When I heard about WPCurve a few years ago, I thought why on earth would someone pay for that.
Then I needed some custom CSS done. WPCurve offered one-off jobs. I paid and got my CSS fix. I was delighted. It saved me so much time. I then realized the benefit of WordPress maintenance and management services.
I put together a list of CSS tweaks I wanted and signed up for a WPCurve subscription. I stayed with them for a couple of years. Some months I submitted many tickets while others not so many. Overall, the service saved me endless hours of frustration and headaches.
Table of Contents
- Stuff WPCurve Did
- Got Hooked
- GoDaddy Ruined a Perfectly Good Service
- My New Service
- 3 Plans
- 1 Very Awesome Feature that Sold Me On WPRadius
- My Ongoing Laundry List
- My One Complaint
- Overall Impression of WPRadius So Far
- 2 Other WP Management Services I Checked Out Closely:
- Other Services You Can Check Out
- Choose carefully
- Tips for getting the most out of a WP management service
- Should you get this type of service?
Stuff WPCurve Did
Custom CSS tweaks: A good example is they were able to get Table of Contents + plugin to display in 2 columns, which looks way better (look above at the table of contents).
Code fixes: I’m a WordPress disaster. I make mistakes, test hundreds of plugins, let spam comments accumulate, have way too many menus… in short my sites are a mess. In time they need cleaning up and code fixed. WPCurve fixed a lot of things for me.
Theme tweaks: I love trying new themes. It’s a bit of a waste of time, but I like doing it. Every time I deploy a new theme, there are many little things that need attention, some of which is beyond me or I don’t have time. WPCurve came to the rescue.
It didn’t take long that I became very dependent on WPCurve. I loved the service. They were nice and fast and never screwed anything up. They definitely knew how to code in WordPress.
GoDaddy Ruined a Perfectly Good Service
Limited Tasks per Month
And then WPCurve was bought out by GoDaddy. I hung in there a bit until I received the email where GoDaddy stated they reviewed accounts and noticed most subscribers submitted 2.5 tickets on average per month. Accordingly, under GoDaddy, WPCurve decided to limit the number of tasks per month. The 10 tasks per month plan (the most available) would cost nearly double WPCurve’s unlimited subscription.
While GoDaddy thinks their analysis is sound justifying the a cap on number of tasks per month, the fact is their analysis is flawed. I replied and told them I expected they would ruin a great service by implementing caps. I told them looking at average number of monthly tickets is a flawed approach. My pattern of WPCurve use, which I doubt is not unusual, is that some months when doing some development work or design work, I submitted many tickets. Other months I submitted few or no tickets. It’s when I need the service that I really need the service. Monthly task limits makes the service useless to me.
Task Request Forms
Another new thing GoDaddy did that ruined WPCurve is forcing clients to fill in a task request form. I liked being able to quickly dash off emails to WPCurve. Having to sign in to a website and go through the tedious task of filling in a form is way too much hassle.
GoDaddy of course didn’t respond to me except that they were sorry for me to go. Yet again, Goliath buying out David ruins a perfectly good service.
And so I turned to our trusty friend Google and started researching WPCurve alternatives. I figured there must be other quality services with unlimited tickets for a better price. It turned out many have popped up over the last few years.
Because these services end up costing a lot (monthly subscription), I spent quite a bit of time researching options. I started with a long list, narrowed it down to two services. I then asked both services plenty of questions. I went with the service that I figured would best serve my needs. Actually the service I went with took the time to have a phone call with me. They were fantastic right off the bat and so I chose them.
My New Service
The service I chose to replace WPCurve is WPRadius.
WPRadius is a bit more expensive, but all their staff is in the USA. I like that.
More importantly, they will do more than WPCurve and other services do, which makes me really like them. For instance, they will format blog posts. They will do pretty much anything on your site as long as the task doesn’t exceed 30 minutes. In other words, it’s not just CSS and development work. They will actually do substantive work as well. Now that’s service and that’s the kind of service I need.
WPRadius offers 3 levels of service. I immediately signed up for the top level service because I have plenty of demands and needed much of what that plan offered. It’s about 4 times what WPCurve cost, but so far (2 weeks), they’ve exceeded my expectation.
I’m certain the lesser plans would be excellent too so don’t think you need to shell out the top-plan fees. All plans offer unlimited task requests, which is key.
Instead of regurgitating those plan here, you can see them for yourself here.
1 Very Awesome Feature that Sold Me On WPRadius
The one service offering that ultimately sold me on WPRadius (in addition they were very responsive to my questions when I inquired about their service) is that they will do non-coding tasks such as formatting WordPress posts, create optin forms, create WordPress menus or create ad zones to name a few. As long as a task doesn’t take longer than 30 minutes and doesn’t involve writing content, they will do it. Since I need a lot of content formatted, this can be a very, very helpful offering.
Other Features I Love about WPRadius
Unlike WPCurve, which refused to offer bulk rates for multiple sites, WPRadius told me we could discuss a bulk package for multiple sites. The thing is I have some sites that seldom need work, but once in a while do. This means that my other sites don’t warrant a full plan, but I don’t mind paying something to have the option to submit the odd ticket for those other sites. I love services that accommodate clients.
Email and telephone:
FYI, telephone support is only for the Enterprise Plan. However, I almost always use email to submit tasks anyway. WPRadius doesn’t require you to fill out some tedious form on their site. I can quickly shoot of an email and it’s handled.
I had one task that proved difficult for other developers in the past. It was a recurring coding issue regarding a plugin. Amazingly, WPRadius fixed it immediately. FYI, that one task alone will generate more than enough revenue to pay for the WPRadius service every month.
My Ongoing Laundry List
When I go about my blogging work, I have an ongoing list of things I need WPRadius to do. That way when they’re done a task, I’m ready immediately to assign a new task. There are times I have no tasks, but that’s where WPRadius will be brilliant. I always have new content that needs formatting, ads tested, stuff deleted/cleaned up, etc. In other words, in addition to one-off tasks such as CSS and PHP coding, I have recurring tasks that they will do. This makes the higher cost totally worth it.
My One Complaint
So far I have only one complaint and that is they don’t provide services 24/7. Their working hours are 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Friday. WPCurve was 24/7, which meant I could assign a task at the end of the day and it would be done the next morning (usually). I often have work needing to be done on weekends (when I don’t work). That all said, I really can’t fault services for having hour limits; I seldom work nights and weekends as well. There’s more to life than work.
Overall Impression of WPRadius So Far
Outstanding. I love the WPRadius service. Their people are very knowledgeable, friendly, responsive and fast. It’s been a better experience than WPCurve (which was good until GoDaddy got involved).
Often when seeking out new services, I have to give a few a try before finding the right fit, but in this case, I lucked out by choosing WPRadius first. I’m very happy with their service and look forward to a long relationship with them.
2 Other WP Management Services I Checked Out Closely:
I actually used this service a few months back. They told me they don’t do CSS work, so they were immediately removed from my list. However, one feature I like about them is you can pay a bit more for immediate live chat help and get your issue resolved immediately. I thought that was a nice touch. However, they don’t offer unlimited task plans and they don’t really do CSS so it’s not a good fit for me at all.
WPMatic made my short list. Their top plan looked good with personal concierge. However, I had submitted a batch of questions about their service and never heard back. WPRadius called me same-day, answered all my questions and so it was clear to me which service to go with.
Other Services You Can Check Out
Please note I have no experience with any of the following services. I’m setting them out to save you a Google search.
Also, I’m only including services that offer customized task requests such as CSS and PHP coding tasks. I’m not including the lower cost “maintenance” only services that only update and provide security. There’s a difference… I’m all about a service who provides coding and development help (in addition to updating, maintenance, etc.).
The following are in no particular order.
For these types of services, there’s a bit of work involved getting set up. You must provide some information to the service and so it’s not only a cash investment, but a time investment.
Accordingly, do your due diligence.
Put together a list of what you want out of this type of service.
Review each service carefully, eliminating those that don’t meet your needs or exceed your budget.
Once you have a shortlist, ask them questions. Not only does this give you more clarity, you get a sense of how quickly they respond and how helpful they are when you’re kicking the tires. This step of the process helped me; WPMatic never got back to me while WPRadius went out of their way to help me.
Tips for getting the most out of a WP management service
Don’t do it yourself
The most important tip here is to stop doing anything that your service can do. This saves you time and that’s the point of the service. Whenever I find something that needs doing that my service can do, I add it to my list of tasks. This way I have an ongoing list of tasks and I avoid getting bogged down in this type of work freeing me up to do other work.
Provide Clear Instructions
Nothing is a bigger waste of time than your service emailing you back 8 hours later asking for clarification about your task. This prolongs the process. Instead, take care when you submit your task that it’s clear. I take time writing my task requests because I want things done right and I don’t want to have to provide clarification down the road.
If writing isn’t your strong suit, ask any potential service if you can email recorded instructions, be it a video or audio file? I do this often because it really makes things easier for me and the service.
Should you get this type of service?
I realize I’m fortunate in being able to engage a service like this. It isn’t cheap.
These services aren’t necessarily for you if you’re just getting started and have no website traffic and no revenue. Don’t go into debt just to have such service.
I waited years until I hired this type of service.
But, if your site is making money and you sometimes find yourself spending hours and hours trying to change CSS or get a plugin working, then this type of service is definitely for you.
I’ve spend days mucking around with simple CSS and PHP fixes which a knowledgeable developer could handle in 20 minutes.
Now I never have to waste time on simple coding tasks. If I need a color changed or width of an element changed, I don’t have to figure it out. I love it and strongly recommend this type of service if your site is generating some revenue.
Choose your service carefully. I did my own due diligence and got lucky with WPRadius. I strongly recommend them.
Scope of Services
Speed of Service
Task Request Efficiency
Knowledge & Skill Level
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.