ValetMetrix: Why We Chose to Create our own Software

Since our launch in 2012, Valet has operated with the goal of providing web savvy support and professional services. While the phrase is now used often, it was originally our core tag line.  Maybe one day we’ll update it a bit:

“Peace of mind – since back in the day”

Management. Support. Peace of Mind.  This still reflects the core experience for Valet clients and over the past 4.5 years we’ve pushed ourselves relentlessly, upping our game and delivering stellar experiences to more and more folks running WordPress sites.

Early on, we received feedback that the services we provided were terrific, but there was a key component missing. We were doing all these great things for our clients, but they had no easy way to know what those things were! Classic invisible infrastructure.  Most of the time when Valet does it’s job well it all looks and feels effortless to the client. When something stays invisible though, it’s impossible to derive the value.

So we set out to find a way to present ourselves and the work we provide in a way that would be more visible to our client.  That became a dashboard for our clients with support ticketing history, live chat, software updates, & reports. We couldn’t find one solution that provided the experience and data we wanted, so we had to bring a few together.

Of course, we’re not a software company.  We’re a services company. So building this was extremely challenging.  In fact, incredibly intelligent mentors were against the idea of putting time/money/brain cycles into this as there is software out there that does about 80% of what anyone needs.  Sorry, not sorry, but 80% is not good enough for our standards at Valet.  It’s not good enough for us or for our clients so we went ahead and completed the dashboard product.

We started beta testing it with our own clients in the summer of 2015. The immediate reactions were really positive. Just being able to see the completed tasks and ask a new question was really helpful. Having the history of software updates was also a big plus. Then we realized we could do a whole lot more.

So last year we began developing a tool that allowed us to scan a website for particular values. I’ll go into more details on how this works in a later post.  We have keyed in on five metrics that are critical to having a healthy website so our new tool scans across security, speed, usability, traffic, and conversion.  We then score each of the items to give our clients a sense of how they’re doing on an easy to read 0-100 scale.  For every metric there are also a list of recommended tasks that will increase your score and thus make your site more healthy.

Kinda cool right? All handled via one simple tool.  We create an initial report and then we track every single data point every day.  Overtime this creates a graph that shows the history of your site’s health across all five key health metrics.

In January of 2016 we rebranded as Valet.  This meant rebranding the software as well. We decided to bring the scanning software into the dashboard and provide the recommended tasks to all of our clients. The result was near immediate.  Clients were very interested in their scores and wanted to know how they could address areas where they weren’t scoring as well as they hoped. By relating each support ticket they open to a key health metric we keep the conversation going within the framework of having a healthy site.

Today, this entire unified support platform exists as a “stand alone” solution and we’re beyond excited to open it up to the outside world for a sneak peak.  In fact, we’re asking for beta testers right now.  Being a Valet customer is not required and during the beta we’re giving access to the scanning, reporting, and visualization totally for free.

Check it out: metrix.valet.io

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