You know the value of managed WordPress hosting, but all too often, your client doesn’t. And when you’re trying to wrap up a web design project or finalize the budget, the monthly cost of hosting can be quite the unnecessary (and sometimes frustrating) debate.
If you have a client that doesn’t see the value in managed WordPress hosting yet, these tips will help you seal the deal:
1. Explain the value of managed WordPress hosting
While you understand all the benefits of a managed WordPress host, your client is only looking at the price tag right now. Take the time to teach them what the difference between shared and managed hosting is, and why it’s so important to you (as the person managing their website) that they go with this level of service.
Some great talking points to bring up include:
- Sites on shared servers have a higher chance of experiencing downtime.
- Downtime means losing trust from your site visitors and worse, potentially sales. (If your client runs an eCommerce site, this can be a major selling point!)
- A managed host usually offers much better support. (And even if your client won’t be managing the site, explain that’ll help you troubleshoot their site faster, too!)
- There’s a lower chance of the site getting hacked if it’s on a quality managed hosting provider. (Again, preventing a potential loss in trust or money from site visitors.)
- Emphasize that with a managed WordPress host, they can focus on their business, instead of ever even thinking about hosting. That’s huge.
Pro-tip: I’ve put together a full guide about the benefits of managed WordPress hosting. Feel free to send it straight to your client, or use it to gather more talking points before you have this conversation!
If your client still doesn’t see the value of managed WordPress hosting, it’s time to show them.
2. Share case studies from past clients
You’ve probably used case studies to promote your own services, but you can also use them to help inform your clients’ decisions. Take a look at your past clients – did any others start on shared hosting and make the switch to managed? (Even better, did any make the switch specifically because you recommended it?)
If so, reach out and ask if you can share their success as a case study for your future clients!
By sharing a specific story of someone like them, your client will start to see the true value of what a managed WordPress host can do for their website and business. It becomes more about the benefits, and less about the price.
If you don’t have a past client that’s made the switch from shared to managed hosting, you can also think about your own website history. Be honest: Did you start on a shared server?
(Don’t worry; most of us do!)
If you relate, dive into your own personal experience and share it with your client. Do you have a horror story that you’re trying to help them avoid? What changes have you seen since moving to a managed WordPress host? Has the price been worth it?
Moving to a managed host can be a big jump for some clients, so the more you can explain the value on a personal level (either with your own story or another client’s), the better chance you have of selling them on it.
3. Set up a demo site so they can see the difference
If a case study still isn’t doing the trick, it’s time to literally show your client the difference with a demo site.
As you’ve probably already explained to them, a managed WordPress host is going to offer better site performance and faster load times. Google considers page speed in both desktop and mobile searches, so it’s critical for a successful site.
If your client still doesn’t believe their page speed will be that different from a shared hosting environment, set up a demo site on your managed WordPress host so they can see a side by side comparison.
Pro-tip: When you spin up a free, 14-day demo site on Flywheel, it’s placed on a production-ready server. This will give you a true feel for how fast the site will be, and give you the opportunity to show your client around the dashboard (if they’ll have their own Flywheel account).
There’s a good chance your client will see a positive difference in site speed, which should help them start to understand the practical benefits of managed WordPress hosting (instead of just abstract ideas).
If your client still isn’t sold on managed hosting, or you’re tired of having these conversations, there’s one more way you can get them to go along with it (without even starting the conversation). Which leads me to my last (and favorite) tip:
4. Bundle web hosting into your prices (so it’s not even a discussion)
Instead of billing a flat rate for a web design project and then passing the hosting bill to your client, there’s another way you can structure your services that makes it easier for them (and helps you earn recurring revenue)!
This magical pricing structure is to sell your clients a monthly service package of ongoing work, once the website is complete. The monthly services can include website-specific work (such as updating plugins or making site changes) or other services you offer (such as business consultation or marketing assistance).
And, it can also include the cost of their web hosting.
Pro-tip: Nightly backups, malware removal, WordPress updates, website performance, website security, SSL certificates…these are all features Flywheel includes with every hosting plan that you can include as line items in your own service packages, just by using Flywheel’s hosting!
By bundling all these services together, your client will feel like they’re getting a lot more value than “just hosting.” And since it’s packaged into a total price, you can also skip the step where you need to convince them to use a managed host – it’s just part of the bundle.
Here are a few examples of monthly service packages that work especially well for web designers:
- Website support plan
- Performance maintenance plan
- Security maintenance plan
- Plugin or theme maintenance
You could even combine a few of those services together for a mega bundle, or offer different package tiers for your clients to choose from. Just be sure to price everything appropriately, so you’re setting margins that are affordable for your clients but also make you a good profit!
Selling monthly service packages and reselling web hosting is a great way to get your clients on a managed WordPress host while also helping your business earn some recurring revenue. If you have the flexibility to bundle hosting into your packages, I absolutely recommend this method over the others!
Reselling hosting is easy to set up, virtually hands-free, and allows you to set your own prices (and therefore, profit margins). It may sound like a magical unicorn, and actually, it kind of is. Learn more about the art of reselling hosting and how it can transform the way you do business here.
5. Download these free, client-ready PDFs
Convincing your clients that managed WordPress hosting is right for their business is no easy feat. To help your mission, we’ve packaged up a couple one-sheets explaining the value of managed hosting that you can pass straight to your client!
By following these tips, hopefully you’ll be able to get through to your clients and show them why managed WordPress hosting is totally worth it! Now, let’s help each other out: What else have you done to help sell your clients on managed hosting? Share your experiences in the comments below!
This article has been updated since it was originally published on May 16, 2019.