You’re in the software business! That’s what I realized a few years ago after spending a decade building service businesses around WordPress.
While it’s true, I didn’t actually “create” WordPress, because it’s open source, and I’m introducing it to my clients, it’s now my responsibility to provide some level of support for that software.
You don’t have to do the support yourself, you could always outsource it or use a white-label WordPress support service to take care of your clients for you!
WordPress is in need of constant care
You’ve experienced it. You haven’t even launched your clients new website but you’ve already had to do two WordPress updates in the last six weeks.
And it’s not only WordPress, the plugins needed updating and the theme framework needed to be updated in that same time period.
Is it a bit frustrating, maybe even annoying? Sure, I get that!
And if it’s frustrating and annoying for you, how do you think your clients will react?
And how many times will they call you to make sure it’s “safe” to do the updates? (BTW, I blame Microsoft for causing “update doubts” in consumers ;-))
Now the scary part…What happens when your client updates their site and it breaks!?
They will likely call their hosting provider, but the hosting support is going to tell them to call you, their “web developer”.
Do you have a recent backup? Did you set up a backup system before turning over the site?
I know from experience, the answer to those questions is ‘No’, 99% of the time.
What is your care plan or support strategy?
Let’s clarify what I mean by “WordPress Support”.
The simplest way to think of it is how it relates to what you’re doing with WordPress for your clients.
For example. If you’re building simple websites, brochure style or even blogs, and turning them over to the client, the maximum support would be to do a monthly backup and run updates monthly.
In that situation it’s a simple done-for-you service that takes you maybe 5 to 10 minutes.
If your clients are having you build web apps or WooCommence websites, you’ll still be doing the updates and backups, but you should also through in some security, uptime monitoring, and actual tech support.
To define tech support, you should be able to handle solving common WP problems like:
- White Screen of Death
- Fatal Errors
- Database Connection Errors
- HTTP Errors
- Upload folder not writable
You should also be prepared to figure out the problems your clients cause when they try to edit their own site.
For some, you just don’t have the tech skills, you’re more of a website builder then coder/developer. Others you don’t like this kind of work and don’t want to offer it.
I get it!
However, your clients are expecting it. So why not deliver a solution that fills that need?
What will support cost you and can you make any money?
I’ve got two options for you.
- White-Labeled (outsource)
The overhead (cost) will vary based on your skill level and the size of your business, but here is a break down.
You need to have a solution for managing your client sites and performing task like backups and updates.
These are the two solutions I recommend:
If you’re managing 100 websites you can expect to spend $150 – $200 per month with ManageWP and maybe $1000 per year with iThemes.
If you can’t handle the support part yourself, either because of volume or skill, you will need to hire help.
I recommend you find a good freelancer that you can pay as needed to handle the tickets has they come in. Establish a fixed price.
You’ll also need to spend some money on a system. A way to manage support request – a ticketing system, internal communications, and project management tools.
At my estimate, that software will cost between $300 and $800 a year.
Overall the overhead or cost isn’t too bad, but there will be expenses.
There will also be some profit, but the trick to really making money with support is quantity.
This is simple, find a good company that already has a system in place and already has the team to handle the support needs and partner with them.
Some may require an annual fee to join their program, others will just charge per client per plan, but it either way, it’s worth it!
With our White-Label partnership, we don’t charge any annual fees or lock you into a contract.
You get to charge your clients whatever you want for the service we provide, and you keep the difference.
For example. Our base plan is $40 per month. If you charge $60 per month, you pay us $40 and keep $20. And you don’t have to do any work.
That may seem like chump change, but that $20 could add up pretty quick.
50 customers is an easy $1000 per month for you to do nothing!!! That’s a sweet deal.
No overhead either, so that’s pure profit!
Your Next Steps
Review the solutions mentioned above, do some calculations, determine what makes more sense for your business financially, in-house of white-label.
Hit me up, email@example.com, to schedule a 15 minute Q&A and let’s see if it makes since to partner up!
You’re always welcome to use the comments below for questions and feedback too!