What services to sell for WordPress

28th July 2015

What services to sell for WordPress

What services to sell for WordPress

You may be a design or marketing agency with a wide portfolio of online WordPress-driven websites. With this client base you may be wondering how further you could add extra value and also monetise those installs? Well, there are a wide range of services that you could sell for WordPress as a design/marketing agency. We’re going to explore a few in this post:

Regular maintenance and updates

The first, and perhaps most obvious, is regular WordPress updates and maintenance. It’s extremely important that a WordPress website has all of its plugins and themes are kept regularly up-to-date so that any vulnerabilities are fixed, as well as any bugs. This will continue to ensure good site performance and keep your clients safer.

Because there is a level of testing that’s required whilst running a WordPress update, please see our blog on how to safely update a WordPress website. This is an extremely valuable service to your client as it removes the stress of running updates and breaking things, it gives them peace of mind and it offers them greater protection having the latest versions. Don’t be tempted to undervalue this service or offer it for free. We would recommend offering some form of monthly paid service to your clients where you regularly test updates on a cloned version and then apply them to the live site. This could be paid for monthly or yearly by your client. We charge yearly to reduce administration costs.

Secured installs

Another service that you could offer would be extra security lockdown. Clients may have a standard WordPress installation on a shared or VPS host. Obviously maintaining updates is one step in securing the website, but further services could be offered. For example, you could go through a range of security procedures to remove known vulnerabilities in WordPress that would-be hackers would take advantage of. 

You could also route their site through a firewall such as Sucuri, or CloudFlare. You could go further with code reviews, penetration testing and more. This is a service that you could offer at any time, be at the beginning of a WordPress site build, or even be at a year later when a client approaches you or you approach a client with regards to security concerns. In fact we often get new clients to this service who’s poorly maintained WordPress installs have been hacked and they ask us to take over, remove the virus and lock down their install.

Plugin research

Not to be confused with plugin development. This is when a client asks you, “What plugin would you recommend for XYZ?”. At this point, this is consultancy. You have been working with WordPress websites for many years and have a wealth of experience. We charge an hourly rate to search for the best plugins to meet the clients need. We also sometimes review a plugin that a client sends us to check.

Key areas we use to evaluate a plugin before recommendation:

  • Does it meet the clients needs
  • Does the code meet WordPress Codex standards and is it clean?
  • What is the performance like in a test environment
  • If it is free, when was the last update and how alive is the community support
  • If it’s a paid premium plugin, what are other peoples reviews, how long has the developer been in business, what are the update options

Once we have established a good option we would always install it in a staging area for the client to test they are happy it meets their requirements, and for us to ensure there is no impact on the client’s install.

Custom development

Off the back of the plugin research, if it is clear there is no solution out there, then you could offer to develop the plugin for the client. During the scoping process, make sure you have a good product specification document agreed. This will be used by your developers to create the plugin your client is expecting and needs.

You won’t always have development resource in-house so use a developer you trust, and have had experience with. Ask them to clearly comment the code throughout in case you need support with the plugin in the future. Also ensure you sell an update agreement to your client where you will support the code base through a years worth of WordPress updates. This can then be renewable.

If you need help finding a developer for your plugin, feel free to contact us and ask us about our services.

Training

WordPress is so easy right? Well believe it or not, there are still many folk out there that struggle with WordPress. You can offer a pay for webinar for a group of people to join, or you could provide one to one training. Area’s we often provide training on include:

  • Managing SEO with YOAST
  • Blogging
  • Building up pages of content
  • Theme specific training with the theme control panel
  • How to use custom sections we have developed
  • Custom plugin training

Content creation

WordPress websites don’t just need the first wave of content (core pages) writing by a copywriter. Your client may simply not have the time or ability to ensure they are blogging on a regular basis. You may want to look into offering monthly content packages where the client can expect X number of posts on a specific schedule.

You do need to make sure you are good at copywriting of course, or use a third party specialist. If you are looking for a time hack to get more blogs done for clients, here is how we write blog posts in minutes.

Small jobs

There are a range of small jobs that your clients either don’t have the skill, patience or time for. Offer a retainer where you will action items such as text updates, adding of images etc to your clients website. This may seem like a small service but it will help you:

  • Build on your client relationship
  • Learn more about your client and their business
  • Spot opportunities to add further value to your client

We find it helps to use a support desk such as ZenDesk with our clients. We then agree an SLA and a maximum amount of hours per month.  We are also really clear as to what jobs we will do for them as part of the retainer. For example they cannot have us work on a new plugin as that is a completely different service.

Top tip: It is a good idea to stipulate that unused hours cannot be carried over month to month. You can offer reduced hourly rates in return but this avoids a client building up hours then attempting to monopolise a month.

Premium consultancy

It is important that your clients review their online strategy regularly and you could market yourselves as a website and WordPress/website consultants to your clients. Your goal is to help them understand ways that they could evolve their site to further. Help them in reaching their conversion targets, or advise on ways they could evolve their WordPress site to offer new services or add value to their business. You are the best positioned to know what sort of areas you can consult on for your particular industry. Remember, you have built up a knowledge base as a company for many years. A client or potential client does not have the benefit of many years of experience which makes your knowledge worth paying for. Never underestimate your value.

In closing

You will have gathered from this post that there are a wide range of services that you could offer your clients around WordPress. We hope that this non-definitive list has helped inspire you to dream or to think of new services and benefits that you can provide for your WordPress clients.

If you’ve got any great ideas of ways that you monetise services for your clients please feel free to share them in the comments below.

If you would like to offer any of the WordPress services above but feel you are not in a position to, then please consider our white-label services where we will represent your business whilst performing these services. Contact us using our contact form and we’ll be happy to start a conversation. 

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