Let’s talk about WaaS Site Templates!
But first, let’s repeat the definitions of the two main concepts at play:
- Tenant: a website that you manage (for a client), that lives under a Version
- Snapshot: a set of instructions taken from your Version that command the tenants that live under it
When we launched WPCS, we imaged a unique UI that makes managing and developing WordPress websites much easier.
The result is our Version Control System, where you create a Version of your Website Product that in turns commands all the tenants that live under it. As you deploy a Snapshot of your Version, you send instructions to all tenants.
It has changed the way WaaS manages websites at scale.
Why create templates using Tenant Snapshots
Over the past 3 months, we noticed that our users wanted a way to demonstrate fully customized websites to their audience and use these as exact clones for new tenants.
It makes sense. Don’t you also have a killer tenant that you’d want to use as a blueprint for new tenants?
We understand that you want to offer clients different templates/demos as the starting point to customize their website.
Perhaps you have a Website as a Service (WaaS) that offers websites to different niches. Maybe you’re a traditional web developer that wants to standardize the workflow.
Introducing “Tenant Snapshots”: an easier way to offer a range of different templates, that all share the same theme and plugins.
Tenant Snapshots differ from normal Snapshots in the sense that they’re based on specific tenants, instead of your Snapshot Editor.
This means that you can now fully customize a tenant, complete with styling, and turn this into a snapshot to generate new tenants with.
This makes a Tenant Snapshot an ideal way to create many different site templates by building out tenants that all live under the same Version.
How to use Tenant Snapshots to build many different Site Templates
First off, start by building out your Website Product in the Snapshot Editor as you normally would.
The Snapshot Editor remains the place to build out your basic product, where you include all the functionalities that all your websites share.
Make sure to include all possible plugins and standardize your Website Product for all clients. This way, you set yourself up to manage all your Site Templates under the same Version of your Website Product.
After deploying a Snapshot of your Version, you create a tenant that you want to build out to a template that new clients can choose from.
Next, customize and stylize this tenant exactly as you want your template to be. After you’re finished, go back to the Tenant details in the WPCS Console and create a Tenant Snapshot of that tenant.
You can now use this exact website/tenant as a Site Template to generate new tenants.
What the customer journey could look like
For example: ‘Johns Dentists Practise’ signs up on your website, and he has selected from a list of templates/demos that you’re offering to clients.
After successful onboarding, the API is hit (using our Zapier integration), creating a new tenant for ‘Johns Dentists Practice,’ that’s based on a Tenant Snapshot, instead of a Version.
Each site that you’ve launched differs in appearance because the individual settings are stored in each site’s own database tables, yet maintenance, upgrades or new features are still executed centrally through the Version Control System.
After you’ve saved them as Snapshots, you won’t have to run these Site Templates as live installations, saving you tons on your monthly bill.
Have a look at our documentation to learn more about Tenant Snapshots and API configuration here.