As a WordPress consultant, you’re always on the lookout for solutions to make your job easier while helping you get your clients better results. But you have to be careful about adopting new tools. Use the wrong one and it could cause more issues than there were before. That’s why Akshat Choudhary and the team behind the BlogVault backup plugin have taken extra care in developing their product… over the last seven years.
You can listen to him share the BlogVault journey on this episode of the WP Elevation podcast:
Akshat Choudhary, an engineer by trade, considers himself a WordPress outsider. In fact, to this day, he rarely uses WordPress himself.
That might seem odd considering Akshat is the founder of BlogVault, a backup-and-restore WordPress solution. However, it wasn’t WordPress that lured him into this business.
Years ago, he learned that the Stack Overflow blog had crashed. To which he thought:
“If the person behind Stack Overflow can’t keep good backups, then there’s probably a need for this.”
Thinking it would only be a two-week project, Akshat set out to create a higher quality backup product for the WordPress space. Seven years later and the BlogVault team continues to work on refining their product.
Why has it taken BlogVault seven years to get their product to a point where they’re ready to start promoting it? As Akshat explains, they’ve been hyper-focused on solving the complicated problem of WordPress backups.
If you think about it, there are a lot of things that could go wrong. Which is why it’s important to have a backup solution that can get it right. And while some backup plugins make the process seem simple (i.e. install the plugin, connect to S3 and you’re done!), it never is.
There’s also the matter of WordPress agencies and developers that handle backups on behalf of their clients. If they use a backup plugin that fails to capture a backup or properly restore a website, they could end up with a bunch of work they hadn’t accounted for when taking on the task of maintaining their clients’ websites.
Akshat acknowledges that managed WordPress hosting is a valuable resource, for sure. However, he doesn’t believe that you can rely on backups managed by them.
Take, for instance, the example of the hurricane in New York that took down a datacentre for three days. If your client’s website had been on that server, with no failover available anywhere else, you and your clients would have been screwed.
Then, there’s the fact that managed hosts don’t provide any information about their backups save for the date they were captured. With BlogVault, you get an actual history and list of changes, so you can make a data-driven decision about which copy of your website is the right one to restore.
It was the development of this backup history feature that led BlogVault to roll out a staging environment to customers.
They realised that customers appreciated the visibility provided by the backup histories. Even more than that, they liked being able to preview the website before committing to the restore. And since the preview lived on BlogVault’s server, it only made sense to open it up as a new staging environment feature.
The one feature they have yet to publicly roll out is the merging of staging with the production environment.
Despite the crowded field of backup competitors — some with big-name companies behind them and millions of installs in the WordPress repository — Akshat is confident that there’s room for their high-quality backup product, too. Their list of clients is proof of that, with managed WordPress hosting companies like WP Engine and Flywheel among them.
As Akshat explains, it’s not surprising that managed hosts would rely on an external solution for backups. While these companies build and manage technical products, they wouldn’t be able to do backups as well as someone who is fully dedicated to them. Hence, the need to partner with someone like BlogVault to provide a reliable tool for their customers’ backup-and-restores.
And even though WordPress has its foot in the backup game, it again comes down to the separation of church and state. WordPress already has a million things to do with its content management system. There’s no way it could effectively tackle a complicated matter like backups the way BlogVault does. Another reason why Akshat is so confident in what they’ve built.
The 18-person team at BlogVault continues to be committed to solving the problems of backup-and-restore in WordPress. However, they have a new product they’re turning their attention to these days: MalCare.
This WordPress security plugin is another solution that takes aim at a complicated problem.
“MalCare, that was an extremely difficult problem to solve. It took over three years of R&D before we got it out the door.”
It’s this ongoing drive to solve the biggest issues in WordPress that keeps the BlogVault and MalCare teams invested in the products and the company.
As you can imagine, tools like BlogVault and MalCare would come in handy if you’re selling WordPress care plans to clients. For $100 a month, WordPress agencies and developers can provide higher quality backup products to all of their maintenance clients. $200 a month enables them to upgrade the security piece, too.
If you’re looking for a way to start selling WordPress maintenance plans, or want to find a way to charge more for the ones you offer now, BlogVault and MalCare may be the right solution.
Want some more ways to generate higher revenue for your business? Carve out some time for this free training where you’ll learn how to make charge higher fees for your WordPress services and products.
Feel free to reach out to @akshatc on Twitter and say thanks for such an informative episode.