I’ve been thinking a lot about how we communicate our product’s value to potential customers. You don’t really think about it all that much until you work an event and someone asks you why should they use your product. I think when you are too close to it you don’t really realize that it’s benefits aren’t as straightforward as you thought.
First it’s pretty obvious that there are many options for doing backups. Some hosts provide backups, there are various WordPress plugins that provide backup capabilities (some are really good), and there are even other WordPress plugins that back up and save your backups to their own server. So what’s our unique selling proposition? What do we offer that no else does?
I’ll be completely honest, back when I was using WordPress heavily for myself and others I never even considered using VaultPress. I saw the price, walked away, and never looked back. It wasn’t that I couldn’t afford it and it wasn’t that I didn’t need it. I basically looked at the features they were offering compared them to other solutions and found that the free solutions worked fine for me. Fast forward to today and I wouldn’t even consider suggesting a free plugin, mainly for the reasons I’ll talk about below.
What do I think VaultPress has going for it?
- Unlimited Storage Space — Right now we don’t have a hard limit on what we’ll backup and I don’t know if this will always be the case but this is pretty huge. Back in the day I used backup buddy + dropbox and there is no way I could do that now as all my Dropbox space would be eaten up by backups. Also both Updraft and Backup Buddy limit you to 1gb of storage space.
- Offsite backups — During my WordPress heydays I used Media Temple and they provided me with free backups. The problem was the backups were on the same server as my site so when shit really hit the fan I lost access to my backups too. I would much rather have my backups safe in the Automattic cloud than on my VPS or personal hard drive.
- Trust — Offsite backups are great but they are only as good as the people hosting them. There are other companies who store your backups but I know 100% that their infrastructure isn’t as good as WP.com. I have no fear keeping my backups with us. My entire world is on WordPress.com now and I wouldn’t give that level of trust to anyone else. WP.com is popular/trusted we should let people know how safe their stuff is.
- Support — In 2015 I think people are paying more for support than anything else. If my site was down and I didn’t know how to fix it myself I would love being able to have someone help me. Last week a website I set up for one of my law school professors went down and even though they hadn’t talked to me in three years they called me up as they needed help, right away. I know for a fact he would have no trouble $5/month for VaultPress for the sole fact that he had someone to ping if something goes wrong. Piece of mind is priceless for some people, we are only asking for $5/month. You don’t get this with free solutions.
So looking at the current VaultPress plans page we are “promoting” that we do backups, restores, and provide safekeeper support. Every single backup solutions has those features. We aren’t giving our customers any reason why our backups/restores are any better. I also dislike the use of cutesy names. No one has any clue what a Safekeeper or Happiness Engineer is. Let’s prioritize being clear over being clever.
If I’m being completely honest I wouldn’t sign up for VaultPress based on our current plans page and I’m kinda surprised that people actually do. But I think if we updated the copy to better reflect our strengths and what makes us better than other solutions I think choosing VaultPress would become a much easier decision.