Manage WP: One WordPress dashboard to rule all them all

BY Vukašin Stojkov ON June 7

Manage WP is a Belgrade company whose product allows its users to manage multiple installations of WordPress through one dashboard. This startup already has more than 30.000 users and in the following period it will shift its focus from the product to business development.

As the founder and CEO of Manage WP, Vladimir Prelovac, says, their goal to reach 0.5% of all websites on the Internet with their platform (currently this number is at 0.04%) and to reach $1.000.000 million in monthly revenue. One additional goal is to demonstrate that it is possible to create a globally successful startup from Serbia.

WordPress is the most popular CMS platform on the planet and is being used by more than 70 million websites. It is indeed a huge market for products like Manage WP.

Many Internet professionals manage a number of different websites based on this platform and their maintenance can be a time consuming pain in the backside. This is especially true if you have tens or even hundreds of these kinds of websites.

Manage WP solves this problem by making it possible for users to upgrade WordPress, add and manage both plugins and content, all from one single dashboard, thus making it easier and faster for them to manage their online properties.

This startup is also interesting due to the fact that it became profitable in the first month after public launch.

The users of Manage WP can choose from a number of different packages depending on their needs, costing them between 7 and 330$ per month. Enterprise licences for those with large numbers of sites and bigger needs could set you back between 3.500 to 10.000$ per year, and make 10% of the company’s income.

Aside from managing the system, plugins and content, Manage WP offers an array of useful features.

The users can get notifications about a site being down as well as see reports on these kinds of problems. If there is a surge of visits (a Slashdot/Digg/TechCrunch effect) users can get informed about these and take appropriate measures to seize the opportunity.

Manage WP also offers tools for SEO optimization and Google Analytics integration, as well as other options like backups and securing the websites from malicious threats.

With 2.500 paying customers, a growing and talented team (16 people in 4 countries) Manage WP is one of the most promising and most ambitious startups from this region, definitely one to keep an eye on in the coming period.

To learn more about the company and its plans for the future we had a talk with the founder / CEO Vladimir Prelovac.

Kako se javila ideja za pravljenje proizvoda koji je postao Manage WP?

WordPress has been the most popular CMS on the Internet for years now, with over 25 million websites that are based on it. There was a hole in the market for a product that could make it easier to manage WordPress based websites.

This was pointed out to me by a business partner who wanted something similar developed for him, so in 2010 we started building the product. At the time we were the only ones, and now we have over 20 competitors.

How long did the development phase last and what were the main challenges?

It took 18 months between the start and launch. The biggest challenge was finding the right people, the right mix of talent and dedication to the product and vision. Another significant challenge for me personally was finding the way from being a programmer (which is what I did for 15 years) to being the person leading a growing company. This is an area where I still have a lot to learn.

Manage WP has been profitable right from the start – how did you achieve this?

We launched the beta in the first month. This enabled us to get to 20.000 registered users even while development was still underway.

During the official launch we simply offered 30% off to everyone if they stayed with us and a significant number of them accepted. This made it possible for us to turn a profit in that first month after the launch.

In what phase is ManageWP now and what are the plans for the future?

ManageWP is currently in expansion phase. We’re slowly shifting the focus from product development to company growth. We still intend to push new features so as to keep our users happy, and keep the competition at bay. For instance soon we’ll be launching an iOS app and a module for scanning websites for malware.

Also, we have just founded a company in the US where we intend to get three or four persons who will be in charge of growth on that market, where we’re doing most of our business currently.

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