As the popularity of WordPress in the CMS world continues to grow year on year, so does the number of options available to agencies and developers for managing all their clients’ WordPress websites.
If you’re already using software to help with this, that’s a great start.
But does the WordPress maintenance software you’re using do the job?
Does it cover all aspects of managing multiple WordPress websites?
You see, there are 3 pillars of website maintenance.
Without software that effectively covers all 3, you’ll be needing other products to help you.
That means more subscriptions, more costs, more time spent across multiple apps.
Those 3 pillars are:
- Proving value
Nothing is more important to your website maintenance clients than the quality of how you communicate with them.
I’m referring mainly to the support requests that they raise.
You need software that will help you manage all of your clients’ support requests in one place so that you can:
- Reply quickly
- Resolve issues quickly
Your clients don’t understand the technical aspects of website maintenance.
They do understand what good communication looks like.
And if they raise a support request, they expect it to be handled empathetically, quickly and efficiently.
Make sure your WordPress maintenance software helps you deliver outstanding levels of communication.
I mentioned above that clients don’t understand the technicalities of websites.
Of course they don’t, right?
They’re not web developers.
It’s because of this lack of understanding that you must constantly prove the value of your service to them.
If you don’t, they will begin wondering what they’re paying you for.
And, eventually, they will leave.
However, if you consistently prove value, linked to their pain points, they will have no reason to leave and will continue to invest in your services for years.
Efficiency affects everything:
- How quickly you can get tasks completed
- Profitability – the more efficient you are, the more profitable you will be
- Client satisfaction – they will benefit from your efficiency which will keep them investing in your services
Are you accurately tracking the time you spend on website maintenance tasks?
Do you download reports and assess data on a client by client basis?
Is email still your primary system for handling support requests or have you moved to a support ticket system?
Your WordPress maintenance software should help you be more efficient.
Now let’s look at the 4 essential elements of WordPress maintenance software
Support ticket system
A support ticket system will help you provide an outstanding level of communication to your clients – the most important aspect of your website maintenance service.
Email is great for some things.
It just doesn’t cut it for handling lots of website support requests from clients.
There are too many drawbacks.
On the flip side, a support ticket system can:
- Help you manage all of your support requests in one dashboard
- Allow you to assign requests to different teammates
- Provide you with clear statuses (eg. Open, Closed) so that everyone is aware of the progress of each request
- Help you accurately record the time you spend on each support request
- Give you quick access to the client’s website
- Display the time you’ve spent on a client’s account in a given billing cycle
- Allow your clients to set priority levels
- and more …
There are so many positives to using a support ticket system over email for managing website support requests.
Given the importance of communication to your clients, this is an absolute must have in your WordPress maintenance software.
Reporting and Client dashboard
Being able to create meaningful reports and display data to your clients on how you’re looking after their website, will help you continuously prove the value of your service.
I’ve seen so many website maintenance reports over the years that are essentially just a list of plugin updates.
That is about as useful as sending them a list of the ingredients you had in your dinner last night.
Any reporting or data that you put in front of your client has got to be meaningful.
Give them context.
Download our FREE website maintenance report template
By doing this consistently, over time, your clients will more clearly understand the service you provide and be more likely to continue investing.
Your WordPress maintenance software must have a reports feature as an absolute minimum and even better, a dashboard that your clients can login into.
If your dev team can collaborate more easily, they will be more efficient and get work done faster, with less issues.
It’s very likely you already use project management tools in house and your WordPress maintenance software should be no different.
It should allow you to:
- Add multiple members of your team
- Allow Account Managers / Directors to assign team members to different accounts
- Provide developers with a way to communicate with one another about a particular issue
- View which teammate performed which task, for which client and how long it took them
- Give you the ability to assign support tickets to other team members
- Allow Senior Team Leads to assess team performance
WordPress maintenance software shouldn’t just be a place where you can update all your plugins and take backups.
Yes, of course those technical features are important for site management but when you’re working in a team, you need the ability to collaborate easily.
Things will start getting messy very quickly if the software you use doesn’t allow for team collaboration.
Goes without saying really, this one.
Managing multiple WordPress websites = lots of plugin, theme and core updates.
Doing this manually across each site would take hours and eat into your profits big time.
Your WordPress maintenance software should give you the ability to perform all of these important updates in one click.
But it should also give you the control to perform the updates how you want to.
Yes, one click would save you loads of time.
But if you want to only update Yoast SEO on all 60 sites, instead of every plugin on every site, then you should be able to.
This automation massively buys you some time back.
Time that you can focus on making that client experience outstanding.
Whether you’re already using WordPress maintenance software to manage your clients’ websites or not, make sure you assess whether that software covers those 3 core aspects of website maintenance:
- Proving value
If it covers all 3, great, you probably have the right software.
Otherwise, do some more research and find one that does.
If you have any questions about WordPress maintenance software, you can book a chat with me here.