In Summer 2016, we began offering a site cleaning service for people with hacked websites. In Spring 2017, we added a second service: site security audits. The popularity of both services has grown tremendously since then. We now service hundreds of sites every month.
Our approach to cleaning or auditing a website requires a highly trained security analyst to perform hours of work on each site. We know that there are shortcuts we could take to speed up the process, but only at the expense of quality. That’s not a trade-off we’re willing to make.
At the same time, while demand for our services is consistently strong, it is also highly volatile. In the last year, we cleaned 3.6 times more sites in our busiest week than in our slowest. These increases in demand are driven largely by the success of cybercriminals at any given time, which is impossible to forecast. We continue to work on our ability to adjust our capacity to match incoming demand, but inevitably there are times when demand exceeds our maximum capacity.
To date, we have dealt with this problem by posting an estimated wait time at checkout. This worked quite well for a long time. Unfortunately we hit a point last month where it stopped working. During an unprecedented spike in order volume, our posted wait times grew to 7 business days. That is simply too long to wait. We knew we needed a new approach.
Introducing High Demand Pricing
Beginning today, we are changing the way we handle spikes in demand for our site security services. When the number of orders exceeds a preset threshold, we will be increasing our prices. The price increases will be expressed as a multiplier, eg 1.4x. For example, a single site cleaning purchased during a period where the high demand pricing multiplier is 1.2 would cost $214.80 (1.2 x $179). As demand increases, we will continue to increase the size of the multiplier.
We believe that with this change, price elasticity will dampen demand during spikes, preventing our security services team from getting swamped with orders and ensuring that you receive an acceptable turnaround time.
We will be closely monitoring the impact the pricing multiplier has on order volume and making adjustments as necessary.
A Continued Focus on Customer and Employee Experience
We have always prided ourselves on providing industry-leading customer service. We also work very hard to make Defiant a company that the best people in the industry want to work for. With that in mind, our approach to handling the inevitable mismatch between demand for services and our capacity to serve it could not compromise on the experience of our customers or employees doing the work.
We are confident that this change in approach will allow us deliver on both. We recognize that this will be an adjustment for many of you longtime customers. Your continued support is what enables us to remain the leader in WordPress security and ultimately make the web safer.