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In today’s episode, we get to listen again to Joe and Vito Peleg’s conversation. They talk about managing websites through care plans, business scaling largely based on customer feedback, future plans and products in development, and Vito’s journey in the WordPress space.

Vito Peleg is the Founder and CEO of Atarim, the first and only client-facing web agency management platform designed to speed up your work, client collaboration and team management. The team tackles the 84% of the project delivery time that is not the actual build of the website.

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:47 Welcome to the pod, Vito!
  • 05:26 From being a musician to a founder
  • 08:33 Emails open great opportunities to gather content
  • 13:05 Scaling a business should be based on the client’s point of view
  • 20:31 The plugin will stay on premium
  • 23:21 Features are based mainly on user feedback
  • 31:12 As an agency, you create products every day
  • 32:47 Future plans and products
  • 38:30 The team behind the company
  • 42:35 Find Vito online!

Episode Resources:

Podcast Transcript:

Joe Howard: Yo, uh, good people. Welcome back to the WP MRR WordPress podcast. I’m Joe and I’m Rick and you’re listening to the WordPress business podcast. We have Rick from one of my favorite shows, actually a brick and mortar. He thinks we’ve got the podcast.

Vito Peleg: Amazing. Amazing. It’s great to be Joe.

Joe Howard: Yeah, man. For real, I love that you picked Rick as your favorite character.

I’ve not had someone pick from the brick and mortar university, I guess you’re a big fan of the show.

Vito Peleg: Oh, for sure. Okay. Well, first of all, I love animations, but I think that just like Rick and Morty as taking it like to the intellectual kind of. At Rome while being completely stupid, which is even better,

Joe Howard: you know?

Yeah. Yeah, totally. I always liked adult swim sort of shows and kind of shows in that genre, but I thought Rick and Morty was the first one that like nailed exactly what this kind of animation was supposed to be. Fantastic show. Yeah. Well, beloved dub dub for sure. Cool. So we’ve got Rick from Rick and Morty on the pod, uh, this week also known as a veto pen leg.

Uh, and I’m saying your last name, right? I get that. That’s perfect. All right. Cool, man. Yeah. Thanks for hopping on. .

Vito Peleg: So, well, I’ve, I’ve been working with WP buffs for a while now, actually. So, uh, mostly as an, within my agency, um, whenever we add clients that we didn’t really want.

Get on our care plans, we send them over to you guys. So that’s, that’s been the process, but now that we’re scaling down the agency, we’re transforming more and more of our clients over to. Yeah.

Joe Howard: Very nice. Appreciate the shout out. We’re always happy to work with people in the care plan area. Yeah. Cool. I know a little bit about you.

Why don’t you tell people a little bit more about the stuff you’re doing in WordPress, uh, now, currently, and also like where, where in the world you’re coming from?

Vito Peleg: Right. So, well, I live in London, but originally I’m from Tel Aviv, eh, from Israel. And, um, I actually, I basically got here by, um, signing up with a band that I had at the time.

And then we got signed with a record label here in the UK, which allowed us all to move on to here. And interestingly enough, that’s where my WordPress story also started because as we were touring and we’re building like our profile as a rock band around the world, and we were literally. From the back of a fan.

And it seems from the outside, it seems like we’re pretty successful playing, you know, in front of thousands of people and, uh, and releasing two albums worldwide. Uh, but in reality, we all dead broke. So, uh, so I started building. From the back of the van as a means to kind of generate some extra income for myself.

And when the band finally broke up, uh, basically when we turned 30 and, uh, and it wasn’t cool anymore. And that’s when, uh, I said, all right, let’s see how far I can get this thing. And I started doing the transition from a freelancer to an agency, eh, within the first year we got to six figures here in London.

And by year three we had a team of 12 guys. While managing multiple clients at the same time and scaling up an agency, uh, it, uh, it became very evident that, uh, managing customers is the biggest pain that, well, this one that we had,

Joe Howard: so I know the pay and all too well. Right?

Vito Peleg: Yeah. So we kind of, within our care, as we tried to figure out what can we do to make it a little easier for us?

And you created this really cool tool. Eh, that ended up being WP feedback, which is a communication tool for WordPress professionals. And now this is my sole focus, um, where, uh, we have hundreds and hundreds of freelancers and agencies that are already using the plugin to actually transform the way they communicate with their clients.

Joe Howard: Yeah. Very cool. Uh, I have to ask them, what was the name of your band? Right. So

Vito Peleg: it was the chase, the ACE

Joe Howard: chase. You

Vito Peleg: can find it on YouTube and on Spotify and stuff.

Joe Howard: Cool. We may sneak in a little link to a video in the show notes here, just to, just to point people in that direction. Cool, man. Yeah, the, uh, okay.

So coming from Israel, living in London, there’s a lot of, uh, a lot of talented entrepreneurs or startups coming out of, out of Israel. I think, especially out of Tel Aviv. I think the Televiv kind of. Texting and starting to grow up. I think ways is based in, I know they’re based in Israel. I think they’re based in Tel Aviv,

Vito Peleg: uh, weeks, uh, within our ecosystem as well.

You have WinCo and elemental from there and a WPML toolset, a free meal, a lot of stuff in the WordPress space.

Joe Howard: Yeah. That’s actually like a, that seems like an unusually high concentration that you can’t really ignore as a random, random sampling across the maps. Like something’s going on. And with the Israeli, is that a, they’re doing something right in this startup and WordPress scene.

Cool, man. It’s I don’t hear often the, uh, background of coming from playing in the band. Uh, there are a few people in the space. Maybe I’ve heard that I’ve done music before, but like I came from a teacher. Background. So I was a high school math teacher for a few years before doing WordPress stuff. I know Sam Smith, who’s a freelancer in the WordPress space.

He’s been on the podcast before he was a firefighter before, uh, I haven’t had a musician before, so you’re my first, my first rock star. So I’m glad that he did go on.

Vito Peleg: I don’t know if it’s, because I’m kind of drawing this to myself, being , I met a bunch of people that this was their exact journey, you know, from the BeaverBuilder guys that they, uh, you know, Justin started as a band.

It started in the band and, uh, uh, to freelancer, to an agency, to a product and Andrew for market marketplace was also a musician before we started doing like these kind of stuff. So, uh, and also mark from ward. Uh, was a musician before he, uh, he did this kind of thing. So, um, to me, to me, it seems like this is a really great, uh, uh, progression, you know, because being in a band, you basically, you need to manage a bunch of people, eh, with zero vis zero funding and, you know, zero.

And get everything going and you didn’t, you need to do everything yourself, at least at the, at the early stages. So you learn how to launch products, which is basically launching an album or launching a tour. Um, you, you gotta do your own stuff. So that’s how I started building websites. Started doing graphic designs.

You do your own t-shirts you do your own everything, right? So, uh, it was a great, great school, uh, for, uh, for building a business after.

Joe Howard: Yeah. I actually see a totally how a lot of those skillsets can come in. You know, building a business is not too different than building a band and, you know, trying to do your own marketing and sales, you know, a lot of the stuff is it just, it’s just kind of in a different space, but a lot of those are very transferable skills, you know?

So. I dig it. Cool, man. I remember when we, uh, when we met at WordCamp Europe this year, uh, you were handing out some of your pamphlets from a WP feedback, uh, and it was, uh, the ultimate WordPress survey for 2019. How does. Uh, WP business compare. It was a sampling of a ton of WordPress businesses. I actually have that right here in front of me.

So people listening, I have the actual pamphlet here. He gave me in Berlin and I remember reading through it and I was like, wow, there’s some really interesting stuff here. I wanted to touch on the care plan benchmarks, which is here on the fifth page, which is really interesting. It’s how many WordPress websites do you or your team manage?

And. It looks like the majority of people are in the, uh, kind of zero to 50 mark up to 10 is just over 150 11 through 50 is kind of between 202 50 looks like it’s about 2 25 or two 30 there, but there are only a few people. It looks like 40 people here from survey results, 40 each year, less than 1%, less than 10% managing a hundred plus sites, which to me was very.

Interesting. It’s much lower than I thought it would be with so many websites out there. There must be so many people out there who need this ongoing support that, you know, have trouble with the open source Snus of WordPress. That can be a little messy. Sometimes it was surprising to me that so few people were managing a hundred plus sites because to me it seems like they haven’t yet reached the scale.

You know, maybe a lot of people are at. Zero to 50, very few companies have moved really to push this as a kind of a primary driver of their business. Maybe it’s like a piece of the business. It sounds like for a lot of people, but not a primary piece. I don’t know what you thought about that. Or when you got this feedback results, what you thought when you were reading that.

Vito Peleg: So, first of all, we did this, uh, it was mostly. During this entire survey was a way for me to do like a bit of market research before a full launching WP feedback. And the idea was to just figure out if the problems that I’m cause that I have within my business, uh, are shared within the community or it’s.

Within my head, you know, eh, and, uh, so I asked the same, the same questions that I had and when I, when we actually analyze the results, first of all, uh, luckily, or maybe unfortunately the, this problem is real and, uh, it’s a huge, huge problem in the, in the community. And these numbers actually illustrate that.

To me. When I, when I was looking at how many WordPress websites do you, uh, do you or your team manage on an ongoing basis? The care plan, question, um, understanding that people stop at 50, it really illustrates the fact that they, uh, that are, they are struggling to break. Glass ceiling that a lot of us are experiencing, uh, within the agency model or, or when managing multiple clients, things become hectic, you know, and it’s hard to create the, the proper systems in place and to have, uh, the workflows that can, uh, that allow each one of these customers to feel like they’re the only one, if you will.

And, uh, and I think that this is what kind of stops people from, from doing it. And you would see the same numbers as we’re looking at. You know, how many websites have you built in the last three months? So the majority I’ll just at the few, um, while only a few people managed to kind of like crack the 11 plus and, you know, 11 plus doesn’t seem like a lot of websites to build in three more.

You know, if you’re a huge agency, but even that you can see that there’s only like about 10% that, uh, reached that. So 90% of building, less than 10 websites in three months. Um, so yeah, so the, these numbers were really interesting, but if you want to, if we’re already talking about this one, something that kind of drew my attention more than anything is, uh, the, the.

Eh, the next point, how you do you provide support and how do you communicate with your customers to get them to gather content and approve the designs? And the huge, huge majority is on emails. And I think that this is where the problem lies, you know, because. I think that you would agree with Joe wouldn’t when you’re managing your customers.

And that wouldn’t be buffs. I imagine, I don’t know how many, how many websites you guys are managing, but I imagine that you’re a, well, in the 100 plus say kind of a bracket, right? So imagine you’re doing this just with email. No, no way it would work. You know, you just get lost on. So, so I think that this is where the problem lies.

If people move away from thinking about this, like, eh, I’m going to communicate with customers just by email and try to find better ways of doing it. This will allow them to manage more clients without getting.

Joe Howard: Yeah, this, uh, this part was really interesting to me. I mean, it’s, it’s not just the majority, it’s like an insane majority are just collecting content from clients via email, as you scale, this becomes super difficult to maintain.

And I think this is, this is something that honestly, like we’ve, we’ve struggled with because we do a lot of our support via email. Uh, and no one’s sending us. We don’t really do. Big projects for people like we’re not doing a lot of custom dev. Most of our stuff through the care plans is kind of ongoing support and small edits and things like that.

But even then just to do everything via email is still a beast. Uh, and we’re, we’re kind of, in-between like email and. I guess what this like SAS solutions would be. Cause we have a dashboard now where, where all our clients can log in and manage all their tickets. We have inboxes for all our white label partners, so they can see all the tickets sent in by all their customers.

And that’s something we’ve actually just recently launched. So we’re definitely far from perfect in this area as well. But. I understand that what works for you right now will not most likely not work for you. Once you hit three times where you are right now, five times where you are right now, everything in the business changes.

And this is something that people can trust me on that. And I’m sure you would say the same thing as your business grows and as it evolves, that’s just what it’s doing. It’s growing and evolving and. With evolution comes change. The business is going to look very different right now than it will in a year or two years, or at a certain, you know, multiply two times, three times.

So starting to plan for how that looks in the future is really difficult. And from this data here, it seems like that is where people are getting stuck. It’s interesting to see that so many people are doing information gathering via email, and so many people are still. T zero to 50 sites and only 10% of people have built 11 plus sites.

Uh, to me, this suggests that there’s, um, that there’s like a higher level of technology needed to help with the systems and processes in order to hit a point where you can even like achieve scale. I don’t know. What do you think that.

Vito Peleg: I totally agree. But, uh, I would like to, to kind of elaborate on this point because, um, a lot of us think that technology is going to be, is going to save us, right?

Because we’re tech, we’re techies, you know, we’re all like a very technical people. And we look at technology as a way to solve our problems, or as a way to kind of systemize our processes in a way. And to some degree, that’s the right way to look at this, but. Um, most of us forget that the customer has a completely different reality two hours.

And, uh, and you know, when you’re, when it’s St Joe that now you have like a client dashboard that they can log in and see all of their tickets. And so on. We’ve tried to do that as well, you know, through the support desk. The you, every customer that sends a message to a support desk essentially gets a centralized area for them to manage their tickets, uh, straight out of the gate or for, or for almost any support desk that is out there.

Uh, but if you really look into how many people log into them, you will see that there are just like one or two very, very few people that are. Actually utilizing this dashboard and that emphasize this point that we need to look at the processes that we’re building, not only from our point of view, as the technical people and as the people that need to manage other organizations at scale.

Uh, but from the, from the, you know, from the dog Walker, from the florist point of view, from the guy that is running a bar, running a restaurant, you know, they’re working from their phone, they have. Talking to people, even though we’re, you know, most of our days is looking at a screen. A lot of our clients don’t have that same reality of that same experience.

I would even like, I even like to say that, you know, when we look at a website, we see the code, we see layouts, we see color schemes, you know, we see the matrix, right. But when the client looks at the website, they see. Uh, screen, they just see a box, you know, in front of them and expecting them to be at the level that we are and logging into all of these different places and, and, uh, uh, manage all of these different stuff.

Usually that’s where things break down, at least from my experience and this. Totally kind of, uh, confirmed that, that when people tried to use SAS and, and, uh, SAS solutions to manage them, multiple clients, the person that resisted was not the developer, but the client itself, uh, which then resolved. To what makes sense for them, which is sending emails or even, you know, picking up the phone or sending a WhatsApp messages, which is my

Joe Howard: nightmare.

Yeah. 3:00 AM WhatsApp message. Hey, my website is showing a deer database, MySQL misconnection. Eric, can you please fix it? Not ideal. Um, yeah, I think, oh yeah, man, I think you kind of nailed that the. Having trying to, uh, you know, trying to push our technology forward has become more difficult, especially as the team has grown.

And now that we’re managing more websites, it’s like every, every change we make to our systems before, like, let’s talk about before, when we were a small agency, it’s like, you know, a support company and we had, you know, two or three people, like we can make changes. And then tomorrow everything is different.

You know, we have 10 clients, whatever. Yeah. Easy. Yeah. Now we’re managing hundreds of sites. Every change that we make, even small changes have to really be run through every piece of the business. How does it work with our operations? We do white label as well. So how does it work with our direct customers?

Has it worked with white label customers? Doesn’t it to work differently? How do we tell all of our. Current customers that were doing this and that they have access to this now for making a change or they get something new. And then how do we tell all the new customers coming in? Okay. We have to implement an onboarding.

Okay. Now we have to, like, this is part of the sales process. So we have to make sure our sales team knows about all this. Oh. And then marketing. So we have to change these blog posts and then. Marketing email sequence. We have to make sure we include it there. So there’s a, it’s just so many moving pieces now that it becomes difficult to make these changes.

It’s no longer easy, but the white label piece sounds because we do white label support. This actually sounds like an interesting solution potentially for us, because we actually love dealing with white label partners who are agencies and freelancers. The most important piece, there is a communication, they speak our language.

So we’re talking with these freelancers and agencies, like they understand WordPress. And so the technology leap is not big for them. For some of our direct customers. I could definitely see them like being like, I’m not using this. Like what, what, like, no, I just, I emailed you the thing here’s no screenshots just here’s the problem.

What is it? Yeah, one liner. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Just in the subject line we actually had it. Wasn’t just what I was. That was crazy. But this seems like a great, what could be a potentially good solution for us. I speak to a lot of people who are in the WordPress space every day. So I did get

Vito Peleg: awesome. So, uh, yeah, I, I can, I can definitely see that, that as you scale and as you, and that’s kind of the, the, let’s say the disease of being of the corporate world, uh, when you become big.

You got to move slow, you know, so like giants move slow and, and, and, and that’s the a on one hand, that’s where, you know, that’s where a lot of us want to get to, but then once you become that giant, and then you’re not as agile as you were before, any change to the business and any evolution that needs to happen.

Uh, and as you said, evolution needs to happen. It’s not a matter of. Of a, a of decision it’s a matter of need, you know? So, um, so when you get to that point that it becomes a huge hassle. Yeah. Making sure that everything works together within the different departments. I couldn’t agree more. Yeah.

Joe Howard: I love that.

You said that it’s actually funny. The timing of that. I just, this morning I was talking, we were doing our sales meeting and I was telling my team the reason I, one of the reasons I pushed. It’s hard to continually improve is because that’s all there is. If you’re not moving forward, other people are catching up with you.

Other people are overtaking you. You’re not keeping the position or improving it. And so it’s why I never liked it. I tried to never put us in an uncomfortable position. I’d always like us to be comfortable. And sometimes that requires. When it feels like, oh, we finally just got comfortable. Like, why are you still like working so hard?

It’s like, this is the game. Like, this is how it works or it’s not going to work for,

Vito Peleg: I like to say that, uh, you know, comfort is the enemy of growth. So when, when you, when you all comfortable, it means that you’re stuck. But if you’re always pushing your comfort zone and trying to do more than what you can, uh, that’s when, uh, the biggest growth happened.

Joe Howard: Yeah. Uh, yeah, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m on WP feedback.co right now. So people are interested in like seeing what this is all about. WP feedback.co is where you should go. Uh, if you put.com, you may not go there. so it seems like. Right now and correct me if I’m wrong. Is there a, uh, free plugin that people can go and grab and test and play around with?

And then there may be a premium version as well? Or is it, how does that work

Vito Peleg: premium? We started with a 3d model and we’re going to stay like this for, for a long time from now. The idea is basically because. I have a huge vision for this and having like a free plugin from day one creates more of a hassle than a than benefit.

But more than that, the plugin is just way too valuable to be free. Uh, we are seeing within our users, we’re saving three hours per week per team member. So in a company like mine, It’s not only allowed me to save a few minutes here or there, it allowed me to reduce employees, you know, like literally remove payrolls from the, from the monthly kind of a cost more than that.

In terms of completing projects, we’re seeing an average of reducing two weeks per project from the completion time, just by giving the customer basically a way that to interact with that. In a way that makes sense for them. Uh, but, but also gives us all of the information that we need without bothering them.

So we’re basically killing off all of the back and forth that usually happens within client, between clients. So for example, Joe, you must know that pretty much 30% of your emails is a question going back to the client, asking which browser are you on? Which screen are you on? You know, these. Random goal, where, where is the problem?

You know, that’s the, that’s the thing. If, if, uh, and this happened a lot within my support team, if you don’t feel comfortable asking this question, then the support guy goes into the website and spends half an hour, 40 minutes trying to figure out what the hell the client is talking about, you know, and all of this adds up really, really fast when you’re managing multiple clients.

So we just completely canceled. It just doesn’t happen anymore.

Joe Howard: I love your description of the, the, the plugin itself, because it’s very clear to me that you’ve taken the time to get feedback and talk to people and do the research like via WP feedback to know exactly what people’s issues are, because you’re pretty much saying, like, you’re almost taking the words out of my mouth.

I mean, most of our, most of the emails we send or clarify certain things, and it becomes this game of trying to, we want to try and minimize the amount of email we’re sending. Um, not just because we don’t want to send email to customers, but because we want to be as efficient as possible. Uh, and so sending an email back to the client, they send something back three hours later that increases our resolution time by three hours.

And it doesn’t really help anybody. The client gets a slower resolution. We have to spend more time. Everybody loses in that situation. So we’re always looking for ways to like, how do we, what are the big wins we can do to increase efficiency? And this seems like a tool that could help us to, to cut out if you’re, you know, if you use that 30% as an example, cut out, you know, 25 or 30% and be a lot more.

Vito Peleg: Yeah, for sure. And the reason why, why I kind of, so it’s true that I did the research for this and, you know, especially being WP feedback that it’s like, it’s in, it’s in the name. So it’d be kind of weird for me to not listen or, or, or do that kind of like the work that involves around that. So I did do that and this is what the survey was about initially, uh, with 600 WordPress professionals, just figuring out how they do it so that we can.

Before we even created the product. And, but even now, as we’re, as we were out on the market and within our Facebook group, and, you know, we have a public roadmap and 90% of all of the new features that we’re creating are literally based on user requests. So they tell us what, what they want and. I like to say that I love the product, but I’m not in love with it so people can tell me what they need.

And if it makes sense to more than a few people, then it’s going to happen and it’s going to happen fast. But even more than that, like the coolest thing. And I, and you said that before Joe working with other people, like you, you know, working with, uh, the white label, uh, customers. I am the customer for this plugin, you know, like I had these problems myself for a couple of years before, and I tried everything, nothing worked, you know?

So that’s why we just ended up doing something on our own.

Joe Howard: Yeah, for sure. I love that expression. I love, I love the plugin, but I’m not in love with it. Everyone’s business. I mentioned it before, but everyone’s business is going to look way different in two, three years than it does today. So it’s important to love what you do and to love your product.

Most important thing is to love providing as much value as to people as possible. And as you continue to do that, your, your product is going to continue to change. But the constant hopefully improvement is that it should always be improving in the area of adding more value to people. So as long as you can do that, you can stay in.

You can, you can continue to love it. Being too connected to exactly what it is today.

Vito Peleg: I agree. And I think that it’s important to have, like, it is about it to have like a north star, you know, something that just frames the entire thing in one sentence or something that you can look forward to. And then, um, and then consider every request or wherever we kind of like, eh, a pivotal kind of moment.

Uh, around that north star and for philosophy, the mission is to become the way WordPress professionals talk to clients. So it’s a pretty broad statement and that’s on purpose because there’s, we want to consider every part of that journey. Every. Can we have this, uh, a relationship that, that us freelancers and agencies have with their customers.

So that’s why, you know, we started with the front end aspect of clicking anything and you get that feedback. But then we went down to the backend and did that over there, which is the first time that anyone managed to do this, uh, in the backend to educate clients on how the WordPress dashboard works and all of these kinds of stuff.

But then it’s going to continue with the cloud platform that we’re going to launch in the upcoming. And where you can manage all of the website from one place. So everything is being fed into one centralized hub and, uh, and even, you know, within our agency, um, we did like, uh, the first pilot of building a website was to create the site map.

So the architecture of the website, so that we can agree that these are going to be the pages. These are the custom post types that we’re creating and so on. So, so again, this is a feature that we’re working on as part of. Taking care of, of our north style becoming the way we’re professionals, Dr. Client.

My goal is that you never have the old phone ring, you know, and you never get an email directly from a customer. It will always be through us.

Joe Howard: Yeah, love that. So that’s the thing that first drew me to be like, wow, this thing’s really cool. It was the, a on page being able to click a certain thing and send feedback directly to.

Um, so we use this tool called Hotjar, which you may have heard that before we use it on WP mrr.com actually. So people can click and give feedback and it sends us an email saying, are they happy with this certain visual thing or not? Uh, but that’s only for us, like you add a site to Hotjar and it’s like for marketing purposes to like, get a little feedback.

This is. For, you know, agencies and freelancers to use across different clients sites. Uh, and I’m just looking at the screenshot here on the homepage. It’s, you know, that gives you the, uh, resolution of the screen, the Brentwood browser it’s on, uh, you know, IP address stuff. You know, if your what’s the priority of the ticket, is this a high priority thing, low, medium critical.

And then it also has like a status as well. So you can have it be in progress, pending review, complete, which I think is a really cool way to get feedback from people in like, uh, I’m on my website now. Well, the old way, doing things like I like open an email and like, you know, sending a thing and then do all that.

But here it’s just like, I’m on it. I click this thing, I clicked three buttons and then it’s sent, uh, which is better for the customer and better for us because we have all the details we need to not have to spend hours troubleshooting, trying to figure out was this on opera or is this on I E like, no, it gives us all that information immediately.

So both sides went through.

Vito Peleg: Yeah. And we had this kind of experience with, uh, so we had this one of the biggest triggers for, for me saying, like, screw this, we got to build this thing, you know, because it was running in my mind for a little while. Eh, it just made sense because the best, the best way to communicate with clients as I kind of experienced it is to actually have the client standing next to you and pointing at the screen and telling you.

No, this needs to be there. We need to change this in this area. I need this text to be changed to that, you know, literally with his finger on the screen. But then what usually happens is that when they’re standing next to you very fast, their hand lands on your hand and they’re start to move the mouse, you know, and they’re breathing down your neck and, uh, you know, creativity is at its core.

You know, so it is effective in terms of getting feedback, but it’s really annoying for everyone, for, for the developers and the designers to have the client just sitting here wasting time. So we tried to get the best of both worlds by having that, that experience of, I just going to click anything and give that feedback.

But even more than that, you know, like, We need it. We need clarity when we’re, when we’re solving a problem. You know, so for example, we got it started saying that was the first, that was one of the things that triggered this. We had a website, a WooCommerce website with about 5,000 products on it. Right.

And then the client sent a one line of message. He’s in his own shop. You know, we as like a physical shop as well, and some customer came to him and said, I want it to all do this product, but I couldn’t find an add to cart button. Who got that message. I got that message straight away. The add to cart button is not there to fix it.

You go to the website, you look at it and you obviously see that the add to cart button is there on every product that we looked at. So you go back to the client that you, you did a screenshot, then you tell them, but we see that it’s here. So can you explain which page you’re talking about? What exactly are you seeing?

You know, Anyway an hour and a half later, we figured that it was just a one product that ran out of stock. And the theme just removed the add to cart button automatically, you know? So no one would have realized that unless we’ve done this one and a half hours of going through hundreds of products to figure out.

What, what the hell they’re talking about on there. So that that’s kind of the, as opposed. And like you said, in terms of the process, as opposed to just getting that email, you click that button, it takes you to that exact page scores down to where the problem is pops that open that message. And there it is, you can see.

Everything. So just that kind of example is like, alright, we gotta do this thing. Go for

Joe Howard: it. Cool, man. Yeah. The saving time is a business owner, his best friend. So if you can save time and save money for people, uh, you’ll probably be able to sell a product or service. Yeah. I mean, I’m on the website right now.

It’s a pretty dope looking website is, uh, I wanted to ask if, uh, is this your first. Product in the WordPress space you’ve created or have you done other plugins and stuff before? Right.

Vito Peleg: So as an agency, you create products every day. You know, that’s how I like to look at this. And, and, uh, and I tried to learn from the 200 plus websites that we’ve built over the years.

And look at them as each one of them is a product that we launched to the world. Even though they’re not really ours, we created them and we put them out there and in a lot of cases, we also have to market them. So that really helped us in, uh, in, uh, creating the approach for this one, because we saw what worked, what didn’t work for a lot.

A lot of our clients, uh, we saw. Often they fail. And, uh, we made sure that we’re not going to do these mistakes with ours in terms of actual plugin. We did a few of them, but again, it was just as a commissioned project. You know, it was like a integration for something with WooCommerce or with gravity forms, all of these kinds of stuff.

Uh, but, but this is the first time that we created a. A software that we’re taking them to the market on our own. And this is an idea that we came up with and we kind of got to fruition. Yeah.

Joe Howard: Cool man.

Vito Peleg: Oh, it’s kind of a cool thing that, eh, we are the first blogging in the history of WordPress by a new company to reach six figures on.

The month as well. So that was a huge, a kind of a, even a shock for me, uh, cause we weren’t expecting that to happen so quickly. Uh, but also it proved to me that this problem is real, you know, when people actually need this distinct.

Joe Howard: For sure. I’m, uh, I’m interested to know kind of what some of the next steps for WP feedback.

I don’t know if you have a roadmap or if that’s like a public thing or just internal, but is there anything kind of public out there that you have kind of in store in terms of like, what’s next in terms of. Feature releases are just kind of what the next evolution of the product looks like. Yes.

Vito Peleg: So first of all, we’re releasing updates every single week.

So that’s part of our rapid iteration process. And again, with feedback being at the top of our kind of a game. And we listened to people. Every bug fix that comes over our comes our way within a week. It’s going to be part of the plugin. So we’re iterating on a really, really rapid pace compared to any other plugin that I’ve seen after 12 years in WordPress.

And that has been the case since they won every single week, we’re doing new features and new, uh, bug fixes. There is a public roadmap, uh, which is you can even see that on WP feedback.com for slash. Uh, this is going to take, you took like a Trello board where you can see what’s going on there. This is where people actually upvote a certain tasks, or they can add their own things themselves, uh, to tell us what they need in order for us to build that in terms of the, so these are things that are happening every day.

And, uh, you know, I don’t know when this podcast is going to be out, but, uh, whatever I’m going to say, that’s going to be launched next week. Loudly it’s been launched a while ago by this time. So, uh, so I’m not going to talk to him about the small bits and pieces that happen every week. But the big steps is first of all, our cloud app, which is meant to be launched in three months from today, you know, from where we were recording this, uh, this podcast, which is going to be a centralized hub for all of the websites.

So as soon as you install the plugin on a website, Boom. It already appears within your dashboard and you can have all of these conversations in one place, manage your own team within it. And that’s going to take us into the Rome of competing with a support desk and project management system. So there’s going to be like a Kanban view of all your tasks, you know?

We are using teamwork. So every time there is a new task that comes in, even with WP feedback, it shoots it automatically through Zapier, into teamwork. And it’s just listed in there, but there’s still no like a two way communication between the two applications, because you know which one is different.

And also, you know, you have your teamwork and then you have that for the project and then you have something else for support. And I don’t like that concept of having fragmented process. And fragmented kind of communications basically. So I think that there is a need for one place to manage everything in one go.

And, you know, within that dashboard, you’re going to have the project management style kind of Trello board or Kanban kind of view, as well as a view that looks pretty much like a support desk and where you can manage tickets on the go. And, but also the. Uh, visual like drag and drop canvas of creating site maps that you can share with customers.

You can discuss them even before we start the project. And the cool thing that I like to think about that is because we’re integrated into the database, using the plugin. We have freedom to do all kinds of incredible things, eh, within the WordPress project. So for example, that sitemap imagined that you drag around.

Put the pages, eh, you put the pages and you put the posts that you want to, to show that you want to have just on a, on a clear canvas, like you’re mapping like a funnel, for example, that you click one button on all of these pages and posts were created. Boom, it’s already in there with the hierarchy, with the categories, everything in one place already generated right into the client’s website.

So even that is saving you the need of clicking that copy on. But with pages every time, the next step with, for that will be to incorporate all kinds of, uh, uh, allowing you to, to incorporate like, uh, templates that you have. So if you already know which page you’re going to create, why would you need to import the template onto there and so on?

You know, so again, we’re looking at. Broad mission the way we’re principals talk to clients. And this is, uh, this is our mission and this is what’s going to happen in the next couple of years. And, and Joe, I think that you’ve been, you’ve been in the ecosystem for a long time, long enough to see the world before page builders.

Right. And, you know, before we had the ACF or before we add tool set and all of these kinds of tools, It just, it seems logical. It doesn’t seem logical right now to go and build a page from scratch and HTML and CSS because you have these tools. So that’s, that’s kind of my vision because I’ve seen this evolution in the ecosystem.

I believe that in. This is just how it’s going to be. You know, it’s not going to be a different way. It’ll seem stupid to talk by email.

Joe Howard: Yeah, I totally hear that. I have this concept of, there are all these hosting companies doing fully managed WordPress hosting, but to me, the next evolution of that is just fully managed WordPress.

And I think, honestly, it incorporates things like your tool as well to help people achieve that goal fully managed WordPress hosting. Isn’t I think a step in the right direction. What’s the next step of that? Well, it’s just like, people don’t want to go somewhere for hosting and then like get website edits and have, you know, a team do this.

And that, that should all kind of be bundled into one. Uh, so, um, I’m with you in terms of like, thinking about what the next steps are and feeling like what we’re doing today, which I feel it’s always the case in five years, you always think five years, like what were we doing five years ago? But yeah, this will be a big jump.

I think so. Cool, man. Uh, I guess last question as we kind of wrap this up the team around WPP. Is this still the same team you have? The agency is a different team. Is it really just, you, do you have kind of a team or a small team kind of helping with the marketing and sales and then another kind of more product and technical team?

Like what is the, what are those building blocks look like in terms of building that business?

Vito Peleg: So, um, I took the entire, like the entire team that we had with the agency has now pivoted to working on this. So we still have our care plan clients. We’re not doing any new projects. We still have a. Eh, a little more than 30 customers on care plans, the ones that we didn’t pass on to you guys.

Yeah. And so, uh, so cause that’s just running, you know, so there’s the w it didn’t make much sense to just, uh, drop this straight away. Also. We’re pretty young, you know, it’s just been literally two months since we launched this product. So, uh, so there’s still time to kind of get to the point where we’re just doing this.

And I did change the team a little bit, so I didn’t need so many designers as I did before, because. We’re not, we’re not building sites and we’re not designing on an ongoing basis. So instead of that, so I scaled down the design team and I brought in a few more people who are on the development side so that we can accelerate this thing and provide support.

Support is really, really important for us to maintain a higher really high level. And again, I think that after managing customers through care plan, Um, if you get that experience of, you know yeah. After, after talking to a guy that that has no idea about what a website is, uh, helping workers professionals is a walk in the park.

Right. So, so that’s kind of a, that’s kind of. Both and how it’s structured in terms of marketing. I kind of like to do most of it, myself at Jerome is by my side is like my right hand guy here. And he’s doing a lot of the stuff with me to make sure that this is happening properly or executed properly. Uh, but what I really like is that now instead of fragmenting my focus around multiple clients and multiple kind of, uh, uh, projects, now I have the opportunity to just do something.

Do one thing. Right. You know, so, uh, you know, I’m going for it. You know, I, I like, I enjoy the process of marketing this to our community. I enjoy the fact that I am the target audience, so I don’t need to kind of figure it out so much, you know, just think of what makes sense to me and what I want or what would work properly for my team as well as myself and just.

That way, you know, what I feel is a little too spammy, if you will. And you know, doing that survey is a good example. We saw at word camp, a lot of people are just going around, handing out flyers, you know, but I wanted to provide value because I don’t, I don’t know. You know, just have a lack of, I’m not going to say the names, but I gathered a few flyers from other companies just to see what not to do.

Yeah. And so, uh, so I, I wanted to just make sure that whatever we’re doing, we’re just doing this with the community in heart and, uh, and yeah, as much valuable.

Joe Howard: Yeah, very cool, man. I think to, to wrap it up, I think a good example of, you know, going to a word camp and instead of trying to necessarily, you know, sell, sell, sell, and be a little bit spammy, you go and try to provide as much value as possible and hand out these, you know, really awesome, uh, hand printed flyers of this big survey that you did, you know, you come and find you, we run into each other, you know, I’ve had a couple drinks at the bar and I see this thing.

I’m like, wow, this is amazing. You know, next thing you know, you’re here on the podcast. After this call, I’m actually going to connect you with our COO Nick. And I’m going to have you make sure you do a demo for him so we can see if this is something that we want to implement. So, uh, this is so, so it does work

Vito Peleg: for Samsung.

That was my age and agenda here, you know?

Joe Howard: Exactly. And there’s always a little something, you know,

Vito Peleg: so this was like a full-on podcast to demo for the, for Joe. Yeah.

Joe Howard: Cool, man. Well, I appreciate you. I appreciate you hopping on man. This has been a lot of fun. Uh, I always ask people, uh, who are guests here just to give out, uh, however people can find you online website, social media handles all that stuff.

Vito Peleg: Sure. So you can look at, just type in WP feedback dot O and that’s the main website. You can check out all of the details on there. More than that. Join our community on Facebook because that’s where the action really is. And you can see what other ones. That would be feedback community on Facebook. And if you want to reach out to me, find me on LinkedIn.

I have a huge network of WordPress professionals and I, I read all of the messages and I, uh, eh, answer to all of them, myself. So, yeah, I’m on LinkedIn. If you want to reach out.

Joe Howard: Very cool. I just joined the Facebook group. So, uh, I’m pending right now. So if you could, you know, go and give me a little, a thumbs up, please come in and enjoy myself.

Cool. Last but not least. I always ask our guests, our guests to ask our audience and people listening for a little five star iTunes review for this podcast. So if you wouldn’t mind giving them a little task, I’d appreciate it.

Vito Peleg: Uh, so w w I kind of, I lost it because I’m fooling you here.

Joe Howard: That’s the only reason to, to, to do that. So, yeah, just, if you could ask people for a little review for this show on iTunes, you can just give a last,

Vito Peleg: okay. So, uh, so this show is incredible and I’ll tell you why you need to review this, but more than that, just listen to it. Um, care plans have completely transformed my.

And the, uh, having this ongoing process within your organization is going to reduce so much stress from your day to day, knowing that there is this cushion or bread and butter at the end of every month. So whatever, whatever you guys are doing, whatever that would be Buffalo. And specifically Joe, with this podcast go and support this, give us five stars.

I’m going to do it right after this call as well, myself. And, um, and yeah, this is really commendable because I think that this is something that the community didn’t really talk about two years ago, and now it’s becoming more and more kind of apparent that, uh, eh, that MRR and, uh, and care plans in particular are the way to ease the way to go.

Um, when you want to create a sustainable business,

Joe Howard: Well nailed that one. If you’re leaving a five star iTunes review, make sure in the comments you leave Vito’s name or something about this episode, something you learn so that we can forward him a screenshot and say, oh, look at this. What is this? What a great episode we had, you can go to WP mrr.com forward slash iTunes that forwards right to the iTunes page.

Make it nice and easy for people. If you are a new listener of the. Uh, you are prep, probably binged, a bunch of shows in the past. Uh, you’ve been on Netflix. You’ve been on Hulu. Why not binge a little bit on this podcast? Uh, do some binging that’ll help your business move forward. We’ve got a bunch of old episodes you can go in and listen to.

So feel free to go and pick a few to either download on your player of choice or just on the website. WP mrr.com/podcast. Uh, give them a listen. Uh, if you have questions for the show. Uh, you can email us. We like to try and answer as many questions on the show as possible. Uh, you can shoot those to yo@wpmrr.com.

I man, that inbox personally. So, uh, you will get a reply from me. It may not be super fast, but you know, I’m on there every couple of days or so. You’ll get a reply from me eventually. Uh, WP mrr.com. We just talked to veto. Who’s done a lot of work in the care plan space. Uh, if you’re an agency or a freelancer looking to integrate care plans into your existing systems, WP MRR is a video course where we pretty much open-sourced everything we do at WP buffs.

So if you want to, uh, try and scale care plants to the next level, uh, if you want to be in this, uh, WP feedback survey next year and be one of the website. Or be one of the companies that does a hundred plus, uh, manages a hundred plus sites, uh, then the WP MRR courses for you feel free to take advantage of the current 75% off.

We’re doing there as well. Make sure you check it out. Uh, other than that, I think we are good to go. Uh, we will catch y’all again next Tuesday, Vito. Thanks again for being non-management.

Vito Peleg: My pleasure. I’m writing the review right now.

Joe Howard: He’s running a, Vito’s doing it. So I appreciate it, man. We’ll give you a shout out next episode, but thanks again for being on.

Yes.

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