WordPress customer service. What does that sentence really mean?
I ran across that phrase when doing some keyword research and having been in the WordPress community since 2004, those words seem to be rarely defined and understood, even by those people offering “WordPress customer support”.
In this article I’m going to layout a definition of WordPress customer service as I see it.
WordPress.com and WordPress.org
The first thing that needs to be done when discussing customer service in the WordPress space, is to differentiate the customer support one would receive from the different versions of WordPress.
You can read a great comparison here which I am quoting below, but for the sake of time, here are the main differences between .com and .org.
WordPress.com is a commercial website where you can host a free site with some limitations or pay for upgrades. It runs on the exact same software offered at WordPress.org. However, WordPress.com relieves you of having to set up and maintain WordPress on your own server.
However, this hosted version of WordPress comes with several limitations that many businesses and individuals will find too restrictive. One important distinction is that you cannot choose just any premium theme you would like, and you can only use plugins found in the official WordPress plugin repository.
WordPress.org is the website where the core software is hosted and available for you to download and install on your own hosting account. That could be your own server or a hosting package with almost any website hosting company.
This is also where you will find thousands of free themes and plugins, all of which are 100% free to use and modify.
The Internet Publishing Revolution
The beauty of WordPress is that it is Open Source software, and therefore welcomes usage from any person in the world who decides to utilize it.
It has truly democratized publishing on the Internet and given a voice to many who would otherwise have a difficult time being able to connect to so many others around the world.
It’s no wonder that so many independent and professional web developers, marketers, designers, and others have created and maintain successful businesses supporting WordPress users in one way or another.
But that’s also a problem.
The Wild West of Self-hosted WordPress Customer Service
As with any industry, you have highly experienced professionals and then you have those that are willing to “fake it until you make it” and every skill level in between.
That’s just the way it goes. And to be very clear, my intent here is not to disparage any individual or business and their ability to support their WordPress website clients, but rather to point out that not all WordPress customer service is the same.
It’s really a numbers game. WordPress currently powers over 20% of all websites on the Internet and the software itself just had it’s 10th anniversary.
How many designers, freelancers or web development agencies are there utilizing WordPress to build websites?
75 million results in the Google search I just did.
Could they possibly all be as experienced with WordPress development and the customer service and support that’s required for businesses who choose to power their sites with this software?
In my experience the answer to that question is a solid no.
And if my opinion holds true, then what you’re left with are varying degrees of development and customer support knowledge and expertise.
This situation is exactly what led our founders to create the WP Valet business in the first place.
The WP Valet Approach
It’s always been our mission to help others navigate through those 75 million Google search results to find a qualified team with not just the development and customer service experience, but one that also sees itself as a partner in the business of our clients.
We exist to allow others to offload the full time job of website maintenance and development to someone else. That someone being the WP Valet.
Our core team comes with long term experience in utilizing and supporting WordPress website clients. We’re not simply opportunists claiming to be experts to make a quick buck.
We’ve also purposefully built a team that segments the individual technical skills needed to support all aspects of a WordPress powered business website.
This method allows us to apply a very narrow focus on individual tasks like website migrations, custom design, code development, and marketing processes by assigning those tasks to the individuals on our team who specialize in each subject area.
What is WordPress Customer Service?
This all leads me back to the central question I posed above. What is the definition of customer service in regard to WordPress?
I hate to disappoint and to leave you hanging, but the bottom line is that WordPress customer service means different things to different people. I can however, offer you an opinion on what customer service means to us at the WP Valet.
Our customer service is best described as a comprehensive and thorough list of activities undertaken by our team at every level of our organization designed to enhance our clients sites and exceed their expectations.
Proof of WordPress Customer Support
And while we’re tooting our own horn, here’s an example direct from one of our customers…
“WP Valet made moving four blogs to WP Engine — from two different hosts! — extremely easy. They made a tricky conversion from three different sites to one multisite look simple, and they were able to deal with an extremely large legacy blog (a barge-sized blog, if you will) with no problem! I hope this is our last blog move, but if it isn’t, WP Valet will always be our first call!”
Founder (and Reluctant IT Volunteer), Reverb Technologies
What Does WordPress Customer Support Mean to You?
We’d love to hear from you and your experience in both receiving and offering support in the WordPress space.
Shoot us a comment and let us know what you think.