Duetsoft Profits Grow by 25% Using Plesk WordPress Toolkit & DigitalOcean

Duetsoft success story with Plesk and DigitalOcean - Plesk

Khandaker Ikrama, owner of Duetsoft web development agency, sheds light on how Plesk’s WordPress Toolkit helps his agency work effectively. Managing custom development and web design for WordPress on multiple customer websites. Read the story of Duetsoft, Plesk and DigitalOcean below.

Why we partnered with Plesk

Why Duetsoft partnered with Plesk

My agency began as a very small company two years ago. At that time, the agency’s ability to deliver services was wholly dependent on me and my skills. However, I soon made the decision to scale my business.

The problem was that all my customer’s had different site and maintenance priorities. And, unfortunately, I didn’t have a team large enough to cover all of their needs well. So I needed to find a reputable company to outsource all of these maintenance tasks.

Plesk came into the picture when I read a piece of content on WPMayor about How To Manage Multiple WordPress Sites Efficiently.

When I realized I could keep over a dozen websites simultaneously updated and supported with Plesk, I was relieved. Now I could put that extra time towards other activities – ones which might net the company a higher profit margin.

“Automation is a term I was familiar with - in this context it simply means having software or a tool that can perform a routine job automatically, without the need for constant input.”

Moreover, the fact that, with Plesk, I wouldn’t need to hire and manage a lot of freelancers was a bonus.

Duetsoft’s smooth transition to Plesk

Duetsoft's smooth transition into Plesk

“Plesk is super easy to install and configure on DigitalOcean in just a few clicks.”

Getting started with Plesk was as easy as 1-2-3: We used the Plesk One Click App from the DigitalOcean Marketplace. Then started with one website on DigitalOcean. The first test website went really well, and it just grew from there. The transition going forward was just as smooth as the test and startup phase.

I can honestly say that testing new plugins, features and design ideas is easy with the WordPress Toolkit Extension. You simply test everything in a sandbox before publishing live on the website. Furthermore, you don’t need any extra plugins or separate servers for this – the WordPress Toolkit in Plesk manages everything.

“The WordPress Toolkit is an agency dream, giving you an array of tools for customization, management, security, hosting, and automation for all your websites and the infrastructure they rely on.”

Overall, our partnership with Plesk has been one of honesty and transparency. And we always receive timely responses. This enables my agency to make sure our clients always have support on everything from basic requests to Remote Management or Smart Updates powered by AI from Plesk’s Extension Catalog.

Business benefits for Duetsoft

Business Benefits

The initial goal in using Plesk and the WordPress Toolkit was to automate and offload WordPress maintenance tasks. However, I got much more than I originally bargained for. There were three key areas in which Plesk helped my agency grow:

1. Revenues increased with more clients

‘’Since we started working with Plesk on DigitalOcean, revenue has increased - a lot!”

It wasn’t only about making various WordPress maintenance tasks easier and automating them as much as we could. But also about having the capacity to no longer turn clients away. Now, I can capture them all.

2. Profitability has gone up with investment in automation

The total amount of revenue coming in isn’t the only way I’m reaping the rewards either. Profit margins are much higher now, too. With the WordPress Toolkit, agency team members can now focus on tackling tasks that play to their strengths. It’s this investment in automation and task orchestration that’s made my operations run much more efficiently.

3. Greater functionality gave added value to customers

Since Plesk are WordPress specialists, and provide so many different features and functionality, I now feel as though my customers are truly taken care of. It’s this added value from features like Smart Updates powered by AI or Remote WordPress Management that has contributed to my agency’s growth.

Future goals for our Plesk partnership

Last year, a lot of our goals were based on basic financials. Now we want to move forward in 2019 (and beyond). We anticipate to continue to experience the same level of growth.

Khandaker Ikrama owner of Duetsoft Plesk

“My agency experienced a 25% increase in profitability”

I also hope to expand further on our value-added services. Managed services are becoming increasingly popular with businesses around the world. eCommerce, in particular, is an area that I hope to do more with, as it’s a particular niche with a lot of ongoing needs. However, I believe that my agency, in conjunction with Plesk managed services, can easily take care of them.

Managing WordPress for one website or thousands doesn’t have to be a chore. And it shouldn’t be something that holds your company back from scaling, or generating a solid profit margin either. If you want to give the best to both your customers and your agency, then you need to work with an infrastructure provider and partner you can rely on. Thankfully I found trusted partners in Plesk WordPress Toolkit and DigitalOcean.

About Duetsoft

About Duetsoft Plesk

Duetsoft is an intentionally small web development agency based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They focus on custom development and web design for WordPress, the CMS of choice for businesses of all sizes. Whether they are individuals, resellers, ISVs, SMBs, or enterprises.

How Plesk Brought Order to My Agency – Rise.co

How Plesk Brought Order to My Agency - Rise.co and Plesk

The success story of how Plesk helped Rise.co get aligned and serve their clients better than ever, as told by Kahl Orr.

One of the most challenging realities of scaling your business is being able to organize everything well. With more success comes more complexity I discovered – as the founder of web design and development startup, Rise.

I’m a web developer and entrepreneur, who developed a passion for coding and building websites when I was only in middle school. I’ve since turned that early love of web development into a thriving, digital startup that’s growing fast.

Rise.co is on track to breaking the half-million-dollar annual revenue mark this year alone. A true milestone that’s built on the back of designing and developing high-quality websites for a veritable army of very satisfied customers.

One thing is clear: I wouldn’t be where I am today without the capabilities of Plesk.

When Everything Was All Over the Place

When Everything was all over the place at Rise.co

As Rise.co expanded, it went from a solo operation, run just by me, to a team of 10 that I manage. Accounting for this growth was client work that became more demanding, with some clients owning dozens and dozens of websites. Due to this explosion of work, we outgrew our usual way of doing things.

We were hosting websites for our clients all over the place, under different hosting platforms. Managing them was difficult, and our processes weren’t able to be streamlined. When we needed to host about 100 websites for one client, we knew we needed a way to better organize things. That’s when we found Plesk.

A big reason for this disarray was our hosting solutions couldn’t support the magnitude of work we were taking on. I had that Aha! moment when I considered the hosting solutions we were providing clients with multiple websites. They were letting us down in terms of management, efficiency and ease of use.

That’s when I knew that we couldn’t support our breakneck growth if we stayed with our old website management habits. And so the search for a new and better hosting solution was underway. Luckily, I spoke to our team at Rackspace, who provides our IT support. They immediately recommended moving all our sites to a Plesk environment.

How Plesk Became a Game-Changer for Rise.co

Plesk Obsidian

With any new platform, there’s always a learning curve, but I found that Plesk’s platform allowed us to learn it without any friction. That’s really saying something when you consider how feature-rich Plesk is.

We were not used to being able to manage all websites in one place or being able to quickly and easily set up and manage WordPress installs. Once we learned the platform, however, we were able to build efficient processes for our team to manage, update and maintain bulk sites from one Plesk environment.

Rise.co moved to Plesk to help better serve our larger clients with numerous websites. Now, we can set a Plesk install for all our larger clients with many websites. We can easily set up WordPress, update and maintain sites, manage databases and PHP versions at per-site level. All within one Plesk account.

It’s made our web administration and development teams’ lives so much easier. After only working in this more efficient environment for a short time, I was already able to see the difference. Here’s what our results were:

  • More productivity from ease of use
  • Better site management
  • Increased efficiency and processes
  • The ability for our IT support (Rackspace) to easily step in and help when needed

Needless to say, because of these positive results, I envision a long-term partnership with Plesk.

How We Use Plesk Today

Using Plesk Obsidian today

Currently, things are running like clockwork on Plesk. I really appreciate how the platform enables us to showcase our design and development savvy to our clients without missing a beat. Plesk’s platform is our go-to solution in order to manage bulk websites for a single client.

We work with several franchise corporations that have more than 100 locations and websites. Plesk allows us to offer them our services for bulk websites with confidence. All the headaches of a disunited hosting setup are now a thing of the past.

If I had to narrow down all the benefits the platform has given us to just a few bullet points, they would be:

  • The capacity to manage bulk websites in one place
  • The ability to easily manage single databases and server settings at the per-site level
  • The reality that Rackspace supports your platform, which means we didn’t need to switch support teams (always a plus!)

Of course, the benefits of Plesk aren’t just contained to its platform. In other words, I’ve seen measurable gains in my business that correlate to when I started using Plesk.

What Rise.co Has Done Since Switching to Plesk

Rise.co since switching to Plesk

One of the best ways that I can think of to illustrate how a platform like Plesk empowers my agency is in the numbers and how it’s positively affected how I run it.

Year over year, my agency has already more than doubled its revenue. Such staggering growthcoming in such a short period of time—would not be possible without the streamlining of our hosting that Plesk has enabled.

The other side of the equation is what my life now looks like now. All thanks to the security of having such a better platform to serve our clients. These days, I can confidently transition into actually running my company as opposed to just working on our projects, like:

  • Growing my agency further by netting more clients
  • Delighting my existing client base
  • Leading my team to provide first-rate service to our customers

Plesk has been such a good fit with Rise that I really wish I’d discovered it sooner. The only thing I will advise anyone interested in using Plesk is to work with someone already experienced with Plesk. So that they can help get you up and running much quicker!

Rise Agency

Rise is a fast-growing web development agency, building high-end, custom websites and web and mobile apps for national brands.

Growing Your Web Development Business from Scratch to Success

Grow Your Web Development Business

1. Check your skills: Technical and sales

Web Development Business

To win in the web development business, you need two different types of skills. If you are reading this, you probably already have some or all of the technical skills. You know WordPress and the fundamentals of web design. If you have never set up a website before, you will need to develop those skills first. As a web developer, you can practice your skills by creating your website before you land clients.

But what else do you need? Sales and marketing skills. If sales are unfamiliar to you, keep this in mind. As Chris Gillespie writes, “Real sales is about matchmaking – about putting relevant products in front of people.”

Now that you know your way around the fundamentals let’s dive into how to get your first few clients.

2. Get your clients: Network and outreach

When you are starting a web development business from scratch, finding clients is tough. You do not have a long track record. You probably do not have a portfolio of websites either. How do you get started then?

2.1 Ask your network

Ever heard the saying “your network is your net worth”? It is entirely right when it comes to landing web development clients. We recommend reaching out to people who already know and trust you to ask if they know anybody who needs a website. Ideally, you are looking for businesses who need websites rather than individuals.

For the best results, send individual emails to people in your network rather than just posting an update on Facebook. If you have many contacts, start with the people who have seen you at work first.

2.2 Reach out with an email

Web Development Business - reach out with e-mails

Many web designers have mixed feelings about job sites. On the one hand, job sites like Upwork.com and Freelancer.com have a constant stream of new opportunities for clients who WANT to hire web developers. On the other hand, it can be challenging to stand out from the competition on these platforms especially when you are new.

To maximize your success on job sites, you need two practices. First, you need a list of job sites to check regularly. Second, you need to learn the art of writing a pitch to grab the client’s attention. Take a look at the Art of Emails’ resource “5 Cold Email Templates to Land High Paying Gigs” for tips on cold email. If you are interested in Upwork specifically, check out Freelance To Win’s resources like Top 10 Upwork proposal tips: How to win Upwork jobs in 2018.

After you land a few clients, it is time to invest in improving your marketing, so you can attract better clients and stay productive.

3. Invest in marketing and systems to keep growing

Web development business - Invest in marketing and systems to keep growing

While they are great to start with, there is a major limitation to relying on the strategies outlined above to grow your business. Unless you focus significant effort on growing and nurturing your network, you cannot expect new leads from your friends each month.

With job sites like Upwork, you face a different challenge. Winning clients at premium fee levels is rare. It is also difficult to stand out because you are in direct competition with many other web developers. To continue growing, you will need to invest in your company’s marketing and systems.

Depending on your budget and skills, there are different options available to invest in marketing. You might investigate marketing partnerships with companies that have a similar audience as yours. Adding your company to agency directories like Clutch.co and Digital Agency Network is another option. You might also experiment using SEO and online advertising.

Once you fine-tune these marketing systems, your agency will start to grow rapidly. Rapid growth creates different problems. Instead of scrambling to pay your bills, you have to fight to stay on top of your client relationships. Keeping all of your client relationships straight when you have 10, 20 or more clients is too much to keep in your head.

4. Improve client retention and efficiency with the Plesk Control Panel

Web Development Business - Improve client retention and efficiency with the Plesk Control Panel

At first, you might be able to manage your web development business with Google Docs and your memory. Eventually, you are going to forget critical information. It could be forgetting to test a new plugin before pushing it out to a client. Alternatively, merely forgetting to monitor the backend processes for all of your client websites.

What if you could have all of your client website information in one place? That is what you get with the control panel by Plesk. Whether you build websites in WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, you can track all of those web projects from a single place. To avoid disasters, the control plan also has staging and user provisioning, so you do not have to worry about these administrative tasks.

Why does the Plesk Control Panel matter for your web development business? It helps you to provide a more consistent experience. It means you do not have to worry about WordPress security and multiple servers. No more forgotten configuration or testing mistakes. You focus on keeping your clients happy and growing your business.

Systems and sales: You need both for a thriving web development business

Web Development Business - the role of systems and sales

As your web development business grows, keep your eyes on a few critical points. Job one: keep your clients happy. Next, keep up your sales efforts even when you are busy to avoid feast and famine syndrome. Finally, invest in systems and software to automate your business so you can focus on growth rather than tracking issues manually.