Earlier this year, I began moving my personal, business, and client websites away from my current hosting providers. After struggling for years with downtime, poor support, and clunky workflows, I decided to make a switch.
As I am a WordPress consultant and now build almost exclusively on the WordPress platform, I began looking for suitable managed WordPress hosts. I THOUGHT I had found such a place with Bluehost back in 2016, but I was wrong. One of the biggest issues I found was that their 1-Click Install NEVER worked. It was terrible. In fact, after every 1-Click Install, I would have to end up having to reset the password in phpmyadmin – every. flipping. time.
Beyond the terrible WordPress installation process, their live chat was incredibly unhelpful and essentially useless to me. NOTE: Live chat & support was/is the most important factor to me in business.
I reached out to a few colleagues and friends for advice and in the end, I landed on the Professional Plan from WP Engine. Big thanks to April Wier over at Sugar Five Design for putting me on to WP Engine.
After 6 months of WP Engine hosting
It’s barely been 6 months since I made the switch to WP Engine, but I am what you’d call a raving fan.
In fact, I’ve been building websites since 2001 and for once, I am finally happy with my hosting solution.
I’ve had accounts with 1&1, Eleven2, and Bluehost, but for the first time, I am actually recommending my hosting service to others. It’s an incredible feeling – one which many website designers and developers have never experienced.
For more details on WP Engine, check out my review of them on G2 Crowd. If you are honestly looking to for a managed WordPress solution with incredible support, then WP Engine if my only recommendation.
So how is the uptime on WP Engine?
I’m getting to that, but I needed to let you know the crap I dealt with before finding WP Engine. The biggest differences I found between other hosting solutions and WP Engine were:
- Amazing uptime on WPE: My other sites would go down a few minutes here and there, but with WPE my websites stayed up
- Incredible support from WPE: 24/7 live chat and a full staff of people who KNOW WordPress? It’s like web-geek Nirvana.
- A platform built for WordPress: WPE was built for WordPress users, by WordPress users.
After 6 months of hosting with WP Engine, I’ve experienced less than 2 minutes of downtime. I’ll give you a minute to let that soak in…
Yup. under 2 minutes in 6 months. Welcome to a whole new world.
So, how do I use uptime to sell website services?
Step 1. Secure great hosting
You’ll need great hosting, like WP Engine, to make this sales approach work. Everything hinges on selecting a strong hosting platform in order to provide a big enough differentiator.
Step 2. Setup your uptime monitoring services
The concept here is simple. Good website managers and agencies monitor uptime. This extends that best practice into the world of sales.
So why monitor uptime on a site you don’t manage? Simple. It’s a great tool to use when selling services like hosting and website care plans.
With a combination of Uptime Robot and it’s Slack integration, I can easily keep an eye on prospective and current clients. Both are free and are my preferred method to monitor uptime.
Step 3. Find your prospects and monitor their uptime
For prospecting, begin tracking potential clients and let the uptime monitoring run for a month. If the prospect’s current website has poor hosting, this data will be your selling tool.
Step 4. Your services will sell themselves
If you did a good job presenting the data, explaining the issues with downtime, and talking up your fancy host like WPE with great uptime, the service sells itself.
How I sold my website services to a client using uptime
I’ll refer to my client as Client X. They came to my team for a website redesign and during the course of the project, we noticed a disturbing issue with their current site: it went down – a lot. This gave us an idea: in addition to clients, with every new prospect, we would monitor uptime.
By using Uptime Robot and it’s Slack integration, I began tracking Client X. I started this tracking during the proposal process, so I would have data to present by the time the website was complete since my ultimate goal was to create a customer for life by selling website maintenance services after launch.
Also, in order to make the tracking of Client X worthwhile, we tracked the uptime for a few other clients we did not host. We took a look at websites running on 1&1, GoDaddy, Eleven2, and, of course, WP Engine. What we found was a massive opportunity to highlight the difference in quality between hosting providers. After just 1 month, Client X had a downtime of nearly 3.5 hours, whereas Client H, who is hosted by WP Engine, had 0 seconds of downtime – not a single second offline!
And just like that, after we presented the uptime data to Client X, we had a new customer for life and sold another website care plan.
I’m working with WP Engine now to develop a Case Study on this method. Read the case study here.