In 2010, Chad Warner started a small company that quickly grew into a WordPress agency. The fact that the company had a chance to work on hundreds of different WordPress-related projects help them gain experience in the field. Chad is fully involved in OptimWise and manages operations and leads sales and marketing efforts. He also worked as an IT systems administrator and support specialist which has made him quite competent for the job. Because of that previous experience, he is no stranger to using technology, solving business problems and collaborating with non-technical people.
Since then, OptimWise has been offering WordPress maintenance services, and in 2017 they transitioned from a WordPress agency to a WordPress maintenance company. Currently, there are eight people at OptimWise who are distributed across the US and take care of more than fifty WordPress sites.
Name one service/thing that differentiates you from other maintenance companies
Our entire team is in the US. Also, our Gold Plan includes a monthly SEO Audit, for businesses that take their web presence seriously.
Most often done task that you feel you shouldn’t be doing?
Helping clients log into their sites. It seems they don’t see the “Lost your password?” link. Also, jumping through hoops to update premium plugins and themes that don’t use WordPress’ update system.
How much of a problem is hacking?
We put a lot of work into proactive security. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! In over 7 years, we haven’t had a site that we maintain get hacked (but I’m not saying it couldn’t happen). We’ve had non-clients come to us with hacked sites, and the problem is almost always outdated software.
Do you use ManageWP, InfiniteWP, MainWP or any similar tool on all your clients’ sites?
Is there a hosting company that you don’t work with/that you recommend?
We don’t forbid any hosts, but we’ve had the most trouble with budget shared hosting from GoDaddy and EIG companies (Bluehost, HostMonster, HostGator, etc.). Our favorite hosts are Flywheel and WP Engine; if clients don’t have the budget for them, we recommend SiteGround.
Chad took some time and recorded his answers, so if you’re more of an auditory type, just click on the play button.
Can you name one plugin or theme that have caused most of the problems for your clients?
The Bridge theme by Qode (sold on ThemeForest), bundled with Visual Composer and other plugins, has been a hassle to update. Also, major WooCommerce updates that make big changes have caused headaches.
Do you use a maintenance mode plugins when fixing clients’ sites?
When we need to put a site in maintenance mode, ManageWP has a Maintenance Mode tool. We make most changes quickly enough that maintenance mode isn’t necessary. When in doubt, we make changes on a staging site first.
Where do you see this industry and your company in 2 years?
I predict that the WordPress maintenance industry will continue to grow as WordPress usage grows. As businesses become increasingly reliant on the success of their sites, the importance of security, speed, and stability will increase. We’re excited about our transition from web agency to WordPress maintenance company, and are optimistic about our growth in the years ahead!
This interview is a part of the WordPress maintenance companies interview series featuring interviews with 20+ experts from leading WordPress maintenance companies.