Case Study: WP100.io offering Speed & Maintenance Services with WPRemote
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We’re kicking off our agency case study series by highlighting brands that use the WPRemote to manage websites at scale for their clients. We will demonstrate how WP remote can help agencies scale their businesses and clients.
Today, we’re talking to Jason Gordon, the Founder & CEO of WP 100. WP 100 is a company that helps agencies and resellers improve the performance of their WordPress websites and keep them in good shape.
As a white-label solution, they offer services to customers as well as other agencies. Their innovative hosting platform ensures the stability and performance of WordPress websites and helps them meet the latest industry standards and Core Web Vitals.
Do you want to know how they scale their business and manage over 200 websites per month?
Let’s get started!
When we first talked with you and got your feedback on our platform, you said that your team particularly fell in love with our backups! Why is this the case?
Every single time backups are incredible and flawless. They never failed on any occasion. They are the perfect backup solution for WordPress.
We once had 90 websites go down due to a single plugin being uninstalled in bulk. We didn’t realize we had selected all websites, so it removed the website builder and plugins from all websites, but WPRemote helped us restore them faster than the server backup systems. I think we had a maximum downtime of 3 to 5 minutes on our biggest sites. Our caching and CDN setup helped the sites stay online, and only one person out of 90 noticed their site was broken, and it was less than 2 minutes.
The backup and restore functions are faster than on any other system we have tested.
What about the partial backups? Have you used them? What are your thoughts about them?
So far, we haven’t used this option. We always use full backups because they are quick, and we know we can restore partial backups if necessary, so we keep a full backup on hand at all times. What I can say is that during migration, when we can see inside all of the files or database tables that can be migrated, WPRemote gives us the option to exclude folders, plugins, or old database tables that we don’t want.
When you migrate from a platform like WP Engine, they install 5 or 6 plugins that are not visible in the normal list.
They’re hidden inside the must-use plugin area. When we activate our optimization systems and tools and put a site live in our environment, plugins from other data centers begin to disrupt or hinder our ability to fully optimize the site. So, when we were migrating a site and using WPRemote to connect first, we could check off all of the plugin files that we didn’t want to include in the migration, so we don’t worry about removing the old plugins or files after.
This has been a huge benefit not only for our entire process but also for having a site arrive nice and clean and not having to do a lot of work on it.
Are you using the option to restore just one file that we offer?
I may have used this one or two times, but with the way the WPRemote Dashboard helps us keep sites up-to-date and malware free, we never have file issues.
What about our staging option? Are you using it, and if so, what makes it better than other systems?
I’d call this virtual staging because you can create the staging environment from any backup taken within the last 90 days. It came in very handy several times when we moved websites to our platform, and the clients discovered something they did after the move wasn’t correct.
We get to look inside and ensure everything is in order and there are no last-minute changes before we go into production. If it’s just a short-term update, we’ll give clients access to staging via WPRemote temporary links rather than staging on the server.
You have already mentioned migrations! Can you let us know your experience with them? You do have over 200 websites managed through WPRemote, we know that WP 100 is highly focused on speed and performance optimization, and we are sure you have migrated websites around many times.
We use the migration tool in a process that is likely different from others. I’d call it a cloning process for us. We can take a copy of a website with a few clicks. We simply ask the site owner, if we don’t know them yet, to install the plugin that WPRemote provides. We enter the website’s domain into the WPRemote dashboard. Then we click sync, and it begins copying the website without requiring clients or anyone else to provide credentials to their website. This helps us, onboard customers, quicker and easier, without the hassle of emails and technical challenges for customers.
After 5 or 10 minutes, when we have a full copy of the website, we’ll take another backup. At that point, we have access to their website and can go inside and look around to see what needs to be done, fixed, or updated.
To check the site as it comes in WPRemote, we use the malware scanner and security settings. It tells us if there are any issues or security concerns, which is critical before we migrate to our own servers within our data center. We inspect the site and determine that everything is clean and there is no malware. We then point to the site when ready to our servers and click migrate, and it appears perfectly on our servers in 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the site.
The WPRemote migration feature has a 100% success rate, which means that when the site is migrated, it always appears on the other server flawlessly. It’s perfect, and every aspect of the website is exactly as it was in its previous location. We’ve never had an incident in 3+ years with probably 1000 websites migrated correctly.
You mention that our Malware Removal is a big aspect of your workflow. What is the differentiation from other Malware scans? What makes you use it? What could we do better?
The malware removal tool works well and can clean any malware found on its own, and sometimes if it’s a deeper issue, we simply write to support, and they can take care of it and give us a full report of what the problem was in less than 2 or 3 hours on average.
The best part of the security system, if you have it enabled on your plan, is that it gives you peace of mind and means you do not have to worry about the status of any of your sites. For us, it has discovered at least five or six hacked websites in the last three years. It appears on the dashboard instantly, with a big warning notification. It says the website has been hacked. And it allows us to clean them easily.
With WPRemote, we have discovered issues that major hosting companies such as Kinsta and WPEngine, did not detect. They claim to use malware security scanners such as Securi, and when we inquired about a hacked site, they scanned it with their security tools and said everything looked good and came back clean.
I opened the hacked files that the WPRemote malware system identified, and I sent them to their team. They were shocked that their system does not detect all malware and types of threats that we can find using WPRemote.
This feature is extremely valuable for monitoring security, much better than the world’s largest hosting companies for WordPress.
I can confidently tell our clients that we have a better security platform than a lot of the hosting providers. Or anyone else in this space, because this is the third layer of security for us. We have server-level, Site level, and CDN-level security protocols. This WPRemote platform is responsible for anything at the site level.
Have you used Wordfence, Sucuri, Updraft, or Managewp? Can you tell us about your experience?
We used them, but nothing had everything bundled in one place like WPRemote.
There is no one-click fix and free support if needed. As previously stated, the other tools cannot compete in any part of the system in terms of quality, system integrity, functionality, speed, or cost.
Great feedback, thank you! I guess that together with security, you ensure that WordPress sites are always up to date, right? I see that this is one of the services you also sell through WP 100.
The most important feature that we use daily is probably bulk website updating. With technological advancements and the visual regression tool and the notification system, the WP remote will notify us if a website changes. It allows us to take a backup of every site before we do any bulk updates, so we can restore it immediately if needed.
I believe this saves us hundreds of hours per week, and the best part is that it’s extremely safe and simple to use.
We used to have a team of 10 people doing those updates for us, 10 websites per week for each one of them, spending more than 3 hours per website.
With WPRemote, we downsized the team, increased our profits, and added value to our clients’ and agency partners’ websites.
And how do you let your users know about the updates you guys have performed?
The monthly reporting function allows us to send a nice high-level overview of all the work that was done on the site while also allowing us and other agency partners to demonstrate value to the clients they service. After someone has been hosting with you for one or two years, it’s very easy to take for granted what’s required to keep a site safe, secure, and performance optimized. We’ve had instances where clients felt they wanted to move to GoDaddy or someone told them they could get a cheaper, lower-cost hosting plan for their website until we went in and showed them exactly what we do each day and week. They can see exactly what is required to keep a site optimized and running in accordance with Google’s latest standards in the reports that can be sent through the WPRemote dashboard.
They are nice client reports, generated in PDF format, with all the activities and events that occur on the website each month. The only thing I would change is to have more design customization options for the reporting. They look good and do the job, but it would be great to be able to fully brand them and have several design layouts to choose from.
We use the built-in automated scheduling system to send all reports automatically. People are happy to see their updates and usually bring up other conversations about things they would like to get done on their work once they see some results on their website. It’s all reported regularly, which helps drive additional business and upsells for agencies that manage sites. And if you’re at a size where you can add a personal touch to each report, that’s highly recommended.
What about our Support Team? You mentioned the help while cleaning malware, but do you see the value added to the full service?
Support is excellent, as they always respond when you submit a ticket. I wouldn’t say I like making tickets. I prefer to have 24/7 live chat support that can handle things on the spot, but I understand that when dealing with things like malware, it’s the only time we ever need to make contact. Everything else just works perfectly; a ticket needs to be created and sent to you, a specialist in security and cleaning the site as needed. They usually respond within 12 hours, and if any work needs to be done on a site, it’s usually done at the same time.
As an agency, what is it that you are looking for in an Website Administration Suite?
We believe a website is the foundation of any business, which is why we prioritize our clients’ websites and sensitive data. I wouldn’t say there is one thing particularly that we’re looking for because it’s the combination of many things.
As we developed our process, we tested every system imaginable. As our goal is to become the number one WordPress performance optimization company, we needed to have the number one platform in the market that functions like enterprise tools or even better. And, at a price that is affordable for every size business.
We tested alternatives of WPRemote as such ManageWP, MainWP, InfiniteWP, CMS Commander, IThemes Sync, and others, and they all fell short of WPRemote.
It’s simple to add users, which is important because we can add our entire team. One of the most important features is the ability to access all our sites with a one-click login that works every time and notifies us when websites are down or up. It does not send false positives; it only sends when it is actually down, whereas ManageWP has sent us 15 to 20 updates per day that a site is offline, and they are always online. So WPRemote’s been much more precise, and we can say that the system has never gone offline for any length of time in the last year.
Can you share your experience with manually removing a hack vs. using MC?
In the past, removing malware was a problem if we ever had one. We had once set up dedicated servers in a bare metal server environment, and the data center that was supposed to handle the security setup had some issues and did not configure systems correctly. We may have had 25 sites, all of which were infected with malware within hours. When we migrated off and back to the cloud, all the sites had to be cleaned one by one. One of our developers had to go through them, cleaning out thousands of lines of code that had been injected into each site as a result of a virus placed on these unsecured servers.
A one-click solution solves the problem and prevents it from happening again. Even when compared to having to do this manually, there isn’t much to say in terms of time versus one-click technology. I would never consider cleaning malware manually or hiring a security expert to do so again. It took about two weeks to clean up the 25 sites affected by the problem.
Auto removal is as simple as a click of a button, and we never have to worry about security issues again!
How much time do you spend with WPRemote compared with the manual process you used to do before?
Minutes in comparison to hours or days. As an agency, we have previously worked with similar tools, but the time we save between manual processes and WPRemote is not comparable.
One-click versus analyzing and determining the root cause and then planning to fix the website. For example, on 100 websites per month, it easily saves us at least 30-40 hours per week. Probably double that. If you added up the time it would take for the people we’d need to do the work we’re able to do with WPRemote, it would be more than one developer full-time. That’s at least 40 hours per week. We’d probably need to do all of the updates, performance, and reporting ourselves, so we’re talking hundreds of hours per month and thousands of dollars in savings.
But to be honest, it is not just the product.. It is also the Support team that goes above and beyond to help us deliver results.
So, where do you put now the time of your development team?
In 2022, we will use technology to replace $100,000-plus engineers. Technology-savvy agencies can cut their annual salaries by $100,000 to $200,000 for a few hundred dollars per month. Our technology handles everything, saving us $8000–$10,000 per month easily.
From what we understand, WPRemote is your go-to tool for website management.
WP Remote handles everything required to keep sites up to date, secure, and backed up. We handle all of the other design and performance optimizations and can do them in a live environment, whereas developers still cringe at the thought of performing database cleanups or plugin updates on a live site.
When they see us do things in minutes that would take them days, they think it’s a security risk, but with WPRemote and our custom hosting stack, it’s pretty much fail-safe if you know how to handle the website properly. I’ve seen companies pay thousands of dollars for website management done manually that still can’t safely or reliably manage WordPress websites nearly what the technology can do now.
How difficult is it to communicate with clients about the importance of website maintenance? What are the obstacles?
We’ve been managing sites since before Core Web Vitals existed and before Google made website quality and performance mandatory for ranking. We ranked higher in search and content because we prioritized a speedy, efficient user experience, and clean non coded, well-built sites.
Even after everything Google has said in the last year, we were able to show them with graphs and charts what happens when their sites are optimized and cared for, as well as how smoothly they perform. When someone is making progress, it’s easy to see.
Technical SEO issues and Google indexing issues are also issues. We can run a 15-minute SEMRush report to show them all their technical issues and how poorly their site is running, and they usually sign up for a plan to fix it. Like many others, this industry emerged in the last 12–18 months. Our customers know that and can see the difference when they switch to us, but it’s still not well known service to most of the world.
Before people adopt industry improvements or best practices, they need to lose in search results, lose money, and almost lose their business.
Having a well-running, Google-compliant website is crucial for any online business right now.
What are the main reasons for outsourcing website maintenance to agencies like yours?
This is a difficult question to answer in an industry where there are no quality standards or certifications for website maintenance. It really depends on who and what is required by the website.
If an agency or business owner has a great site, Google rewards them with rankings and organic traffic. It’s a pretty simple formula.
As an agency, I believe that website maintenance as a service is a huge benefit, not only for your clients and other services you provide, but also for the monthly revenue you can bring in if this is done right. We have close to a 100% client retention rate on an annual basis.
In an entire year, we may have one or two cancellations out of hundreds of websites.
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