Every agency wants to scale up to get more clients, earn more revenue, and build its reputation globally. But scaling demands productivity enhancement, improved workflows, and satisfied clients.
For most design agencies sadly, that’s only a dream for now.
Because, design agencies around the world are facing one major problem, i.e., how to handle clients’ projects and websites smoothly.
Like other things, agencies also follow the 80/20 rule. Majority of the clients have a simple blog or a business website. While only a small chunk of clients have big projects such as e-commerce stores, mobile apps, social websites and more. And, the primary issue with digital agencies is their management.
As their management is mostly linked with providing hosting and updates, that’s why most agencies shift from one shared host to another thinking that their problem will be solved by the next one. Unfortunately, that never happens.
In fact, my previous design agency used to think the same way. They have now shifted to a managed hosting solution just because of the flexibility available with it.
A major reason why design agencies struggle to keep up with their clients’ expectations is because of the hosting issues that arise on their websites.
Mostly it isn’t the administrative issues or mismanagement from agency’s side, but the hosting woes that are lagging the work of clients. These hosting woes can be anything from high downtime, low page speed, lack of support, or even high-priced packages.
They are frustrating for the end uses (Read: clients) and put a heavy burden on the pockets of agencies.
Especially, when the clients are already paying an adequate amount for hosting their sites, why aren’t they getting the relevant service, they require?
The problem is that most hosting services don’t have the features that design agencies are looking for.
Let’s see what a typical design agency wants for its clients.
ABC is a design agency with more than 20 clients. Most of its clients have also asked it to handle their website data. ABC has hosted the data on a premium shared host. It wants that all the websites hosted with it have high uptime, faster page speed, and low package price.
Instead of getting it, ABC’s clients often complain that their websites aren’t even working!
So, in short, design agencies are looking for only a few major features in a web hosting provider. These are:
A managed cloud hosting service.
Fortunately, managed cloud hosting servers and managed WordPress hosting easily meet all these demands of creative digital agencies. Let’s see how.
A managed cloud hosting provider makes it easy for non-tech users to host their websites on cloud hosts without going through the hassle of server setup and management. The service allows them to buy storage, bandwidth, and speed with just a single-click and upgrade servers or take backups whenever they want, making it easier for them to manage their websites, apps, and online software.
Web developers and system admins usually spend most of their time in managing the servers of their clients, with tasks including updating the WordPress versions, adding a few blog posts, changing plugins, and few others. This takes almost half of their day in which they would have done something more productive. Moreover, the design agencies employee dedicated people for this task, which indirectly burdens their finances.
With a managed cloud host, they don’t have to do these things at all because the process is automated and they have to select a few choices to set it up automatically. And all this takes place in a secure environment, so the websites remain encrypted at all times.
Here is a minimum list of benefits of a managed cloud hosting solution that the design agencies can benefit from.
You need a system admin to set up a server on a typical host such as DigitalOcean because it doesn’t come with a pre-configured stack. This usually takes hours and a whole lot of brain power that could have been spent more wisely. A managed cloud hosting solution decreases this time to just 5 to 10 minutes on an average by starting with a system image from another server.
Another frustrating issue with most cloud hosts is that users will have to manually install all the applications they want such as Joomla, Magento, and even WordPress. But with a managed cloud hosting solution, this all comes pre-configured to install in a few clicks, as it offers all the prominent e-commerce platforms, and CMSs from the start of the server.
Let’s suppose a design agency wants to set up a new server for a client. It usually takes it hours to set up the new server. But, how about doing that in minutes?
Managed cloud hosting services allow server applications to be cloned and deployed in the new servers within in a few minutes.
SSH/SFTP is one of the most secure protocols for connecting with your web hosting. It is great for design agencies if they want to modify the back-end, add custom themes, or make modifications to a client website that aren’t possible through the front-end panel.
Design agencies are handling multiple clients. What if they all are hosted on a single server, and one client wants access to his website. Will you provide him the credentials of the whole web host? Probably not. But this can surely ruin your relationship with him.
A better way is to get a managed cloud hosting service that allows the addition of team members to each project. Let’s suppose design agencies have one server with three apps of different clients. They can easily add a team member for one app while managing other apps by themselves.
As we have already discussed, it is crucial for the design agencies to improve their workflow to increase the revenue of their business. While a reliable host solves many hosting woes, it doesn’t offer the freedom to manage multiple client apps at once. This problem is solved by managed cloud hosting solutions that offer projects, folder-like structures, to manage apps and websites with ease.
Another benefit of a managed cloud hosting is that it makes the whole development process easier with Git integration. Git is a version control system that allows instant changes to the website. And, if the version isn’t the right one, it can be rolled back using Git.
Design agencies will love this one. Multiple datacenters allow the design agencies to set up specific servers for clients. For example, if one client has an e-commerce store in Australia, the design agency can get a server in the Australian region. Similarly, if a client has a blogging website for the US audience, he/she can get a server in the USA without changing the host.
Where managed cloud hosting solutions stand out the most is their instant support for clients. Whether the website is down, the servers are not working, or SSL is not getting integrated, the clients can always get support within a matter of minutes.
Managed cloud hosts take one more worry off design agencies’ shoulders. They provide automated backups (daily or weekly) for all servers. The design agencies can also schedule app-level backups using automated plugins as well.
PHP almost comes up with a new major version update every year. The latest version of PHP is excellent for new development projects, but sometimes it doesn’t support the old applications or plugins. And this can become a nightmare for design agencies who have clients with projects only supported on the older versions of PHP. With a managed cloud hosting solution, these design agencies have the liberty to choose a version of PHP that is fully compatible.
Let’s suppose as a digital design agency, you or one of your clients have an important event coming, and you are expecting heavy traffic on your website. That’s where a managed cloud hosting solution comes in handy. It offers a vertical scaling option that allows the users to increase the system resources within an instant.
With a managed cloud hosting, design agencies can use the hosting to test the sites of their clients. With staging area available, they can let their clients see the websites on dummy domains, and when they are satisfied, the websites can be taken live.
Design agencies often transfer the servers of their clients from their own account to the clients’ accounts. On a shared host, this requires complete migration of the website. But with a managed cloud hosting solution, it is just a matter of seconds. Managed cloud hosts offer one-click server transfer option that agencies can use to transfer servers easily.
Consider a scenario where a client asks to stop their service. Instead of waiting a month to cancel their account with a managed cloud hosting solution that charges per hour, the client should get a design agency to cancel their account within minutes and for no overhead cost.
That’s a lot of features of a managed cloud hosting solution. The good thing is, they all help a design agency to improve its workflow in one way or another.
If you are a design agency that is looking forward to improving its workflow, then your best option is to get a managed cloud hosting solution.
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