In order to deliver the best return on investment for their clients, agencies must be intimately aware of the latest and most effective technologies and trends. Thinking creatively and strategically is key to the success of agency work; getting bogged down in monotonous technical work can take away from time-to-market, profitability, and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. The right technology partners will help assist agencies by helping them navigate the constantly evolving world of digital and work hard to remain best-in-class so that agencies are utilizing the latest and greatest infrastructure. 

At WP Engine, we’re committed to the success of our agency partners. Our technology, service, and expertise is designed to help agencies accelerate innovation, boost ROI, grow client engagements, and improve profits. Put simply, we make the digital experience aspect of agency work more manageable and effective. 

WP Engine has a full suite of products, features, and infrastructure options that agencies consider essential to their workflow. Today, we’ll break down three WP Engine products and one WP Engine feature that have been created with agencies specifically in mind: 

DevKit 

WP Engine’s DevKit is a WordPress local development environment and build toolkit that seamlessly works with WP Engine and encourages better, faster code. Agencies are constantly looking for dev tools that reduce the time and effort needed to launch and update sites. DevKit helps developers at agencies do this by combining a container-based local development environment, SSH Gateway access, robust developer workflows, and other tools for building and debugging great WordPress projects faster.

DevKit gives developers the flexibility to build, debug, and deploy efficiently by packaging tools such as WP-CLI, Ngrok, and Xdebug into one easy-to-use platform. Agencies managing work for multiple sites will gain the ability to maneuver between different client sites on their WP Engine account, which is instrumental to their workflow. Not only is DevKit equipped with technology to ensure faster iterations and more efficient development, but it can also be used by developers of any skill level. Veteran WordPress developers and rookies alike will be able to maximize their productivity using this set of tools.   

Smart Plugin Manager

Updating plugins is a tedious and annoying task for anyone working in WordPress. While it is necessary for preventing vulnerability exploits and other cyber attacks, it detracts from the creative work agency teams would rather be doing. The reality is that clients often utilize a lot of plugins, and maintaining the current versions of each one can result in unintended consequences, including security issues, plugin compatibility problems, and potential downtime. 

Smart Plugin Manager takes the headache out of plugin maintenance by automatically checking your plugins for updates nightly and ensuring that when updates happen, your site doesn’t break. By using “smart” technology and visual testing, agencies can sleep easy knowing that their clients’ plugins are up to date and their sites are up and secure. After implementation, Smart Plugin Manager is intended to be a set-it-and-forget-it solution—freeing up time and mental energy. Smart Plugin Manager is also the only solution on the market to include visual regression testing, automated nightly updates, and the ability to update plugins from private repos.

Dev/Stage/Prod Environments 

No two developer workflows are the same. Even within small agency teams, developer workflows can vary significantly. The establishment of development best practices helps limit redundant work and errors in production. WP Engine Dev/Stage/Prod development environments help developers categorize the type of work they’re doing and minimize risk by protecting their production environments from overlooked errors. 

These environments allow your team to develop and code website changes using your development environment, stage the changes for your team to view in your staging environment, and only push to your live, production environment when all changes look exactly right. By following the practice of “databases move down, code moves up,” your development workflow can stay organized, efficient, and proactive. 

Site Templates 

It’s not uncommon for an agency to implement dozens of new WordPress sites every year.  Each new site requires a diligent setup process with the appropriate tools and plugins. This process is often time-consuming, monotonous, and repetitive. It’s also true that the WordPress ecosystem is chock-full of mar-tech tools; it can be difficult to know what tools to use and when. This initial process takes away from creative agility and productivity. 

WP Engine Site Templates enable developers to quickly deploy curated configurations of themes and plugins for common digital jobs built on WordPress. Agencies can save time and resources by simplifying the process of finding the right framework, perfect themes, and downloading the appropriate plugins for a client’s site—ultimately cutting site setup time by 94%. Site Templates are curated with best-in-class technologies; the product was created in partnership with HubSpot and allows you to auto-generate HS plugin features to match the styling of any StudioPress theme.  

WP Engine is committed to making life easier for agencies of all sizes, and the above tools and solutions were all created with that goal in mind. By listening to our agency partners and understanding their needs in the market, we’ve been able to build useful, practical products and features that simply work in the real world. 

Visit WP Engine to find out more about all of the tools and features we include as part of our Digital Experience Platform for WordPress, and visit our Agency Partner Program to learn more about how WP Engine helps agencies of all sizes grow their business faster.