WordPress and Business Intelligence with Anca Mosoiu

As WordPress becomes more and more useful as an application engine, developers will be expected to provide useful reports from systems driven by WordPress. Reports go beyond site visitor metrics – they provide domain-specific information about an individual business. 

In this workshop, we will examine the decision-making needs of organizations, and how to plan a WordPress project so it includes reporting. From this higher level, dive into the WordPress information architecture and database to look at strategies for creating reporting tables and information dashboards tailored to a specific business function.

Anca Mosoiu is the founder of Tech Liminal, where people with various skills and backgrounds come together to learn and build using technology. She is a programmer and consultant who loves complex, large-scale technology projects, where her curiosity and ability to translate between technical and non-technical helps teams get things done.

Her clients include the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, Cisco Systems, Nike and Sony.

Anca works with small teams and individuals, coaching them to utilise software that helps them grow their business and complete projects. With a combination of tools like Google Apps, WordPress, a text editor and a sense of humor, she helps her clients automate their business, interact with their stakeholders, and manage their intellectual property online.

She is a graduate of MIT, where she studied Computer Science. 

This is our first meeting at Tech Liminal’s new location in the Port Workspaces in the Kaiser Center Mall. Access is by key card, but we’ll arrange to have people available to open the doors and to post signs to help you figure out where to go. There’s a large parking structure integrated into the mall, but you do have to pay for it.

Pricing and Packaging Your WordPress Services

All freelancers (and agencies) face the question of how to charge and how much to charge. 

When is an hourly rate appropriate–and what’s a reasonable hourly rate (for you; the clients will decide for themselves what they think is reasonable)? 

What is value-based pricing and how do you implement it? Do you charge for discovery? 

How detailed should cost breakdowns in your quotes be? 

What kind of payment schedule do you use? 

Have you created packages (e.g. a maintenance package, a basic install package), and if so, how has that worked for you?

I’m looking for volunteers to contribute their experience on this subject, so email me if you want to participate in a pricing panel.

Feb 2016 Handout: Managing Multiple WordPress Sites

Recent Reviews

Envato Tuts+ Series: Exploring WordPress Managers

Part 1 covers Jetpack and InfiniteWP. Part 2 covers ManageWP, CMS Commander, and MainWP. Part 3 (not yet published) covers iThemes Sync and WP Remote. The author uses InfiniteWP.

WPMU: Managing Multiple WordPress Sites: The Ultimate Guide

Covers ManageWP, InfiniteWP, CMS Commander, WPRemote, iControlWP, Jetpack Manage, and iThemes Sync. Comes down in favor of ManageWP, but gives pretty good ratings to everything.

WordPress Management Plugins & Services Featured at the Meetup

Mill: WordPress site management and deployment

Mill (sponsor)

French startup Mill provides deployment, updates, backup and restore, migration, and cloning for both WordPress and Drupal. Starts at $29/month for 10 sites and one user.

InfiniteWP

Infinite WP is a tool you set up on your own web server, rather than a hosted service. With it you get a dashboard that lets you update, backup, & restore your site, as well as installing themes and plugins. Free for those basic services; paid add-ons for things like cloud backups, 2-factor authentication, Sucuri scanning, and site cloning start at $50/year apiece, or $400/year for the whole suite.

MainWP

Another self-hosted site management tool: includes MainWP dashboard and MainWP child plugins. Free version includes site management, user management, bulk posting, upgrades, and backups. The Sucuri site-check and Advanced Uptime extensions are free. Paid extensions include cloning, code snippets, and broken link checking.

iThemes Sync

Sync does site management, updates, and plugin & theme installation (iThemes or WordPress.org). Integrates nicely with any iThemes plugins you have installed and with iThemes Stash. Free plan includes 10 sites. Pro version includes uptime monitoring and reports;  starts at $50/year for 25 sites.

ManageWP 

ManageWP was the first of these services and still rates highly in reviews (see above). It handles updates, theme & plugin installation, site optimization, pageview statistics, security scans, and performance reports. Additional features like backup & migration are available in paid plans. Free plan includes 5 sites. Basic plan is $0.80/month/website; Pro plan is $2.40/website/month; Business plan is $4.80/website/month.

More WordPress Site Management Tools

  • Jetpack Manage (free, but limited)
  • CMS Commander (5 sites free with basic features; premium plans start at $8/month for 5 sites with all features)
  • WP Remote (updates & snapshots; unlimited sites free)
  • iControlWP (updates, backup/restore, security; plans start at $15/month for 10 sites)

Managing Multiple WordPress sites

I have more than 20 sites of my own to manage (production sites and dev/test sites for my own research, and a couple of sites for family and friends), plus a bunch of client sites. Most WordPress developers and consultants are in the same position. What do you do if you don’t want to spend all your time logging into sites and updating them?

The good news is, there are many tools and services out there for this. With the Mill team visiting from France, now seemed like a good time to talk about them. (Mill is a new tool for managing and deploying WordPress and Drupal sites.)

We’ll start with a demo & Q&A from Mill, and then move on to some of the tools that our meetup members have used. Please feel free to join in and share your own experience with these or other site management tools.

Sonja London will talk about how she uses InfiniteWP and MainWP to manage client websites and why they chose these two solutions.

Sallie Goetsch will talk about iThemes Sync and ManageWP.