What happened to the Summer update? Well, we were on a roll with some pretty impressive stuff, so we held the roll-out so we could polish what we had and push it even further. So here it is, our Summer/Fall super update! We’re excited to announce all of the awesome new things we’ve been working on that’ll be brought to the platform.
Managed WordPress Updates
We’ve been providing our Managed WordPress service to small businesses and nonprofit organizations for a little over a year now. Our team took a look at our offerings, what our competitors are offering, and most importantly what you want out of the service. We’re thrilled to announce the following additions to Managed WordPress:
Hummingbird Pro – Configures page caching and optimizes your site to run faster and serve pages to your visitors as quick as possible. This is now included with all Managed WordPress plans. Basic plans receive the basic Hummingbird plugin.
Defender Pro – Our classic Defender plugin has gotten a significant upgrade: all premium features (admin lockout, spam prevention, file scanning) are now standard – yes, you read that right – with all Managed WordPress plans. Basic plans receive the basic Defender plugin.
WordPress 101 [beta] – by request from almost all of our clients, we’ve added WP101 to Hosted and Advanced plans. WP101 provides walkthrough videos and explanations of the WordPress basics – Page vs Post, modifying menus, etc – as well as some more advanced how-to’s. As this is new for us, we’ll be slowly rolling this out and expanding the video library throughout the rest of the year.
Smush Pro – You can now optimize even MORE images! That’s right, we’re including Smush PRO with all MWP Hosted and Advanced plans. Say goodbye to image placeholders while full-res images load – you’re pictures will be served over our CDN and optimized for the proper device they’re being loaded on.
This summer, we completely overhauled the backend of our site management system, which means (you guessed it) another Dashboard update! We’ll begin testing our updated Managed WordPress Dashboard with select clients this fall, and plan to roll out the upgrade to all clients and sites by the end of the year. Our new system allows you to view your bill, subscriptions, add-ons, and even manage email accounts for your staff/employees. I’m personally really excited to see what you think. Contact us if you’d like to join the beta for MWP Dashboard 3.0.
Single Sign On
Yes, finally! We heard you, and to be honest we wanted this just as much as you did. If you have Managed G Suite through Smashstar Media, you’ll be able to sync your G Suite and WordPress users seamlessly. You’ll now find your website listed in the Google App switcher, which will open and automatically log you into your website!
For clients that have more than one account (website) through us, you’ll be able to access all of your sites with a single account. This can also be mapped to G Suite, Office 365, and even Salesforce! If you’d like this added to your existing site, drop us a line and we’ll get that set up for you.
We’ve migrated the Smashstar Media team from our proprietary email solution to Google’s G Suite this month to accommodate modern spam filters, large email attachments, and shared Drive links from our clients.
IMPORTANT: All website page addition, change, or deletion requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org – this will forward to everyone in development who will ultimately be doing the work. All other requests should be sent to email@example.com. Questions regarding bills should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Emergencies (website down, email down, domain issues) should still be reported as soon as possible by texting or calling 508-556-0444.
Expanding Our Team
I don’t think I ever wrote about the people making all this magic happen. As you may or may not know, Michael Bean joined in one way or another almost a year ago. Mike handles all accounts, billing, and general business operations (doing all the hard stuff, and I’m forever grateful).
This summer we also added Ryan Burque and Lindsey Gravel to the team. Ryan will be taking on a lot of our development tasks, from updating sites to provisioning new servers and domains. Lindsey will be handling new client on-boarding and leading our Customer Success department. If you don’t hear from them over the next month, feel free to reach out and say hi – mike@, ryan@, and lindsey@ …smashstarmedia.com.
Sturbridge Community Bonfire
Oct 3, 2019, 4-8pm — We’ll be attending the Sturbridge Community bonfire this October 3, from 4-8pm. Come join us and several other local businesses for food, games, live music, and a ton of fun. We’ll have swag and goodies for anyone that stops by our table!
(Date TBD) — We’ll be hosting a WordPress Bootcamp for existing and potential clients, as well as anyone else that wants to learn the basics of WordPress. We’ll cover best practices, how to add content, managing themes, updating menus, and even talk about some really helpful plugins.
G Suite Bootcamp
(Date TBD) — As we’ve added G Suite to our lineup, we figured it would be helpful to go over the basics of starting, managing, and maintaining a Google environment. We’ll cover all the basics, as well as best-practices, things to avoid, and all the cool things you can and should be doing to make the most of the subscription fee.
Well that was a lot – as always, don’t hesitate to reach out to myself our our team with any questions, comments, or concerns you may have. We’re always happy to talk and help out.
Owner, Lead Developer