The short version: we noticed WPCS was often confusing and hard to remember. On top of that, our positioning was confusing too. So when we decided to reposition, based on an internal study of our customers, we also opted to change our name to wildcloud in the process.
The result: a customer journey that focuses more on the transformation, in the words our happy customers use, with more emphasis on examples of what you can build and achieve
If you’re interested in the longer version of our journey as startup founders in the WordPress space, here’s what we’ve learned over the past two years:
We were way too technical, too soon in the customer journey
When we launched our WordPress multi-tenant cloud platform, it was a tool to scratch our own itch. Some may have read about this before, but our digital agency lost all customers when the pandemic lockdowns hit the Netherlands.
After the initial shock wore off, we saw this as a fresh start: let’s launch again, but this time with a tool that fixes our biggest scaling challenges.
- We wanted to disconnect our revenue from selling hours. Instead of hourly invoiced projects, we wanted to sell products that already have intrinsic value upfront
- We wanted to stop continuously looking for new customers because our existing projects had a delivery date. We wanted a business model with inherent retention because the value always keeps increasing as part of an ongoing service
- We wanted a way to specialize our services and focus on a niche instead of always compromising on our strategy and accept customers that didn’t fit that model simply because we needed new revenue. But new projects almost always start from scratch. We needed a way to build and distribute our expertise and experience.
- We wanted to not worry about servers, traffic, and the performance of sites. Once you hire devs and engineers to manage that, your business model changes simply because you need to pay expensive wages.
So we came up with a list of requirements for our own tool.
- A way to sell pre/part-built sites, like a WordPress-based website builder, automatically using a webshop
- To continuously and safely improve existing sites to keep adding value
- A centralized way to maintain and develop these sites
- Control over the sites of our customers for the reliability of code and services
- Automatic cloud scaling
Reading this back, I must admit that it sounds grandiose. In reality, we just made a list of what we felt held us back the most over the years.
We knew the list sounded like a tall order (even to us). But we felt we could solve the problem, so we started building the solution.
The result is a platform that fixes all those problems. It truly does. But when we opened it up for the public, we didn’t make it easy for other people to understand how it works:
- Our WPCS website immediately launched into an explanation of multi-tenant WordPress the moment you land on it
- We follow up with how our versioning system works and then explain our API.
- Then we gave you an EMPTY dashboard. You had to figure out our platform and build your application from scratch
- Oh yes, we also introduced a bunch of new concepts for you to wrap your head around, like “applications” and “snapshots”.
Looking back on it, it was mostly (too much) enthusiasm that made everything overwhelming. In our defense, we were just really excited about sharing the cloud architecture of leading SaaS companies like Shopify and Wix with the WordPress community.
The funny thing is that we were seemingly great at explaining the platform over a video call. We would share our screen and walk you through the process, and the result would be very happy customers.
But on our website, we couldn’t translate that video call into easily digestible content that doesn’t overwhelm as you go through the customer journey.
We wanted our customers to take center stage, to our detriment
Our name and how we exposed our platform were too focused on not being too opinionated. We knew we were introducing a specific way to build and manage a theoretically infinite number of WordPress installations, so we wanted to tone it down a bit.
But we needed you to know about multi-tenant WordPress, cloud containers, versions, tenants, etc. The last thing we wanted was to become even more opinionated and take center stage with a name and a number of template applications that told you exactly our way of building your WaaS or WordPress-based SaaS.
Boy, were we wrong.
It turns out that’s exactly what we needed to do: establish credibility by listing examples of how you can build a WaaS so that you can adapt and build your own. It took us a while to realize that a template isn’t just to show customers what to do but also to inspire people to build their own.
That’s why lately, we’ve been focused on promoting our Storefront application and making that as easy as possible. On top of that, we launched a demo setup with a storefront attached that already inserts API keys.
The result is a setup where you hardly have to do anything. Again, not so that you can replicate that exact product, but to help you see how this one works so that you can build your own.
It took a while to realize that.
The good news is that we’ll focus a lot more of our energy on starter templates: WaaS and SaaS examples to get you started asap.
We needed to listen to how our customers talk about us
When you’re enthusiastically sharing something you think is cool with the world, and this is new material for 99% of listeners, it happens that you’re doing most of the talking.
That’s not a bad thing necessarily unless you’re still figuring out how to do the explaining.
We read an interesting book on repositioning companies by April Dunford and started an internal study of our happy customers. The result was a wealth of information. We learned about many exciting use cases that we’re happy to share with our new users and how they talked about our platform.
The result is a renewed effort to share how people use our platform, what they’re building, and how they explain that value to us. We hope it helps you understand why our platform delivers on its promise.
We needed to focus more on the transformation
As for our company promise, our mission remains unchanged: “We aim to redefine the WordPress ecosystem by democratizing access to robust, scalable, and easy-to-manage SaaS infrastructure”.
In simple terms: you should be able to build your own Wix, Shopify, or ClickFunnels – but better!
When we say better, we mean to enable you to combine your accumulated client experience and subject matter expertise into a specialized, managed product that exceeds anything anyone can build with a generic website builder.
We want to give you the tools to continuously build and improve on a product that all your customers benefit from at the same time, saving you time and money on managing it, and translating that in more value for your customers.
It was already possible with WPCS. We just aim to make it even more simple and accessible with wildcloud.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need anything.
Have a great day,
The wildcloud team