Almost a year and a half ago I graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Accounting and Economics. But after graduation I couldn’t see myself working in those fields the rest of my life. While in college I built a nice freelancing business providing digital marketing to small and mid-sized businesses, so I decided to take that full-time by starting an agency.
My vision when we started was that we were going to be different than the other full service digital agencies out there. All our work would be groundbreaking and our designs would go viral. Unfortunately that hasn’t always been the case. While our projects have gotten attention for their design and our clients have seen a notable increase in revenue and conversions, it wasn’t what I envisioned.
This leads me to the “Major Changes.” As of today, Oso Studio is no longer a full service agency. We’ve spun off our content marketing, SEO, social media management, and email services into a new company, Atomic Copy. This company is helmed by Robin Anderson and will continue to serve our present and future clients’s content marketing needs.
So why the major change? After looking back at what we’ve done the past year, it’s clear that our greatest strength is in website design and development. We’ve had incredible success with our content marketing, one client increased annual revenue by $300,000 as a direct result, it has always been a secondary offering to our design and development services. Moving forward, Atomic Copy will be able to provide a full range of content related services to our clients as well as businesses who want to grow their bottom line. This move is definitely a win-win for everyone.
Our decision to end our hosting services was a little bit harder to make. Websites need hosting, so it always made sense that we would offer hosting to our clients. We built up a great infrastructure that was scaleable, DDoS proof, had hacking safeguards, and delivered by an amazing CDN. The only problem with this is that we’re WordPress designer and developers, not System Administrators. If we wanted to add new features or if something went wrong, we had to turn to an outside partner or someone in the datacenter. We knew there had to be a better way for both us and our clients.
We’ve spent the past month evaluating hosting providers on several factors.
- System uptime – we wanted this to be as close to 100% as possible, anything below 99.9% for the year was thrown out
- Customer service availability – phone, email, and live chat available 24/7
- Ease of use – we’re recommending this service to non-IT clients. It should be simple for them to make the few modifications they may want or to setup email.
- Value – this doesn’t always mean the lowest price. We looked at the reputation, uptime, hardware specs, customer service, and customer panel, and their fee to determine who provides the best value.
After looking at hundreds of companies, many of which we threw out immediately because of their uptime, we had a dozen left. After looking at their customer service, account center, and company reputation, it was clear that WP Engine was the hands down winner in hosting. So moving forward we will encourage each of our clients to use WPEngine, the leading WordPress exclusive hosting company. And since they are our preferred host, we’ve developed a system to quickly launch new WordPress websites on their platform. This will allow us to setup the server environment for our clients while giving them ongoing support from a company that does hosting better than anyone else.
If you haven’t picked up on it already, moving forward we are working only with WordPress for all our projects. WordPress is by far the leading Content Management System in the world, powering 4 out of every 5 websites and 18 of the top 100.
We’ve used WordPress since version 2, but we’ve also used Drupal, Joomla, Expression Engine, and SiteCore. This has meant that we’ve never been able to devote 100% of our time to learning all the tips, tricks, and changes to WordPress. I think we’ve done a good job of keeping up-to-date, but now it will be even better. We’re now involved with the larger WordPress community and already testing the beta release of WordPress 4.0 so that our themes and plugins will be ready to update the day version 4 ships. We think that you’ll notice a difference when you work with us on your next WordPress design or development project.
Austin or Bust
I think everyone that knows me saw this coming. Oso Studio has succumb to the siren song of Austin, Texas. As one of the fastest growing cities in the country, Austin seems like a natural fit for a growing company.
We also love the amazing tech infrastructure and startup culture that’s everywhere in Austin. While we’ve loved our time in DFW, the move to Austin is coming at a perfect time. Over the past 6 months we’ve grown our business more than I ever thought possible in such a short time. Being in Austin will give us access to unparalleled talent on both the design and development side. This will allow us to complement our team with great freelancers and hopefully convince the best of the best to join us full-time.
I’m incredibly excited about what this move means for Oso Studio’s future, but I’m even more excited about what this means for our clients. We’ll have an amazing tech backbone decreasing our design and development time as well as provide cutting edge solutions for WordPress development.
So while this is a major change for us and how we’ve done business, I feel it will be seamless for our clients. In fact, our work will be even better and faster since we’re dedicated 100% to WordPress design and development. By splitting our content services, you can now pickup the phone and call Robin and talk content marketing, social media, and emails. Hosting is now from the world leader in WordPress hosting, WP Engine. They provide service and support that is far superior to anything we could ever provide.
And all our future projects will be “Crafted in Austin, Texas”. Moving to Austin gives us access to amazing developers to grow Oso Studio and access to a rock solid tech infrastructure. Plus we’ll have amazing tacos. So if you’re in town, give me a call and we’ll grab some tacos and some Cuvée Black & Blue.