Industry: Digital Agency
Challenge: Build a great digital agency at scale; provide clients with fast, reliable web solutions.
Results: 100% year-over-year growth. Aspire's client base has doubled every year since it launched.
Aspire Digital Solutions is a digital marketing agency that helps businesses address the challenges they face online and in the marketplace. The agency’s marketing products allow businesses to build a stronger presence, connect with more customers, and grow a stronger brand. Since its launch in 2017, Aspire has helped companies of all sizes build a solid digital presence.
“We needed a web host that would make our lives easier and provide great support, reliable infrastructure, and tools to help us grow. I had already tried every other hosting company out there, so I knew WP Engine was the only provider that made sense."
—Bill Fow, Co-founder, Director of Web Development, Aspire Digital Solutions
Building a Great Web Company at Scale
Success in digital marketing often comes from striking the right balance between creativity and technology.
That was the balance Co-founders Bill Fow and Christine Mullen hoped to attain when they teamed up to launch Aspire Digital Solutions at the start of 2017.
“We created Aspire because we knew we could provide businesses with powerful digital marketing services that truly bridge the creativity-technology divide,” Fow said.
“The combination of our backgrounds was something we knew our clients would benefit from.”
With nearly a decade of experience in digital marketing and custom web development, Fow had already started one company and was eager to add his expertise to a new venture.
Mullen, who had spent the previous 20 years as the marketing director at a large textile firm in New York City, was looking for the right partner as she began evaluating a new creative undertaking.
The two co-founders had the knowledge and hands-on experience they needed to build a great web company, but executing on their vision required a third element—a hosting provider that could fill needed gaps as they grew their business.
“Christine brought the creative marketing factor, and I brought the development piece,” Fow said. “But WP Engine was at the core of that combination because with WP Engine, we could see our growth in practical terms. We knew how we were going to get it done.”
Fow was already using WP Engine at his previous company, and based on his experience, he knew that vital components needed to fuel the new business—like web hosting, security, and support—would all be taken care of.
“We needed a web host that would make our lives easier and provide great support, reliable infrastructure, and tools to help us grow,” Fow said.
”I had already tried every other hosting company out there, so I knew WP Engine was the only provider that made sense.”
Hosting Solutions Crafted for Agencies
With a lean team behind them, Fow and Mullen started out small, focusing on individual projects—from restaurant websites to eCommerce, medical, and legal sites—for a growing list of clients.
At the onset, new clients were set up with individual hosting plans, and Aspire provided an additional layer of maintenance and support. This setup was helpful as the agency got off the ground, but as Aspire’s list of clients quickly jumped to 30 (in the first year), they began re-evaluating their ability to scale.
“We engaged with WP Engine a lot during this process,” Fow said, “and we were able to continue scaling carefully with the support of our WP Engine account managers, who have helped us choose plans that grow with us as we take on more clients and sites.”
Those plans include agency-specific packages WP Engine provides to its agency hosting partners, which are tailor-made for growing digital businesses and their portfolios of client sites.
WP Engine's Agency Packages, for example, provide growing agencies with dedicated hosting infrastructure, bulk licenses for some of WP Engine’s most popular add-ons, and additional storage, allowing agencies like Aspire to provide more value to their clients while increasing their margins.
WP Engine’s Agency Packages include access to:
Smart Plugin Manager: Smart Plugin Manager uses machine learning and visual regression testing so you can rest easy knowing your plugins aren’t falling behind or putting your client sites at risk.
Genesis Pro: Build better websites faster with Genesis plugins and themes, optimized for the modern WordPress block editor to lend your team and your clients' site-building superpowers.
Additional storage: Agency bundles include 50% more storage compared to standard WP Engine P Series plans, meaning more resources to grow and more value for your clients.
With all of these features packaged alongside WP Engine’s industry-leading performance, security, and support, Fow and the team at Aspire have been able to reimagine their service offerings and continue providing value to a growing list of clients.
Since its launch, Aspire’s list of clients has grown exponentially.
By the end of 2017, Aspire was already adding around 30 new websites to its client portfolio, and that number has continued to grow year-over-year, by a staggering 100%.
“We double the number of websites we manage every year,” Fow said. “It’s been a lot of late nights, hard work, and word-of-mouth referrals, but it’s all been a lot easier and more effective thanks to WP Engine.”
Because Aspire’s clients are hosted on WP Engine’s platform, they benefit from powerful web hosting that’s fine-tuned specifically for WordPress, as well as Aspire’s tiered service offerings for maintenance, support, and custom web development.
In addition to white-glove support from Aspire's account managers, the Aspire team has also leveraged WP Engine’s platform and products to build customer loyalty and win new business.
Smart Plugin Manager has become instrumental within the agency’s maintenance packages as a way to provide clients with regular updates to plugins and themes.
Because Smart Plugin Manager checks plugins automatically for updates and then runs them based on a preset schedule, the Aspire team has been able to automate some of their maintenance processes and reclaim valuable time, all while providing clients with added assurances around site performance and security.
Added storage and WP Engine’s one-click staging and development environments have also been a major help.
“Migrating a client’s site to WP Engine is often the rescue they need,” Fow said, “and with the ability to easily clone sites over to staging and development environments, we’re able to make those migrations happen a lot faster.”
From ongoing support to plans crafted specifically for agencies, Fow noted that WP Engine has served as an extension of the Aspire team throughout the agency's growth,
“What’s been most important to us as we’ve grown quickly has been the ability to provide our clients with the most reliable solutions for their sites,” Fow said. “WP Engine has helped us deliver that.”