Tips for Managing Multiple Client Websites Without Losing Your Mind

Simplicity always saves the day for digital marketing agency owners and managers. The less time you spend on administration, the more you can invest on delivering exceptional value to your clients.

While managing client sites beyond their launch can add a valuable revenue stream, many agencies shy away from this service because of the complexity involved. Managing multiple websites gets difficult very quickly, especially across multiple hosting providers. Juggling multiple logins and passwords, different versions of environments, and keeping up with security and patch schedules shouldn’t be so hard!

Fortunately, multi-site management doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Here’s a checklist of steps you can take to make the process of managing client sites easier, often aided with a managed hosting service.

Update Website Software, Maintenance, and Patches with Help from Managed Hosting

Website technology changes quickly. Content management systems, plugins, and even underlying software – like MySQL and PHP – all get updates. Those updates could be to add features, stay compatible with other software updates, or fix newly discovered vulnerabilities. Whatever the reason, it’s vital to stay on top of the security and functionality provided by these changes.

With a managed hosting provider, these updates may automatically be taken care of for you. Otherwise, it’s often a simple, one-click upgrade within your hosting dashboard.

Make Regular Backups of All Websites

Business continuity and disaster recovery are essential to dealing with any crisis that comes your way. Regularly backing up client websites means you can secure data from technology failures or purposeful attacks.

With managed hosting, you can easily set a regularly scheduled backup for every site you operate. That way, you can be confident you have a backup in case anything potentially disastrous happens.

Host Sites Where They’ll Flourish

Success means you can expect the traffic to a client’s site to increase. When that happens, you may need to scale capacity and resilience so there’s no impact on performance.

Your preferred web host should have multiple hosting options that let you match a site’s potential to the scale it needs. Some solutions may automatically scale resources, while others would require you to manually set the increase. In either case, knowing a site’s hosting solution can scale to its potential needs ensures you don’t have to migrate the site to a different platform over time.

As an example, Media Temple’s VPS platform – called DV – lets users seamlessly shift between plans, upgrading and downgrading resources when needed. On the other hand, our AWS service uses the cloud’s auto-scaling technology to continuously match resources to demand.

Protect Sites with Active Security

Although managed hosting providers run regular maintenance and monitoring on their hosting environments, sites still have their own vulnerabilities. And you likely won’t notice the effects of the malware that exploits those vulnerabilities until it’s too late. Modern website security platforms keep a watchful eye on any sites they’re protecting. To make things easy for agencies managing numerous sites, they’ll even send you alerts the minute they notice something out of order. They also include convenient multi-site dashboards that give you summary reports at a glance, allowing you to check in on all your clients’ sites in a matter of seconds.

Providing agencies with a comprehensive, easy security solution is a big reason we provide a security platform powered by Sucuri – one of the best at this very thing.

Think Beyond the End of Your Project

Your clients hire you to complete a specific project on their behalf. Once you’ve completed your deliverables, manage their expectations about what happens next.

You can continue to be their liaison for website updates and publish content and other changes, and define all of this through a website maintenance contract. This can even provide a healthy, recurring revenue stream, especially if your hosting provider makes things easy for you. Alternatively, you can shift the control of the hosting account over to your client, supported directly by the hosting provider. If the provider’s support experience is up to snuff, you know your clients are in good hands and you won’t be getting late-night calls about hosting matters.

Media Temple’s Advanced Support provides:

  • One-to-one guidance that gives you direct access to our most experienced technical experts, around-the-clock
  • Complete website monitoring for full visibility of performance incidents and resolution
  • Enhanced security that includes easy, top-notch malware removal, content delivery network, web application firewall, and SSL certification
  • Migration that lets you move up to three sites per month, and we’ll take care of all the heavy lifting
  • Site software setup, whether that’s a new content management system or WordPress theme
  • Optimization to ensure you’re getting the best performance possible from your server

Seeing how vital these steps were in maintaining healthy sites, we created the Advanced Support package as the keystone piece in keeping your clients satisfied. Learn more about our superior customer service and technical expertise, and how they align perfectly with client needs.

About the Author Mike Martens is a writer and photographer who makes words happen for Media Temple’s UX and Creative teams. Over the past decade, he’s crafted copy across every medium for a laundry list of iconic brands. Meanwhile, his photographic pursuits have taken him from documenting The Moth storytellers to creating a $25,000 digital Holga camera. More by this Author