- Support & Maintenance for Bespoke PHP Applications


I left Microconf EU last year inspired to switch my focus to the streamlining of my existing business (PHP dev shop) rather than continue to allow myself to be distracted by the shiny thing over there (the lure of MRR and/or a product that didn’t exist yet).

So, I went over the things I’d learned from the bootstrapping community over the past 18 months, looked at my existing business in detail, defined our ideal project & client and then put together a productised service offering. Today it ships:

The idea being that it is a core competency (we do it already and have been doing so for years) and there’s a laser focus on the offering to assist with positioning & marketing.

Any feedback gratefully received.



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Is “Bespoke” a word that most people know?

I had to look it up, because I assumed it was some framework or something I was unfamiliar with. Which at first glance made me think your business is specific to something that wouldn’t apply to me.

After reading your page, I’m guessing that you provide support and maintenance for custom (not off the shelf) PHP applications.

For many people, WordPress is something that the owners of a website don’t understand or know how to maintain, or in many cases are running with loads of custom code / plugins. I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t provide support for those types of clients as well.

Personally I’d change your tagline to “Support & Maintenance for PHP Applications”. As both a business owner and a programmer that runs everything on a WordPress platform with loads of custom code, your pitch would be more interesting that way.

I’m sure others will give some better feedback.


We don’t want to be - currently anyway - supporting popular CMS or eCommerce platforms. So yes I had assumed that most people know what bespoke meant, though I’m now re-considering that based upon your comments


“Bespoke” is more popular outside of the US, although I think more and more people in the US are using it as well. It just means “custom”.

Agreed that you may want to use a different word if targeting US customers.

At first I thought this was related to providing support to end customers - like tier 1 and tier 2 support, which looked pretty interesting to me - vacation maintenance type stuff basically :slight_smile:

Looks like an interesting offering for people who need it though! Landing page is fantastic - FAQs are really good. The domain is also awesome!

I wonder if for the email magnet hook you could do something like a free 21 point checkup on their existing infrastructure. That might be too time consuming though but I feel like it might speak to their pain point a little more directly.

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I thought Bespoke was your company name for a minute. Wicked uncommon here in northeastern USA :slight_smile:


It is interesting that the word Bespoke is so unknown in the US. When I moved my software there were a number of words such as ‘surname’ that I was told I would need to change or else the users would assume it is not from the US and not buy. But when I tell them I am doing support from Australia they don’t seem to mind.

Strictly speaking bespoke (coming from the word be’spake I think) means made to order. It has come to mean custom made because in today’s world of mass manufacturing and stock keeping those are the only types of goods that require a confirmation from the intended purchaser.

So you can say a sofa is bespoke, because it is made to order even if it comes in a standard size.

Before reading the other posts, here are my thoughts, as successful boostrapped company (we started 20 years ago) who just started outsourcing about 6 years ago, and just started outsourcing development (PHP/ LAMP based) about 3 years ago. (And so far it’s going well)

Overall, I think this idea (if I’m understanding it right, see below) is GREAT! A more focused version of something I recently suggested on this forum (when is someone going to do the PhP version of wpCurve : incidental php support).

  1. Great use of Risk Reversel by giving a Free Consultation, however, it’s not completely clear to me what you are offering. (more on that in a moment)
  2. I think a lot of folks in the USA don’t know what Bespoke means. I’d use “custom” or “your php application” (that’s even more personal while using a shorter clearer word (you, instead of bespoke)
  3. Headline could be more of a benefit (suggestion below)
  4. I’m a bit confused about what you’re offering.
    Is the idea that after the php app is developed, you’d take over and
    provide ongoing mainenance? a Learn More button (or link) would let
    you see (with a micro-conversion) how many people need more
    information (and provide that to them) without cluttering your page.
    I’m immediately skeptical b/c I know how hard it is to take over
    someone else’s code. HOWEVER, since that’s the hardest thing to do,
    it’s actually a GREAT test of your ability. So that seems like a
    great opportunity to address a concern and turn it into a selling
    point. Something like: We provide outstanding support and
    maintenance of PhP applications…even ones we didn’t create
  5. Great “stickines” with the "free guide signup. I’d put the download now closer to the Free guide. You’re violating the P (proximity) of the CRAP rule.
  6. What if I’ve already got a developer? There’s probably still a way to make use of you folks.
  7. I did not know what this means: Application availability (and reliability) is measured in eights, not nines. (I’m familiar with uptime and talking about the “number of 9’s” ( 99.999%) but if that’s what you mean, it shoudl say "nines not eights).
  8. Have you talked to your users about what THEIR concerns are with this sort of thing? (Their concerns become your selling points.) I assume that you’re doing that in your consults.
  9. A lot of technical folks may be afraid (yes afraid) of talking to someone on the phone. You might get some good interaction with a chat window. (I’ve had mixed results with that myself: very few people use it (maybe .1% of users) but I’ve gotten some goo interactions and they are fairly low effort.
2 Likes may have cornered the market on wordpress support.
Seems like a good deal @ $69/month. I"m surprised they can make money but they seem to be doing well.

As a technical person, my problem with having to call for more information is that the sales person on the other end invariably wastes a ton of my time. I don’t like wasting time.


Lots of great feedback, thanks.

A couple of quick points (I may respond in more depth later)

  1. Technical founders are not our target audience, non-technical owners of single-server PHP custom built applications are. My experience tells me that these people want to get on call to speak to a human before parting with cash (I would), hence the call back but as this is MVP landing page I’ll definitely take the feedback on-board and see how we might improve this touch point.

  2. Totally hear you on ‘Bespoke’, even though our initial marketing focus is closer to home (UK) there’s no point confusing people so we’ll get it changed

  3. The plan is to hoover up lots of people dissatisfied with their app or supplier and who are struggling to find a new supplier that talks their language: commercially focused, great support and ongoing development options. You might be surprised at just how many custom built 5+ (even 10!) year old PHP apps there are out there that are still viable commercially but they just are not getting the love and a lot of developers don’t want to touch them with a barge pole.


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