If you own a WordPress agency and could automate critical service tasks for your clients, you’d be better positioned for expansion and growth. Sounds great, right? But it’s a lot easier said than done.
Web design company FreshySites is doing exactly this with the help of Jetpack. They’ve built over 1,900 websites and actively manage about 1,200. Yet they’ve found a way to reduce the person-power required to deliver more services for an increasing number of clients.
With a small team, they’re completing more tasks for more clients. Let’s see how they do it.
The problem with scaling
Every business wants to grow — until they actually do. Then they realize the systems that worked when they were a small team are holding them back.
Websites require a certain amount of ongoing attention and fine-tuning. Plugins can go out of date, theme updates can cause elements to stop working, and security vulnerabilities sometimes pop up. These and many other items can’t just sit there, unattended.
FreshySites knew that they couldn’t devote too much time to maintaining each individual website. Said company founder Ben Giordano, “we needed an economic, effective solution to scale while remaining profitable.” At this point, they were overseeing about 800 sites.
They thought they’d found the answer.
The solution is automation, right?
Ben and his three-person leadership team dove into the costs and benefits of automating the management process for each website.
They looked into an array of third-party tools to automate website security, plugin and core updates, management processes, backups, and more. They priced out each option and made their selections.
It took eight months to find the right combination and get things up and running — and they neglected one crucial variable.
To maintain this robust but diverse set of website management tools for hundreds of websites — soon to be thousands — took several full-time employees. It simply wasn’t sustainable from a financial standpoint.
The right kind of automation
Automation that required several people to manage wasn’t a good fit, so FreshySites started searching for another solution. Ultimately, they found Pressable, a WordPress hosting company that uses Jetpack.
Ben was impressed. What once took a huge array of third-party tools could now be accomplished with a single solution. Here are a few of the benefits they found with Jetpack:
Real-time backups save hours of time
Erin Cortazar, Director of Support Services at FreshySites, says that they use real-time backups the most. Their developers constantly make changes to the hundreds of websites they manage. As they do this, each site is automatically backed up — as changes happen. If there’s a mistake or the site encounters an error, they can revert back immediately.
FreshySites used to take manual backups before implementing big changes, which required a large time investment. Even then, if they did need to revert back to a previous version, they had to manually restore. Again, more time. But with real-time backups, they can restore to the point just before the problem occurred, in just a few clicks. What used to take hours now takes minutes.
Jetpack activity log provides answers to client problems
When a website has a problem, clients have little patience. And if you can’t provide immediate answers, client relationships suffer.
Erin credits the Jetpack activity log with greatly improving FreshySites’ client service because it allows them to see which actions have been taken and by whom, making it easier to pinpoint problems.
Operations Manager Kelsey Moore recounts a time when a client’s brand new site went down. Using the activity log, she was able to show them exactly what went wrong, and which of the client’s team members made the error so that they could learn how to do things the right way in the future.
The activity log allows for quick identification of problem points to help agencies and their clients prevent repeat incidents.
Jetpack’s reputation builds client trust
Since FreshySites is a WordPress agency, its clients are familiar with the platform and trust the people behind it.
Ben tells clients, “I have a tool built by Automattic [Jetpack’s parent company], the most reputable company in the WordPress space. These are the same guys that contribute to WordPress core, so you don’t have to worry about the legitimacy or quality of code you’re putting on your site.”
He also noted that Jetpack’s toolset allows them to make more robust client presentations, “We can list off so many things that the client is going to benefit from — all of the features of Jetpack. We don’t even need to repackage it. We can just use, verbatim, the features page of the Jetpack site.”
Jetpack provides a complete suite of website management and security tools
If you’re a WordPress agency facing some of the same scaling challenges as FreshySites, Jetpack is the solution you’ve been looking for. It combines a host of site management and security tools in one place, including:
- Stats directly in the WordPress dashboard
- Unrivaled support from WordPress experts
- Downtime monitoring and notifications
- Brute force attack protection
- Site speed optimization
- Spam filtering
- The ability to manage client sites on the go
That’s just a partial list of what you can offer clients with Jetpack. See a complete list of features and tools.
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Jetpack also ultimate. I like this from the very initial of my online career.