How to Sell WordPress Maintenance Plans

Welcome to another episode of Silence is Golden where Troy and Simon give away invaluable tips for your business.

Today’s main topic is how to sell WordPress maintenance plans (or as we call them at WPE – “care plans”) to create a recurring revenue for your business. We also bring you the latest news. Did you know that new stats have been released and WordPress now powers 30% of the top 10 million sites!? We also discuss the new GDPR regulations, what you can do with Elementor 2 and more!

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Stuff That Happened

WordPress Powers 30% of the Top 10 Million Sites

New stats have been released from W3Techs to show that WordPress powers 30% of the top 10 million sites and has a 60% market share. Interestingly Joomla is the nearest competitor, powering 3.1%. These stats are a great thing to show clients when they ask why they should go with WordPress.

You can also check out the WordPress Showcase to see some of the top websites which are powered by WordPress (such as the New York Times).

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

There is a new proposed roadmap for adding privacy tools to the core of WordPress to comply with GDPR. We’re not too sure what we need to do about it, so Troy reached out to the team at iubenda which is a tool that you can use to set up your privacy policy and link it onto your website for a small fee. They are running webinars with their partners to explain what this all means. So WPE will be running one very soon to help you learn how it will impact you. Stay tuned for that!

Elementor 2.0 Coming Soon

Elementor 2.0 is going to be released within the next few weeks. One of the things that Simon is excited about is how they are going to integrate the themer into the plugin which will help you change your theme, not just your landing pages. This new version will allow you to design every part of your theme, not just what’s in the content loop.

Troy is using Katka template pack for Elementor which has 170+ predesigned sections that you can use. He says that it is easy to use and the designs are great.

The theming capabilities will be a game changer because you can put conditional theme elements on your website without using code. Troy says he will get flamed for this statement – but he doesn’t think that you should have to know code to be to build a website for a client!

Troy says that you should know code if you're building software, but to build a good website you do need to know how to make it look good, be user-friendly and be able to create leads. The fact is that AI is taking over the hard stuff for us already. Ooo.. controversial! What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below.

Designing Themes with Gutenberg Blocks in Sketch

There’s been some talk about the changes that Gutenberg will bring to themes. One change is that you can now drag and drop your design from Sketch into Gutenberg. Find out more here. 

This Pisses Me Off

This week it's Troy's turn to tell us what pisses him off! He says that he has seen a lot of discussion within the WPE Facebook community where people are trying to sell care plans for as little as $59 a month. However, if you are doing this, it will be difficult for you to make a profit (unless care plans are your core business).

What pisses him off is when people can't get out of their own head to understand the possibility that they can sell a care plan for the price that they need it to be in order for it to be profitable. Find out that amount and then think about what could go into that care plan so that the client will be willing hand over that amount each month. Don't base the pricing on what you think that the client can afford.

Let’s Get Unstuck

Someone posted in our Facebook community that they offer a care plan north of $5,000 a month; this then inspired one of our other members to do the same. However, many people commented that they are struggling to get their client to even pay $100 a month for maintenance.

If you give enough value to your client then they will know that they get a return on investment and it makes sense to charge more. Simon has a couple of clients around the $5,000 mark where it includes SEO and consulting.

He also has a plan for $500 where he gives the clients a consult each month. He looks at the reporting, gives them insight, records a video and has a chat with them. The client gets value from this because they gain clarity on where to focus their efforts from knowing what is working and what isn't.

Time to Dig into the Gold Nugget

Troy says there a couple of things to consider:

  • You cannot sell a care plan for over $3,000 a month if that company does not have the capacity to get a return on that investment. So you need to find the right target audience for that product.
  • If a client is making a large profit from their online business then they will be more willing to pay a larger amount each month to make sure that they are optimizing the user experience and continuing to grow their online business.

You can also include code optimization and do AB testing. You're having the wrong conversation if you are just sticking to security, backups and updates because they're going to be a thing of the past very soon. Squarespace already does that automatically so clients won't understand why they should pay someone to do these things.

So, stop thinking about the things that the clients don’t value. What can you value add to your client? Ask them and then come up with a plan. You want to sell strategy, consulting and content updates.

When it comes to the boring stuff like updates Simon uses ManageWP and a checklist in Asana to make sure you do all the necessary updates. For reporting ManageWP gives maintenance reports but doesn’t give insights on other things such as SEO or Facebook ads. So he uses Agency Analytics. It is a bit expensive but he is able to cover the cost of that. He then uses Loom or Screencast-O-Matic to record him looking at the analytics. Then he records the insights and tells them what to do next.

When it comes to maintenance plans for E-commerce he outsources it to WPBuffs who have a white label version where you can get them to do the work for you and your clients can even contact them directly.

Tool of the Week: CloudApp

CloudApp is Simon's new shiny object which he uses to explain changes or tweaks to his team. You can record a little gif animation using CloudApp and even post it automatically in Asana. This makes communication with your team or clients super easy. There is a free version which gives you a 15-second video. As Troy pointed out, this is very similar to Droplr.

Wrap Up

Ok, so we have learned that selling maintenance plans helps you build recurring revenue which, according to Troy, is the smartest thing you can do to have a baseline cash flow. This means that you can then pick and choose your projects.

Would you be interested in seeing the behind the scenes snippets of whats going on on Insta stories? What do you want to learn next? Let us know in in the comments below.

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