Case Study — RadiateWP

After 136+ audits (and counting), RadiateWP's Carol Stambaugh is an in-demand thought leader

After 136+ audits (and counting), RadiateWP's Carol Stambaugh is an in-demand thought leader


Stand out in a crowd of commodity-focused, "same as the next one" WordPress maintenance agencies.


Compile the data produced by My Web Audit into a thought leadership report that opens the door to speaking opportunities and consistently impresses rooms full of ideal clients.

"I've gotten some of our best new clients from presenting [MWA] data. My Web Audit makes you look like a rock star."
Carol Stambaugh Carol Stambaugh / RadiateWP

Many agency owners focus on development, design, or digital marketing. Not Arizona's Carol Stambaugh, though—she has built a successful business primarily on maintenance and support.

In fact, RadiateWP supports nearly 100 sites. And although Carol still does new website builds here and there, she knows that maintenance is their bread and butter. It's what keeps her and a partner working full-time. (And what keeps their mini-army of contractors busy, too.)

My Web Audit is key to her approach and has played a significant role in RadiateWP's growth.

But it wasn't always that way.

"Gosh, I should find one of my old spreadsheets," she laughs.

"I had built a checklist in Google Sheets. And it said things like, "Go and do a Google speed test, then record the results here.

"I would spend an incredible amount of time on it. And to be honest, I don't think it takes us a lot less with My Web Audit because we're very thorough. That's our choice because you can do a great audit with MWA in 5 or 10 minutes.

"But I can say this compared to our old spreadsheet—the quality of what we give to our clients is infinitely better.

"For example, we take the time to customize all the comments. Or we'll look at all the plugins and themes as a part of an MWA WordPress Technical audit and check on the licenses, then report license status back to the client. ‘OK, who owns this license? Do we need to get it?' It's amazing how much time that takes, but it's worth it—and we couldn't do it without MWA."

How Carol uses My Web Audit

Carol has her MWA process down to a science.

"We use the embeddable widget on our site to capture leads, so website visitors can start the audit process themselves if they'd like.

"But with clients, we go deeper. Any time we bring someone on to a maintenance plan, we first do a site audit with MWA.

"I have a team that does the audit, with two people doing different tasks. One of my team is excellent at wrapping everything up, so after everything on the audit is done and scored, she comes in and does a walkthrough video with a service called Dubb.

"She shares her screen and walks through the entire site audit for the client. So the client not only gets the reports, but they also get a 15- to 20-minute explainer video that goes through everything in the audit.

"We send that to the client and then do a follow-up consultation. "OK, what are the priorities? What would you like us to take care of, and what do you want to do yourself?

"We tell them we're there to help as much as they want. We have some clients who like to tinker with their websites. And we certainly wouldn't want to take that from them. So we just fill in wherever they want or need us.

"Other clients want to be hands-off. "Yeah, we'll handle all the alt text, but we don't understand this piece of it, so you can take that?

"In other words, some clients might need only a block of hours, and others are on a managed plan.

"For that second group, we'll go back and do another audit after a year to show them what's changed and what new issues might have cropped up."

What MWA has done for RadiateWP

This focus on audits has led to something unexpected for Carol—a side hustle as a web standards expert.

"We've been running audits for almost two years.

"And it occurred to me, "Gosh, we do a heck of a lot of audits, and we've got so much data. Why are we not collecting and using that data?

"So I had a virtual assistant go back in time for about a year and a half and go through every single audit that we've ever done. She created a spreadsheet listing all the different audit points that we check.

"I was able to turn all that data into something I present to groups. For example, I speak to non-profit associations in states like Arizona and Washington, showing them the top 5 most common website mistakes. I use our work with MWA as the baseline data, which means I can quote stats and figures, not just opinions.

"For example, I can very confidently say that over the websites we've looked at, the average score for mobile page speed across the websites we've looked at is 41.94 out of 100. That kind of specificity builds credibility."

And it leads, she says, to great opportunities.

"I've gotten some of our best new clients from presenting that data. In fact—and this was one of the reasons why we've started getting back into building sites—a new client approached us because they couldn't find anyone qualified to build a learning management system. To make a long story short, we got quite a nice-sized project out of that. And of course, we're going to be managing the site long-term—and it all started with that presentation."

Why Carol loves MWA

Carol prides herself on being a transparent salesperson who tells it like it is. That means, of course, that she'll tell anyone and everyone they should be spending more time with My Web Audit.

"If you want this to work well for you—at least in my experience—you're going to spend a little bit of time getting everything precisely as you want it.

"Yes, you can use it out of the box and get great results. But because MWA is so customizable, you can tweak it to where it works exactly for your agency services. So you're going to want to spend some time getting in there and customizing it.

"But once you get that done, it runs itself.

"I literally have just an Asana template that I use now. Whenever we have a new website audit, we put the template into the client's project and assign the tasks. Boom, it's done. My team knows exactly what to do—and it makes a great impression on the client.

"Because what you're delivering to your client is this incredibly professional report.

"No joke—My Web Audit makes you look like a rock star."