Aaron Meredith is Co-Founder and Director of Digital Media at Malt, an award-winning strategic design studio creating impactful brand and design solutions through the power of storytelling and technology. Malt is a WP Engine partner.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, Meredith shares his insights on taking a client-centric approach, web design and hosting with WP Engine.
At Malt, they take a holistic and client-centric approach providing end-to-end solutions across web design, development, branding, content and web hosting. The agency’s smaller size allows for understanding the unique needs and goals of their clients and their target audience.
Hosting with WP Engine
Before switching to WP Engine hosting, Malt used an array of hosting providers and services for their client’s WordPress sites. WP Engine proved to be an excellent fit due to its WordPress-specific infrastructure, and the security and scalability of its websites. In that sense, partnering with WP Engine allowed Malt to focus on its holistic solutions.
“Our development team internally was yearning for a solution that was uncompromised and delivered support, performance security and scalability,” Meredith said. “From Studio Malt’s point of view, it was very hard to find a service provider like that, not just locally but internationally.
“Seven years ago WP Engine came across our desk and we haven’t really turned back.”
As a reseller of WP Engine Managed Hosting, Malt offers substantial value to clients while ensuring a seamless migration to the platform. In addition, clients receive a dedicated support team specializing in WordPress applications and hosting.
“It’s important to be talking about the infrastructure support and maintenance from the scoping stage of an actual project to find a little bit more about what type of resources are available at the client end,” Meredith says.
Malt uses a tiered pricing model for generating revenue, one which aligns with the level of services and specific needs of their clients. The pricing model offers monthly subscription fees based on the hosting plan associated with infrastructure and maintenance. This model provides their clients with flexibility depending on their needs and budget.
“We find the right solutions to the right client at a range of different price points,” Meredith says. “We have particular clients on service or support and maintenance agreements but they may not need infrastructure.”
Conversely other clients may not need that level of support and maintenance at all.
Website design and content have become increasingly important to the user experience as it continuously changes and evolves. Malt prioritizes personalization and customer engagement in order to reach their audience and promote brand loyalty. Compelling content, which cannot be truly replicated through AI, elicits strong emotional connections, allowing clients to foster authentic relationships and build trust with their audience as they explore their brand further.
“We really want to maintain that relationship to continuously enhance the final web application to make sure that it remains the most human-centric design application possible,” Meredith says.
He recommends generating “really unique content that is not AI-generated, that tells a story of a brand that’s engaging to your users and sings across a multi-channel strategy.”
Future of the Website
Despite some views that websites have become increasingly irrelevant in today’s world, Meredith believes that websites will remain vitial digital touchpoints. That said, in order for a website to remain relevant, it must adapt. It’s also important for clients to take a mobile-first approach in relation to websites and incorporate Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), AI integration, responsive design and interactive experiences.
Malt partnered with the nonprofit Crohn’s and Colitis Australia to build a modern WordPress application that would speak to an older audience needing a smoother experience when searching for information or engaging in an online community.
Since the site was so content-heavy, Malt redesigned it in a way to guide users through their health journey armed with plenty of information, but without information overload.