Getting services ready for Joomla 4 - Robert Deutz
As a Joomla user, you may wonder whether the Joomla! extensions and services you use will be compatible with the upcoming major version, Joomla 4. What better way to find out than asking the developers? For our February issue, we had the pleasure to interview Robert Deutz from BackupMonkey, a dashboard you can use to backup, update and maintain all your websites at once. And together with the guarantee that their service will be fully J4-ready, he also gives us a lot of useful tips for offering maintenance to our clients!
Can you tell us a little bit about your service?
BackupMonkey was founded in 2018 by David Jardin, Lukas Jardin and Robert Deutz. It offers a user-friendly interface for managing multiple Joomla installations. From a single dashboard, Joomla itself and extensions can be easily updated or backups of the websites can be made using AkeebaBackup Pro. We also offer a SecurityCheck, which inspects the site's configuration and files for possible security issues. For this purpose, a slim component, our RemoteMonkey, is installed on the websites and a connection to the dashboard is established by it.
The idea for the service emerged from our daily work as Joomla service providers. Although there were already similar tools on the market, they were 'too powerful' for us and we also lacked the possibility to test the functionality of a backup archive. We wanted to be sure that we could always provide our customers with a fully functional backup.
In addition to the actual dashboard, we also offer special discounts for Joomla extensions and services in cooperation with our great partners and marketing materials as support for our customers with our BackupMonkey Toolbox. This is how we try to support our community comprehensively.
Will your service be J!4 compatible?
But of course! We are already working behind the scenes on the further development of our clients. We are making good progress so that we can support our community with a fully functional version for the launch of Joomla 4.
Why should every Joomla service provider offer a maintenance service package to their customers?
In our opinion, there are at least three good reasons for this:
- It is incredibly easy money and lucrative.
- Maintenance Contracts offer a perfect Follow-Up to completed Web Projects
- It improves the reputation of our favourite CMS Joomla as fewer sites have security issues due to outdated installations or extensions.
As an agency, you can build up a predictable passive income on the basis of maintenance contracts, which on the one hand guarantees economic security on the basis of recurring income and on the other hand leaves time for the strategic development of your own business.
Maintenance contracts also usually ensure that you build up long-term contact with your customers. Often, contact is reduced to a minimum after the typical project process: 'Briefing - Development - Launch' ends. A maintenance contract gives you the chance to present yourself as a long-term partner and not just as the fire fighters in case of an emergency.
Finally, Joomla websites that are up-to-date mean a healthy ecosystem for the entire CMS. A healthy ecosystem in turn has a positive impact on the business of all service providers, as we can deliver a better product to our customers.
From your point of view as a Joomla agency offering a maintenance service: What are the best tips for getting started?
As an agency, we have experienced that it can be very easy to get started, but there are a few things you should keep in mind. First of all, you should be clear about your tech stack and consider how work processes can be automated as far as possible. Only if the actual maintenance work can be reduced to a minimum is it possible to offer maintenance contracts economically for both sides. In our blog, we have written an article on how the backup process can be automated quickly and cost-effectively with the help of our service, AkeebaBackup and Amazon S3: https://backupmonkey.io/en/blog/30-automating-joomla-backups-with-akeeba-backup-backupmonkey-and-amazon-s3
You should offer the service proactively when preparing the offer for the actual development of a site and point out that content management systems require maintenance work. The argumentation should concentrate on communicating the economic benefits for the end customers, as they can focus on their core business.
How do you want to support your users in the future? What is the roadmap?
This year, in addition to improving existing features, we plan to integrate Wordpress as a second content management system for our service. We are receiving more and more feedback from our customers that maintenance services are usually offered for both systems.
In addition, we want to continue to provide the Joomla community with further goodies in 2021 that support the sustainable development of a Joomla business. For this purpose, we have already published our boilerplate for the development of our own templates on Github in December (https://github.com/backupmonkey/template-boilerplate). Of course, we are always happy to see improvements and participation of the community!
How do you expect the launch of J4 to impact your business?
We think in the long term it will have a positive impact, the short term impact will be more on the agency business with migrating websites to Joomla 4. But we are very excited about the release of Joomla 4 as we believe it will provide all Joomla professionals with a strong, sustainable foundation for developing client websites in the future.
At this point we would like to take the opportunity to thank all the volunteers, because it is not a matter of course to sacrifice your private time for the project. We as a team are also involved in the community (e.g. as the team lead of the Security Strike Team and the CMS Maintenance Team) and are happy that J!4 will soon be launched as a community project!