I think most clients assume (incorrectly) that web designers only do work if they ask for it. If only that were the case! If your web designer is on top of things, he or she is working on your behalf, even when you don’t ask for it.
The latest example: Recently WordPress issued a new release to address a security vulnerability. Releases and upgrades come out on a regular basis, maybe several times per year. Usually, my process is to install the upgrade on a site, whenever I am next asked to work on that site. Rarely are the upgrades urgent – usually improvements and/or new features. Waiting a week or two or three won’t really impact any one site. So within a month, typically most of my WordPress sites have been updated. And if a month has gone by where a site has not been updated at all, I’ll make a pass through the remaining sites to install it – so then all sites are caught up.
Installing an upgrade might take 4-5 minutes at most – and part of that is because it is my policy to run a complete backup before installing upgrades. Otherwise it would be 2 minutes.
With this most recent update, it was fairly urgent to install it on all sites, as soon as possible. How much trouble could that be? Well, I manage over 150 WordPress sites (including my own sites). And at 4-5 minutes each… YOU do the math. So between a Friday afternoon and Sunday, I logged ten-plus additional hours of unbillable work. OK, not exactly unbillable, but I would not bother sending an invoice for any single 5-minute task.
All of which is to say… your web designer is probably doing something good for you, without even telling you!