Interview: Brad Williams from Maintainn

A company ran by US Marine Corps Veteran with more than thirty employees that are very active in the WordPress community

Maintainn is a WordPress maintenance company owned by WebDevStudios (WDS), a web design and development agency that specializes in creating WordPress websites for small businesses and enterprise level projects.

In total, WDS has a team of 29 (not including COO, Lisa Sabin-Wilson, and Brad Williams), but Maintainn has five full-time employees that provide WordPress support and custom development. The team is a fully distributed company, meaning everyone works remotely. Because of that, there are team members across the US, from the east coast to west coast, and everywhere in between. Their headquarters, however, is in Philadelphia.

Right now, there are 180+ websites that Maintainn supports and maintains.

Brad is a US Marine Corps Veteran and he’s been developing websites for over 20 years. In the last 10, Brad has focused on open-source technology, like WordPress and BuddyPress. He’s even published multiple books on the subject in the Professional WordPress book series. Brad co-founded WDS in 2008, and in 2014 the team acquired Maintainn.

Being CEO of WDS, Maintainn, and their plugin development company, Pluginize, this is Brad’s full-time job. And, he wouldn’t have it any other way. As the Chief Executive Officer, he does a lot of everything; from development work to client relations, troubleshooting, sales, employee management, and mentorship. Brad basically spends his days leading and running the organization.

Brad Williams

Brad Williams

  • Company: Maintainn
  • Website: maintainn.com
  • Contactinfo@maintainn.com
  • Price: From $49 per month
  • Services: Nightly backups, weekly updates, 24/7 security monitoring, development services, etc.

Why should WordPress users choose your company over competitors? Name something your company does better or in a unique way.

Our team is made up of leading WordPress experts. As a company, Maintainn frequently uses and partners with the same technology that our clients use. So, we are more than familiar with the themes, plugins, widgets, and software that our customers rely on. Additionally, our team members are actively involved in the WordPress community, donating time to Five for the Future on a regular basis, and speaking at WordCamp events across the country. We’re passionate about WordPress and using it to its fullest potential to benefit our clients and their businesses.

Is there something you would want your clients to know before applying for monthly maintenance?

We want clients to know that as experts in the field, we’re here for them and can make recommendations. If they want to know which plan is best for their needs, we can help make that decision. They can even change their minds later and downgrade or upgrade their plan with no penalties. And if they want us to recommend a host or a plugin, or any other type of service to better enhance their website, we can help with that, too.

We view ourselves as a partner who is helping our clients succeed in any way possible.

How did you learn WordPress and become a maintenance expert?

I first became aware of WordPress in 2006 when I created my first blog. As a developer, I was immediately interested in learning how WordPress worked, so naturally, I started hacking away at themes and plugins. Over the years, I learned how flexible and powerful WordPress was; so when WebDevStudios started in 2008, we used WordPress as a platform for many of the sites we were building.

When you have a company that creates websites for various companies, you will quickly realize the job is not done when the website launches. Clients need ongoing support and maintenance so Maintainn is a natural progression to the services that we are offering.

What was the hardest WordPress issue you had to solve?

In terms of maintenance, I would say one of the most difficult issues we’ve had to face is updated very outdated WordPress websites. We love a good challenge and from time to time will be tasked with updating a WordPress website running software from five years ago to the current version. This is always a tricky task, but one our team really excels at.

What was the highest number of installed plugins a client had?

Over the years we’ve seen it all. It’s not uncommon to come across a WordPress website with 100+ plugins. Generally, those plugins aren’t all activated, but they are installed, so we work closely with our clients to review and identify any plugins we can safely remove.

Do you use ManageWP, InfiniteWP, MainWP or any similar tool on all your clients’ sites?

We do partner with ManageWP and we’re very happy with the relationship and the ability the software provides to assist us with keeping our clients’ sites updated. For payments, we recently relaunched our website with Easy Digital Downloads and couldn’t be more satisfied. In fact, one of our team members even wrote a blog post about it here.

Is there a hosting company that you don’t work with?

We can and will work with any hosting site. But when clients ask for recommendations, we tend to refer them to WordPress Managed hosts like WPEngine, Pagely, and Pantheon.

Do you attend WordPress meetups? What is your experience with such events and meeting other WP users and experts?

I, personally, attend and speak at WordPress Meetups and WordCamps quite often. I also founded the Philly Meetup Group and helped co-organize WordCamp Philly since its inception in 2010. Our team members are all active organizers, volunteers, attendees, and speakers of WordPress Meetups and WordCamps. We even list out which WordCamps you can expect to find WDS and Maintainn employees at on the WDS website.

How/where do you promote your services and find new clients?

We promote our services quite a bit through social media and by practicing good SEO on our website. However, many of our clients come to us through word of mouth. We’ve established a solid, trustworthy reputation in the field, and that’s something we’re really proud of. Also, by remaining active in the WordPress community and building lasting relationships, we find that many people send clients our way simply because they know us personally.

Where do you see this industry and your company in 2 years?

WordPress continues to grow in all areas of the web, so I expect that trend to continue. WordPress is an amazing platform that can be used in so many different and interesting ways. As more and more companies are trusting WordPress for their website presence I expect support and maintenance to continue to thrive.

This interview is a part of the WordPress maintenance companies interview series featuring interviews with 20+ experts from leading WordPress maintenance companies.

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Published on November 3, 2017 by Ivan. Filed under: , .

Ivan still remembers creating his first website during a summer while he was in elementary school. Since then, web development became his passion, and now he loves to work and write about WordPress. He also enjoys sports and really loves chocolate.

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