The 6 Most Important Tools I Use to Run My Agency

When I started FixRunner.com, I was looking for advice on what tools I could find online that would help me run a successful business.

One of the best things I found was a book, actually. It’s called Content Machine by Dan Norris, who is one of the founders of WP Curve. The book is mostly about driving traffic to your site by writing engaging content.

But since he used WP Curve as an example in his book, I was able to use many of the tips offered and apply them to running my own business. Today, I would like to share with ManageWP readers some of the tools we use at FixRunner that help us save time, make our lives easier, and keep our customers happy

1. ManageWP

We use a lot of important tools in our business, but ManageWP is definitely at the top of the list. Before we joined ManageWP, we used all kinds of solutions that ended up being wastes of time. We had issues often and I was always worried about the backups not been done properly. When I joined ManageWP, I was looking for a reliable service that would back up my client’s websites.

After I started using the service, I understood immediately that this software would take my business to the next level — and it really did. We use many tools built into ManageWP but if I had to point out the 3 most important ones I would say it’s these:

The backups are very reliable and almost never fail, the bulk updates save us lot of time updating our client’s website in one-click, and the reports keep our customers posted on everything we do on their websites automatically. That way, even when a client won’t open a ticket with us, the report reminds them of our consistent work and involvement with their websites.

ManageWP dashboard

2. Time Doctor

We use this great software called Time Doctor to track the time we use to work on websites and the time our developers work online. In our business model, we don’t sell unlimited support, we sell our hours. Most of the clients stay within the support hours we sell them on a monthly basis. But with Time Doctor, we can see if a client is using more time than what they paid for.

We always give our clients more support time than what they paid for as a courtesy, but this tool helps us make sure no one is abusing the service. We also use Time Doctor to monitor the time developers spend working online. Some of our developers work remotely from different countries with some in our office in Belgrade as well. Time Doctor allows us to track the time developers worked every day and what he did during this time. The software has many great features, too, like taking screenshots of the developer’s browser, showing how much time the developer spent on each ticket, what websites he visited, etc.

Now, I understand that something like this might overstress a developer but I don’t really see another way to monitor time. With that said, I should note we rarely look at those stats and when we do, it’s only if we feel like something doesn’t make sense. Time Doctor also keeps track of extra hours developers worked, which ensures fairness all around. It’s a great tool for work, even when your developers are in-office.

Time Doctor Dashboard

3. Zendesk

I’m sure many of you are familiar with Zendesk, but for those who aren’t, let me give you a short overview. Zendesk helps us manage all communication with our ongoing members and new clients. It helps us monitor the response time to new tickets, it sends an automatic satisfactory check for every ticket, and much more. One thing I’ve found very valuable is the ability to follow up with the customer to make sure he is happy with the results. This has helped us keep a high satisfactory level. Our team is expanding rapidly and I don’t see every ticket that comes into our system, but I do see if they aren’t happy. This then gives us a second chance to do everything we can to make sure our customers are happy, which is one of the most important things in this business.

zendesk

4. Live Chat

This is an important tool for both our ongoing members and new clients. When a new client is searching for “WordPress support” they are typically looking for someone to help them immediately. I can say that most of our ongoing members started from live chat. Being available and providing fast service is one of the keys to success in this business! As for our ongoing members, some of them need to explain complex issues to a live agent and live chat is much easier than opening a ticket. Per client feedback, we can see that this is something that makes them happy so we use the chat for sales and for customer support as well. I know that there are many tools for live chat but after trying a few in the past, I really believe that LiveChat, Inc is the best one in the market.

live chat inc

5. Uberconference

I know that there are many tools for screen sharing with clients, but the one we use and very much enjoy is UberConference. You can talk while sharing the screen and share files with a client at the same time. You can easily open a free account and create your own unique URL that you can send to your clients and they can easily join the call by entering only their name without having to create an account. It’s super easy and a real lifesaver!

6. Staging Website

We host FixRunner on WP Engine. With every account, we can create transferable installs. Since WP Engine limits the number of live installs on every account, we’ve found the transferable install very useful because you can move unlimited websites to a development environment. We use it a lot. For example, sometimes we get an issue on a client website and it’s more complicated than a regular fix you can do on the live website. The type of fix that requires more work that can break the website while we work.  Things like deactivating plugins and themes, making customizations, and other things that we don’t want to do on a live website. In these cases, we clone the website to WP Engine using the WP Engine Cloning Plugin. There are many companies that provide staging installations but we just found this one very user-friendly. You can even use the amazing ManageWP cloning tool if you’d like.

Managewp cloning tool

Always Looking to Improve

As a growing company, we learn new things all the time. In the list above, I shared the agency tools that are most important to us and help us run our business most effectively. But if you have any recommendations on tools that make your life easier while working on client websites, I would love to hear about them in comments below.

Sam Mulaim

Hello there! My name is Sam and I’m the founder and head of fixrunner.com where we maintain and support any type of WordPress websites, these days I’m spending most of my time developing this fast-growing business. I don't get many chances to write about WordPress but when I do I just love it!

4 Comments

  1. Ritu

    Hey Sam, it’s a good collection. I’m more satisfied with the Time Doctor and Zendesk. These helps me a lot. Thanks.:)

    1. Sam Mulaim

      Author

      Hi Ritu,
      I’m glad you like the article. Soon we will publish a more detailed article on how we use time doctor to manage employees and projects, I’m sure it will be very useful.

  2. Ernie

    Hi!

    I like these kind of articles, about how other people use WPManage in a day to day environment.
    I would love to see, and know I never will, how popular some of the WP Maintenance business, plans are – and if there is any `push-back’ from clients to pay what is usually more than the hosting fee for a management service.

    Even anonymized results eg: Business A has 50+,100+,10000+ on plan A which is $59 a month etc.

    I’m not asking FixRunner for that info, and wouldn’t expect it of course but am curious.

    1. Sam Mulaim

      Author

      Hi Ernie,
      There are few companies in this industry that publish numbers of clients and revenue, you can search and I’m sure you will find, I’m still not sure if we will publish this info in the future, however, to give you a general idea, our core business is WordPress maintenance and support and today we have 13+ people in the team that runs Fixrunner, so this answer your question if people are willing to pay for the extra services like maintenance & support.
      as for the monthly recurring payment, I can tell you that the average is around $85/mo in our business but if you look around you will see that some companies offer the service for cheaper or more expensive price so I’m sure it’s different with other similar business
      Managing 24/7 WordPress support business is not easy and it’s challenging especially to get people on the monthly plans, I will release soon more interesting articles that will help people that want to learn more how to run this kind of business.

      Hope you got answers to some of your questions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Over 40,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!

Have questions? Get in touch!

Over 40,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!



Have questions? Get in touch!

Over 40,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!



Have questions? Get in touch!

Over 40,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!



Have questions? Get in touch!