody Young