Where you choose to host your WordPress websites has a tremendous impact on both overall site performance as well as your ability to continue optimizing from a builder perspective. Sure, you can install plugins to help with on-site functionality, but much of the behind-the-scenes maintenance required to keep sites running smoothly is dependent on the quality of your hosting provider.
For agencies and freelancers, site maintenance is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to maintaining your book of business. Keeping open lines of communication with your clients through regular touch-base conversations and ensuring a smooth billing process is vital to your continued success.
That’s why today we’re taking a look at Growth Suite from Flywheel. Although we don’t have much experience using and recommending Flywheel on WP Mayor, this suite of hosting tools caught our attention.
Growth Suite is an all-in-one solution to hosting for agencies and freelance site builders that combines hosting, site management, client management, and billing capabilities in a single platform.
It’s perfect for individuals and teams of all sizes who want to save time on administrative tasks and focus instead on the creative solutions that keep clients coming back. Since everything is white labeled with your unique branding, it gives your clients a seamless experience with your agency across every interaction.
We’ve taken a look at what Growth Suite offers below, including platform features, how to set up an account, and pricing. We even collected some real feedback from current Growth Suite users to get an honest opinion on the service.
Growth Suite Features
We’ve come across six unique tools that make Growth Suite a powerful solution to hosting for agencies and freelance WordPress developers.
To start off, your personalized Growth Suite dashboard is the tool you’ll use to get an overview of your agency’s success. Customize and optimize it to show all the most important metrics you want to track from the moment you log in to your account.
The dashboard is a quick reference tool that shows you how many sites you’re currently managing, how many clients you have, your average monthly revenue per client, and a list of upcoming, recently paid, pending and unpaid invoices.
One of the most important metrics shown in the dashboard that I really liked is the total revenue tracker. It gives you an overview of each month’s total revenue since the start of your time using Growth Suite. It’s a great way to keep a pulse on your business to ensure that the chart keeps growing up and to the right.
Bulk Site Management
When you’re managing dozens or hundreds of WordPress sites, it’s important to keep them all well-maintained. Unfortunately, logging into and out of each individual site, identifying security issues or out-of-date plugins, fixing the issue, and logging into the next site can take hours — and the more clients you work with, the more time it takes.
Through Growth Suite’s bulk site management tool, you can easily sort through all the WordPress sites you manage and easily identify which ones are in need of certain updates. You can sort sites to look at important stats, like total visits, bandwidth, or storage; sort by plugin name or status; or even sort by specific site details like the WordPress version used, PHP version, or SSL certification status.
We struggle with this ourselves while managing a handful of sites, so as an agency, getting all of this important information from multiple sites at once instead of logging into each site will save you precious hours that you could be putting toward new client work.
From discussions we’ve had with agency owners, it’s become clear that for small teams and individual freelancers, carving out time to speak with your clients, ask for their input, and answer their questions can be difficult. Growth Suite’s client portal system makes it easy to stay in touch and keep all your communications organized.
Each of your clients will receive their own unique portal where they can review invoices, submit secure payments through credit card or ACH, and edit their contact information. And the best part: the domain for your client’s user portal is branded for your business, so they never have to wonder about this thing called “Growth Suite” and what it does — their only interactions are with you.
From your client dashboard, adding new clients to your book of business is all done in a couple of clicks for simple and efficient client management. Click on a client to connect the WordPress site or sites you’ve built with the client who owns it, write down important notes specific to their project or site, or review a history of recurring subscriptions and one-time charges.
Talking with your clients about the work you’re doing to maintain their site is one of the best ways to fight client attrition. It makes them feel involved in the process and peels back the curtain on the mystery of site management, helping them to see the true value of your partnership.
Growth Suite does something really cool to address this. It allows you to automate client reports to send on a pre-set schedule.
These fully customizable reports hold key insights into the work you’re doing, including how many plugins you’ve updated and how many times the site was backed up — it even integrates with Google Analytics. Just choose which information you’d like to include and what you’d prefer to omit, and schedule your reports to send automatically at a frequency that makes sense for you.
You likely do much more than just building WordPress websites. From our experience running an agency many years ago, most agencies offer additional services like ad design, social media management, copywriting, consulting services, and so on. Keeping track of everything you’ve done within a billing cycle and invoicing for those services can get complicated, but Growth Suite helps with that too.
The service creation tool in Growth Suite allows you to define the parameters of each service you offer, including different tiers of service. This makes billing really simple to manage and is also extremely useful when it comes to reseller hosting. Simply set up a service, label it “Hosting,” and bill clients accordingly to resell the hosting service as a form of passive income for your agency.
Client Subscription & Billing
Once you’ve outlined your unique services, you can easily bill your clients and receive payments directly through your Growth Suite hosting account. Payments can be processed through a credit card or Automated Clearing House (ACH) methods, and clients simply have to enter their user portal to pay online.
Select from the services and service tiers you’ve already created, enter the number of work hours completed per service, and Growth Suite will create and send an invoice straight to your client’s user portal.
You can even factor in important things like sales tax and set up recurring subscriptions for ongoing services (such as reseller hosting). Like everything in Growth Suite, bills are branded for your agency, so your clients know they’re coming straight from you, not another company.
Setting Up a Growth Suite Account
When you get started on Growth Suite, you’ll enter a few important details about your own agency or freelance business, including your name and, most importantly, the currency in which you’d like to be paid.
This is also when you’ll enter details about your agency’s branding, including your logo and brand colors, so all client interactions with Growth Suite are branded properly. You’ll also connect Growth Suite with your Stripe account to make sure you receive payments quickly and securely.
Then, you can start adding members of your own team to Growth Suite and provide them with access to client sites. Under the “Activity” tab, you can easily see what actions your team members have already completed and when.
Growth Suite was clearly created to be as simple and user-friendly as possible, but if at any point you feel overwhelmed, they have onboarding specialists who are available 24/7 to help you get your Growth Suite hosting account up and running.
Growth Suite Pricing
Growth Suite has three tiers of pricing and you can choose to pay on a monthly or annual basis. With the annual plans, you’ll save a bit more, earning the equivalent of approximately 2 months of service for free, which is what we’ve come to expect from annual pricing.
You can speak with a specialist to create a custom plan for any organization that manages more than 30 unique WordPress sites, whether it’s 31 or 131 of them.
Feedback from Growth Suite Users
Agencies across the world are already unleashing the power of Growth Suite, saving time on their site management and reaping the rewards of an agency-focused managed hosting platform. Here’s what a few that we spoke to had to say about their experience with Growth Suite.
I like to keep moving forward and I’m not very patient. I don’t like doing tedious things and it’s a waste of talent to put our people on redundant tasks, but I like to have touchpoints with clients so we can start conversations about their site and goals. Growth Suite allows us to do all these things without creating a lot of busy work.Derek Nelson, Focal Point Marketing Partner and Co-Creative Director
Before, we just weren’t doing reporting on the web end. Now that these communications exist, we have the opportunity to upsell our web services without interrupting the work of our sales representative whose focus is elsewhere.Ryan Rudolph, GetPhound Chief Technology Officer
A lot of agencies cobble together these different tools from individual vendors and solutions, and having them all under one roof is just such a game-changer—Growth Suite is easily the most important piece of technology in my business.Jason Call, Handyman Marketing Pros Founder
Move Hosting, Start Growing!
If you’re looking for a managed WordPress hosting solution that puts agency needs first, Growth Suite is a great fit. It offers so much value beyond just the actual hosting, saving you time and money, and making your clients even happier.
Learn more about the Growth Suite platform from Flywheel or chat with a specialist about kickstarting your agency’s growth with Growth Suite today.