When Phil Levine entered the web business in 1997, less than 40 percent of American households had a personal computer, Apple was on its (supposed) last Unix-driven legs, and Netscape was the browser of choice for this new thing called “surfing” the Internet.
During this nascent time for the industry, designing websites was about trial and error — full stop.
“It was all just hard-coded HTML sort of sites,” Phil recalls. “There wasn’t Managed WordPress. There wasn’t managed anything.”
Truth be told, Phil is a bit of a GoDaddy Pro super-user, having used Pro — or what would become the Pro set of tools — for the past seven years as part of a Managed WordPress solution.
As his business grew, he found himself with over 200 domains and 250 websites to manage, and he badly needed automation tools lest his day be eaten up by mind-numbing, monotonous maintenance.
“Around 2013, GoDaddy started rolling out delegated access so I could purchase on behalf of clients. That was a real game-changer.”
As more tools were added to the program, most of all Managed WordPress, Phil was able to use GoDaddy Pro to better offer a true turnkey solution.
“With the full integration of one dashboard, I was like hey, this is exactly what I need. I don’t need to remember a bunch of passwords now, and making bulk updates is simple and fast.”
That translates quickly into lasting cred with his clients, who really don’t want to have to think about whether their sites are up-to-date and running smoothly.
“I’m the one who gets the notifications when a domain needs to be renewed and through the GoDaddy Pro dashboard. I see everything and my clients leave it to me.”
In addition to relying on GoDaddy Pro as his all-in-one site maintenance platform to grow his business, Phil’s become an active part of the community and a GoDaddy Pro evangelist at events like this year’s WordCamp Miami and WordCamp US.
“I worked with [GoDaddy Pro’s Field Marketing Manager] Adam Warner and his team, and I actually worked the booth a little bit, to be able to give some feedback as an end user to other end users. That’s an opening to discuss GoDaddy Pro, and disabuse them of the stereotypes associated with GoDaddy.”
This dovetails with broader advice he has for web developers and designers: do your research.
“At the heart of the matter,” Phil says, “You need to know what problems you’re trying to solve for your clients. Answer that question and you can implement the right hosting and maintenance solution.”
A lot has changed in the past twenty-plus years since Phil started, but some truths about business remain the same.
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