WordPress Multisite (WPMU) allows website owners to create a network of sites on a single WordPress install. It’s great because it allows you to create a new website by simply clicking a button. The pure simplicity of this makes it ideal for providing unique value to clients. You can the following information the get new clients or impress the ones that have already signed a contract with you.
What do I do exactly? I created a WPMU setup for my business, Creative Cache. Now, I can generate new websites quickly and the URL is even created using my business’ URL as a base. This enables me to quickly create a website that I think the prospective client will like. I can then send them the link and now I’ve provided value to them as I introduce myself.
Let’s go through a more in-depth rundown of this process!
The Multisite Setup
Most of you will either know how to setup a Multisite install or already have one. If you don’t know how to please check out the WordPress documentation for creating a Multisite network.
As I mentioned earlier, I setup my network on my business website. With WPMU you need to have a main or home website that everything on the back-end can be based off of. When the Multisite network is established you can choose between subdomains and subdirectories for your new sites. What this means is each new website created will be based off the URL and the choice between these two. So your website’s URL would either be creativecache.co/client-business or client-business.creativecache.co. This can be changed, but I’ll get to that good bit later on.
Because WPMU is actually just a single install of WordPress all the sub-sites you create share themes and plugins. This is great for managing multiple sites because you only need to update the plugins and themes once across the whole network.
The New Client
Once WordPress Multisite is enabled you are ready to start creating a website. Start by creating the new sub-site with the business’ name. Then utilize an existing theme or download a new one to the network that you want to use. This enables the creation of a quick mock-up of the website.
For prospective clients, I do some quick research into their current website and some competitors. For clients that are already interested in my services, I have them fill out a quick form to better understand what they are looking for in a new website.
This makes it easier for you to provide some value to the client or give massive value to a prospective client who has no idea who you are. What looks better: me reaching out to just tell you that you need a new website or reaching out and showing you what your website could be.
Many people like to give static mock-ups, but why not give them a real working website when it can be made at the press of a button. Putting the four hours in up front to secure the client pays off in a big way. Especially because that’s four hours less that you have to do after you get hired.
Bonus: Taking It a Step Further
So this is all great and you can certainly stop there and achieve huge success. But you could also provide even more value to the client and money in your pocket.
The keys here: domain mapping and hosting their website. Multisite provides the option to map an existing domain to the sub-site. What does this mean? I could domain map the client’s website, new-client.com, to my sub-site so that the sub-site content is what shows up on the clients URL.
This is a crazy next step because after the project is complete you can now offer an additional service: web hosting. At the close of the project you could offer to host the site for a monthly fee. You could include maintenance in the price or charge for that as well.
It is important to note that you will need a great hosting plan yourself and some back-end knowledge to maintain the system. But if you can do that you’ve not only secured the client by providing value, but you’ve also given additional value and some extra on-going cash in your pocket.