My Top 5 Recommended Tools for Care Plan Managers
What I would start out with if I was starting over from scratch. These will save time, effort and frustration (for you and your clients). They can also help you earn more income from the Care Plan clients you already have.
- Cloudways. Without a reliable and fast host, the services you offer don’t matter that much.
- ManageWP. My management platform for handling updates, backups, security scans, uptime, client reports, link checking, performance checks and more.
- My Web Audit. Offering clients an annual meeting with an astoundingly-detailed audit of their site to discuss business opportunities is a win for all involved.
- Kadence Theme and Pro Blocks. Not a Care Plan tool exactly, but I build the kinds of sites I want to manage on my Care Plans – solid, fast sites with fewer plugins and easy editing.
- WooCommerce. Simple to set up, WooCommerce Subscriptions and AutomateWoo are great for managing Care Plans and clients and doing automated marketing. Kadence Shop Kit makes it easy to customize Woo’s appearance and adds more functionality.
Bonus Recommendation: Postmark. This is a wonderful service. Clients are frustrated when email providers increasingly block transactional mail, and Postmark basically solves that problem. Inexpensive and makes clients happy.
Cloudways has flexible server management, competitive pricing and exceptional, fast support. They make it easy to manage a lot of websites.
Pressable is a great choice for managed WordPress hosting. It’s designed just for WordPress sites, is very fast, and has fantastic support. It’s easy to migrate sites to Pressable and setup is straightforward.
My Care Plan management tool of choice. Modern hosted dashboard, many useful tools for updates, backups, uptime, security, performance and reporting. White label option and good support. Bundled pricing for 25+ websites.
MainWP is self-hosted, meaning you’ll install plugins for the features you want, including updates, backups, security and a number of others. Good support and a lifetime price for unlimited websites.
Domains & DNS
Many of my clients use GoDaddy as their domain registrar. It’s easy for clients to add me as a technical delegate so I don’t have to bother them when I need access to DNS records.
Cloudflare setup is standard on my higher-level Care Plans. Managing DNS here is easy and fast, plus you get their firewall and performance benefits of the CDN. The free version is fine for many sites.
Payments & Subscriptions
I use WooCommerce Subscriptions to manage my Care Plans, add-ons and clients. Setting up recurring payments is simple for monthly, quarterly and annual subscriptions.
Stripe is my primary payment method. Their support is great, it’s a free payment method for WooCommerce, and their dashboard makes it easier to do my accounting.
Security & Anti-spam
My plugin of choice for implementing a security lockdown on all my Care Plan sites. I use it for login security, bot-blocking, user credential management, 2FA, forced logouts and PW changes, malware scans and more.
If a new Care Plan client comes to me with malware on their site, Sucuri is my go-to solution. They can fix any hack at a reasonable price and have great support.
BBQ Pro is a lightweight but powerful firewall plugin for WordPress. It runs in the background blocking bad requests and exploits and is highly configurable. Free version here
Cloudflare is listed here again for its security features. Its WAF (Web Application Firewall) reduces the number of bad bots hitting a site and is very customizable.
A great anti-spam plugin and inexpensive service that stops spam in comments, registrations, forms, checkout fields, search and more. No Captchas or puzzles!
I use Hexowatch for monitoring visual or content changes in Care Plan client sites. You can set the sensitivity level, frequency of checks, and granularly control what parts of any page are monitored.
BackupBuddy is a very reliable and easy to use backup plugin from iThemes. I use it as my second redundant backup tool (after ManageWP and Cloudways).
Client Support & Management
Freshdesk is pretty easy to set up, and with Zapier you can create an email that opens a new support ticket automatically. The Free plan covers up to 10 agents. You can do support over email or social media and set up various workflows and canned responses.
I use Airtable to manage all my Care Plan clients’ information – contact info, website info, licenses and pro plugins, etc. – plus agency subscriptions, host information and support time tracking.
Site Reporting & Audits
ManageWP (mentioned up top) also does a nice report and can automatically send it to your clients monthly or at any interval you specify. Reports include all maintenance activites and Google Analytics, if connected.
My Web Audit is an amazing tool that you can use for annual site reviews for Care Plan clients. It will help you make more money, is easy to use, and pays for itself very quickly. A no-brainer!
Care Plan Add-on Ideas
Ever have a client tell you nobody is receiving mail from their website? This is the fix – Postmark. An easy-to-use and inexpensive service to authenticate DNS records and greatly improve transactional email deliverability.
An easy-to-use caching plugin that will speed up a website as soon as it’s installed and before you change any settings. Takes just a few minutes to configure, but very granular if you need to tweak for even better performance.
ShortPixel is an image optimization and compression plugin that helps speed up page loading by reducing image sizes without noticeably affecting quality. The free version
includes 100 credits/mo and you can buy more as needed.
Video User Manuals is a comprehensive set of frequently-updated WordPress training videos right in your Care Plan client sites. White label, multiple accents, turn off unneeded videos and add your own videos.
My own tool for onboarding my new Care Plan clients and teaching them how my services work, how to get support, what’s included, what addons are available and more. Canva and Google Slides templates available.
SliceWP is an affiliate program manager – it’s a good idea to have affiliates marketing your Care Plans for you. This plugin is very straightforward and has a good-looking affiliate dashboard. Fast to set up.
Another option for managing your affiliates. AffiliateWP has been around a long time and has a lot of premium features for setting up and running an affiliate program.
This is a fantastic set of courses for those interested in getting started selling Care Plans. They’ll help you with everything from deciding what to include in your plans and how to build automations to hiring and marketing.
Mailerlite makes it easy to set up automated drip campaigns, manage subscriber groups and segments, and connects with WooCommerce. Free for up to 1,000 subscribers and 12k monthly emails.
AutomateWoo is a Swiss army knife of automations for WooCommerce marketing. Manage coupons, rewards, birthday emails, followups, abandoned carts and much more with this paid plugin.
User Switching is a great free plugin that lets you see your site from the viewpoint of any of your users. Ideal for troubleshooting propblems you can’t see as a site admin.
From the maker of User Switching, Query Monitor is a free plugin that can help with debugging site issues – like Chrome Dev Tools for WordPress. It can help narrow down problems with plugins or themes and presents the data in a useful interface. Here’s a great guide on how to use it
Cloudways hosting has one-click staging sites which are a big help in troubleshooting. In addition the Cloudways server dashboard lets me look for errors and see potential problems easily (plus I can ask their support to check out an issue if needed).
Other WordPress Essentials
As a web developer, these are the products I can’t do without. Almost all of the sites I build become my Care Plan clients, so I use tools I can trust. I’m a big fan of all of these products.
I design and build custom themes based on the Kadence parent theme, and I use Kadence Pro blocks for building out sites – no page builders! The full bundle includes Conversions (the perfect popup tool) and Shop Kit for WooCommerce plus all other plugins. Support always goes above and beyond.
I’m a long-time user and have never found anything to replace Gravity Forms. Build any type of custom form you can imagine with conditional logic, surveys, quizzes, file uploads, user registration and more. Take payments with Stripe, Paypal, and Square. Lots of integrations available.
My favorite slider for a number of years. Super-flexible, you an build any type of slider or carousel with the nice user interface – there is a bit of a learning curve because there are so many options, but once you get it, it’s easy to use. It has excellent support as well.