Maximizing revenue: Unlocking success as a white-label WordPress agencyBy Vishal Teckchandani
The potential for profiting from website development and associated services by becoming a white-label WordPress agency has never been greater. Surprisingly, less than 64% of small and medium businesses (SMBs) have recognized the importance of establishing a website, a crucial step in the modern customer journey.
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"The reality of the modern customer journey is that if you don't have a website, nobody is going to find you. The customer journey today begins with a web search,” says Dieter Goetzinger, Product Manager at Vendasta.
While the lack of digital storefronts for so many SMBs is unfortunate, it presents a tremendous opportunity for digital agencies to fulfill this crucial need by embracing the role of becoming a white-label WordPress agency, even if they don’t know the nitty-gritty about building and hosting websites, according to Madison O'Neill, Websites Fulfillment Manager at Vendasta.
"The best part of being a digital agency is that you don't have to know the ins-and-outs of building a website. All you need to do is understand a local business’s needs and work with a white-label partner to deliver a WordPress website and associated services for your clients," she explains.
In this blog, Goetzinger and O'Neill provide valuable insights for agency owners on becoming a white-label WordPress agency, exploring the profit potential, and offering effective strategies for selling website services to clients and scaling revenue.
Why becoming a white-label WordPress agency is an attractive revenue proposition
Before we dive into how to sell websites, it’s important to take a moment to understand the breadth and depth of the revenue potential in offering this service to SMBs.
At a high-level, offering website services can create three direct revenue streams, with an opportunity to then expand significantly beyond that with additional supplementary products linked to the ongoing success and growth of a website.
Let’s walk through these below.
Revenue opportunity 1 - White-label WordPress website fulfillment
When it comes to purely providing website services to SMBs, the initial revenue opportunity lies in the creation of the website itself.
To begin, you'll collaborate closely with your client to gain a deep understanding of their needs, goals, and objectives. Armed with this knowledge, you'll then work in conjunction with your chosen white-label provider to develop and deliver a customized website to your client (more on best practices for this later).
“You as the agency are effectively acting as the messenger. You’re taking the time to understand the client’s needs and relay that information back to your white-label partner to build and deliver it back to the client under your brand,” says O’Neill.
It's important to bear in mind that the pricing structure for website creation will vary between white-label WordPress providers. Each provider will have their own wholesale price for website development, which you will need to consider when determining your own retail pricing when reselling the service to your clients.
💡 Vendasta website creation pricing and margins💡
For instance, Vendasta’s wholesale price for website creation starts at $599 for a three-page site, $899 for five pages and $1,399 for 10 pages. Our agency partners typically mark up these prices by 70-100% as their margin.
However, it's crucial to recognize that the margins are average figures and can vary significantly depending on factors such as project complexity, the client's willingness to invest, and other pertinent considerations. Therefore, the specific pricing for each project will be determined on a case-by-case basis between an agency and their client.
Revenue opportunity 2 - Website hosting
The next source of revenue in the provision of website services is derived from selling hosting.
“If you’re not being hosted, then you’re not on the Internet. Your website at the end of the day is just a collection of files sitting on the computer, but those files can’t be accessed by people searching the web if they’re not being hosted,” explains Goetzinger.
“So the hosting costs are what the SMB is ultimately paying for things like servers, which leads to the accessibility to the website.”
Beyond the basics, hosting also covers functions such as website performance to ensure visitors can load pages quickly, reliability so that the website doesn’t go down, and security and compliance.
“As we know, cybersecurity is becoming a huge issue as things become increasingly digital - and so hosting plays a critical role in helping mitigate the risk of unsavory individuals from taking down a business’s website and accessing any personal information stored in it,” says Goetzinger.
💡 Vendasta hosting pricing and margins💡
To become a website hosting seller, your agency will require a hosting solutions provider like Vendasta Website Pro, which utilizes Google Cloud Platform hosting. The wholesale price for hosting stands at $12 per month, and our agency partners usually mark it up by 100-300%.
Revenue opportunity 3 - Website maintenance and support
The third core revenue stream comes from the provision of website maintenance and support services. Website maintenance is the process of keeping a website up-to-date and running smoothly as well as performing optimally.
“Website maintenance involves tasks like updating WordPress plugins, fixing broken links and providing a few cosmetic changes monthly,” says Goetzinger. It also involves more general website management and housekeeping tasks like backing up a site regularly and analytics.
💡 Vendasta maintenance and support pricing and margins💡
Vendasta Website Pro sets a wholesale price of $30 per month for website maintenance and support, and our agency partners typically mark this up by 70-100%.
Revenue opportunity 4 - Additional digital marketing services
Once your client's website is successfully built, hosted with a reliable partner, and receiving the necessary maintenance support, your agency can enjoy a sense of accomplishment and look forward to reaping the rewards. Not only will you receive payment for building the website, but you also have the opportunity to earn recurring revenue from hosting and maintenance services from a long-lasting partnership.
While focusing on these core services at scale can be profitable, the real magic happens when your client begins to witness the positive impact of their online presence and seeks or is convinced of the need for additional services. Consider this as adding “forced value” to a home.
In the form of renovations, only in this case they enhance the appeal of, or boost traffic to, the website.
💡 Upselling opportunities💡
Vendasta’s partners typically mark up the prices of these services by 70-100% except for digital ads.
In all of these cases, your agency devises the strategy, obtains budget from the client, while you pocket a margin for your expertise and deliver it under your brand.
Summary of revenue opportunities
|Service||What does it entail?||Wholesale price (from Vendasta)||Average margin||Recurring or one-time payment|
|WordPress website building||Working with a third party to build a website for a local business|| |
$599 for three pages
$899 for five pages
$1,399 for 10 pages
|WordPress website hosting||The cost of hosting a website securely on a platform such as Google cloud||$12/monthly||100-300%||Recurring|
|Website support services, such as minor website updates||Working with your client and the white-label WordPress provider to update and maintain the website as required||$30/monthly||70-100%||Recurring|
|Other opportunities, such as content, website refresh, digital advertising and SEO services||Upselling the client into other opportunities designed to drive traffic to the website||Varies||70-100% (except digital ads)||One-time, recurring or cyclical depending on service|
It should be noted that while the recurring revenue streams from web hosting and maintenance may seem modest - despite a markup - they have the potential to become significantly cash accretive when sold at scale to hundreds of businesses. Not to mention they are revenue streams on “autopilot” that require no significant amount of effort beyond the initial sale.
Maximizing success as a white-label WordPress agency
In the realm of websites, it's crucial to acknowledge that they have become a commoditized product. Local business owners now have the option to build their own websites using platforms like Wix or Squarespace, or even hire inexpensive freelancers.
This reality underscores the importance for digital agencies to differentiate themselves through exceptional service, according to O'Neill. She emphasizes the following essential factors that drive the success of agencies aiming to become thriving white-label WordPress providers, operating at scale and with healthy margins:
- Thorough information gathering: Successful agencies understand the value of comprehensive information gathering from clients and saving them time by getting it right and not needing them to repeatedly review and change websites in development because of a lack of information gathering. By delving into their business goals, target audience, branding, and desired website functionalities, agencies gain valuable insights to guide the website building process. This attention to detail ensures that the final website aligns perfectly with the client's vision.
- Active involvement in the build process: Rather than being mere bystanders, successful resellers actively participate in the website build process. Collaborating closely with the white-label service provider, they provide expertise, feedback, and guidance throughout development. This active involvement enables the creation of websites that meet client expectations and fulfill their business needs effectively.
- Coordinating client-provider interactions: The most successful agencies establish direct communication channels between the white-label service provider and the client. Acting as intermediaries, they facilitate a stronger working relationship, smooth coordination, and effective information exchange. This approach allows agencies to maintain control over the process while leveraging the expertise of the white-label provider.
- Quality assurance sessions: Before delivering the completed website to the client, successful agencies are involved in rigorous quality assurance sessions with their white-label partners. These sessions involve meticulous testing, reviewing, and refining to ensure the website meets high standards of performance, functionality, and design. By scrutinizing every aspect, agencies guarantee that the website aligns with client expectations and is ready for deployment.
"By adopting these habits, successful white-label WordPress agencies demonstrate their commitment to delivering exceptional results to their clients. Their dedication to gathering information, active involvement in the build process, coordination between client and provider, and rigorous quality assurance sessions contribute to consistently delivering high-quality websites that surpass client expectations," says O'Neill.
How a successful white-label WordPress agency scales and drives explosive revenue growth
At Vendasta our website and accounts management teams have insights into how the most successful white-label WordPress agencies succeed in selling and deriving increasing amounts of revenue from websites.
The top resellers of website services adopt a strategic approach when selling online presence products. He introduces a powerful concept known as the 30/60/90-day rule, which involves selling different phases of services over specific timeframes, allowing agencies to establish the value of each sale before presenting new products. A breakdown of the strategy is provided below.
|💡 The 30/60/90-day strategy 💡 |
The initial phase - 30 days
During the first 30 days, high-performing agencies typically sell clients a bundled set of solutions that include website development (alongside hosting and maintenance), reputation management, and listings.
The key in this step is to convince local businesses that their online presence involves an ecosystem of marketing products, with websites being one of the core offerings, alongside online reviews and a presence in multiple directories.
This is because a website in-and-of-itself isn’t enough. Without having the website link on a Google Business Profile and other online directories, driving initial traffic to a website will prove to be a challenge, hence the need for multiple interdependent products.
Building momentum - 60 days
Moving into the next 30 days, high-performing agencies expanded the service offerings by incorporating email marketing, content creation and social marketing.
These additional services empower clients to engage with their target audience, nurture leads, and deliver valuable information through tailored email campaigns and compelling content.
These products start to build momentum in terms of website traffic - the business owner starts seeing results, whether its brand awareness, calls, and conversions.
Unleashing growth potential - 90 days
As the client's online presence continues to evolve, the subsequent 60 to 90 days present an opportunity to focus on more advanced strategies including digital advertising campaigns, SEO, and ecommerce solutions customized to the client's specific objectives, such as lead generation or brand awareness.
By expanding the service portfolio, agencies enable clients to drive targeted traffic to their websites, enhance search engine rankings, and optimize conversion rates.
Following the 30/60/90-day rule empowers agencies to gradually showcase the value of their services to clients. By strategically introducing new products and services over time, agencies build trust, demonstrate their expertise, and create avenues for upselling and fostering long-term client partnerships.
In conclusion, the world of website services for SMBs offers immense revenue opportunities for agencies willing to go the extra mile. While websites may be considered a commoditized product, the true differentiator lies in the exceptional service provided by white-label WordPress agencies.
By adopting key habits such as thorough information gathering, active involvement in the build process, coordinating client-provider interactions, and conducting quality assurance sessions, successful agencies demonstrate their unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional results to their clients. These habits allow them to create high-quality websites that not only meet but exceed client expectations.