You don’t need to treat clients mean to keep them keen, says WP Engine

The technology that made WordPress so easy to use is something that has caught Nick Booth's eye

Many IT service suppliers have web sites that are unintelligible. Whenever we journalists write about a company, we have to include a short description of what they actually do. Their web sites inevitably leave you feeling none the wiser. They all use exactly the narrow stock of phrases of meaningless catch phrases and glib generalisations. 

There are rare exceptions. The publisher behind WordPress is brave enough to be open, unpretentious and honest with people. As a result, 30 per cent of all the world’s web traffic hits a WordPress site.

Now WP Engine, a service provider that helps companies take full advantage of all the publisher’s many options, has announced its Agency Partner Programme (APP) has grown twenty fold since its launch. It’s got a massive war chest, because in January it received $250 million to finance more marketing campaigns.

Fabio Torlini MD for EMEA for WP Engine, admits it can be risky to make technology accessible and user friendly. There is a perception that the popularity of the blogging platform means it can’t be an enterprise product, he says.

“People often assume it’s going to be too basic and the low price is too good to be true,” says Torlini.

The beauty of this, of course, is that it creates the opportunity for channel partners to tailor the product for enterprises and the open source software’s massive savings on license fees can be spent on services instead. This has created a bonanza for UK agencies like UK agencies participating in the APP include Candyspace, Droga5, Grey Healthcare, Huge, Manifesto, Pragmatic and StrategiQ.

The UK Cabinet Office web site is run on WordPress, as is Network Rail. Both these were clinched by joint pitches between WP Engine and one of its Strategics partners.

There are three levels of partner in the channel hierarchy: Member, Advanced and Strategic. At the top level they help you with your pitches and pull out all the stops to support your marketing campaigns.

Everyone gets access to the WP Engine Partner Portal and protection from the WP Engine’s Security Team, which works around the clock, seven days a week, to filter out all the trolls and the terrorists.

Sixty per cent of traffic that hits modern web sites is from Netbots, according to WP Engine’ s research. Netbots don’t generally buy things, as Torlini notes, so they filter them out and prioritise human traffic. Now that’s a policy that goes against the grain. Most of the rest of the IT industry seems to be de-humanising society.

The good thing about WP Engine is that it seems to be cutting the crap out of the IT industry, whether it’s nonsensical language, Netbots or malicious code. And it seems to be working as its channel has expanded twenty fold. Surely there’s a lesson for the rest of the industry there.

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