WordPress development agency, WebDevStudios, has acquired Maintainn for an undisclosed amount. According to the announcement, the acquisition enables WebDevStudios to provide better maintenance and support to clients. Founded in 2012 by Shayne Sanderson, Maintainn provides maintenance services including 24/7 security monitoring, daily off-site backups, weekly updates to WordPress core, themes and plugins, a dedicated WordPress support desk and custom development.
Sanderson, once an employee for WebDevStudios as a Technical Project Manager, left the company in late 2013 to work on Maintainn full-time. What started as an individual endeavor, turned into a five person company.
The Retainer Arm of WebDevStudios
On paper, the acquisition makes sense. WebDevStudios is able to focus on attracting new clients knowing they have a foundation in place to offer support and maintenance packages to new and existing clients. Maintainn is essentially the retainer arm of WebDevStudios. Retainers are defined as, “a fee paid in advance to someone, especially an attorney, in order to secure or keep their services when required.” When applying the definition to development agencies, it’s not hard to see why most have a retainer program in place.
Brian Krogsgard, who works for WordPress design and development company Range, explains why retainers can be an important part of an agency’s business model.
Retainers can be an excellent business tool for financing growth and forming long-term client relationships. Retainers offer consistent, reliable income that makes financing new hires less scary. They also allow the firm to really get to know the client and their needs over time, versus being limited to a single project scope. An existing retainer also puts the firm in great position to get lump sum projects from the client when those opportunities come up.
Not only do clients receive maintenance and support for WordPress, they also have access to a great team of developers. This gives WebDevStudios a competitive edge against companies such as WP Site Care, WP Curve, and WP Maintainer that mostly focus mostly on maintenance and support.
MattReport Interview With Both Parties
I encourage you to read this interview published on MattReport.com containing insight from both parties involved in the deal. Communication and keeping financial books in order are just two pieces of advice given within the interview. It also shines a light on the future of Maintainn and what its role will be within the company.
What are your thoughts on the acquisition and will we see other WordPress maintenance companies acquired in the near future? If so, use the comments and give us your best guess.
Disclaimer: I am SUPER stoked for everyone involved in this. It seems like a win all around and I’m really happy for Shayne especially. He’s worked hard for this.
There’s just one part of the article that doesn’t seem quite right to me:
I think there are a few ways to look at that. It definitely makes sense for WebDev to have a retainer offering for their clients. I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t really. That said, I think it’s going to be difficult for them to justify the “smaller” clients. A bigger team with a bigger payroll means anything less than a few hundred bucks a month is going to be hard to maintain (see what I did there?).
We’ve been approached about acquisition in the past on a number of occasions, but ultimately feel like we’re better built, and can build our business the most in the small to medium business sector of WordPress.
I guess the point is that I’m not sure they’ll even be considered a “competitor” anymore, since they’ll likely have to shift into serving a different space altogether. That might not be the case, but I’d be surprised if it continued to operate in the same way we see it operating now (other than clients that are grandfathered in).