The Best CRM System For Web Design Professionals: Perfex

Published: 10 months ago

The Perfex CRM is a great solution for a individual web designer, freelancer, or small design studio. Our agency has been using this tool to manage projects, build clients, and to track leads, for around three years, and wanted to offer our thoughts on the platform (for full transparency, we just moved away from this tool to Salesforce as we have grown as a company – discussed more below).

This article serves as our Perfex CRM Review, from an agency perspective.

Any web design professional, be it a digital agency or an individual freelancer needs a customer relations management system. This tool is used to manage leads, track project progress, track billable hours, offer clients a personalized way to interact with you agency digitally, and invoice those clients is for your services completed. There are a ton of options out there, and we have used a lot of them, including wave, FreshBooks, QuickBooks, and more. However, if you're looking for a cost effective option, none of these workout very well because they are billed monthly, and relatively expensive for the features that they offer.

If you're looking for the best CRM for a smaller web design studio or individual, Perfex is the perfect solution on the market. That's because it comes with a ton of individual features oriented towards website creators, and is incredibly cheap when compared to competing solutions out there.

First, let's briefly run through the features of the Perfex CRM, then take a look at the pricing, and then discuss our personal experience as an agency using this tool for three years.

The Perfex CRM offers a ton of features created specifically for website creation professionals. It's perfect if you are an individual, freelancer, or small agency, primarily under five people. The tool is self hosted, meaning that you have complete control over all of its systems, and incredibly expandable do too a number of premium add-ons created by the primary developer as well as third party entities.

Perfex Features

The features are vast, and covers several areas of your web design business. Essentially, it offers everything that you need from the lead management to the proposal creation to the project tracking to the contract organization to the invoices and payments. Here are the main selling points (at least for us):

  • The financial side of things. Here you can easily create invoices, track expenses, and then get paid through your platform via integrations to Stripe and PayPal. This is super helpful if you're trying to manage your books and don't want to pay an obscene amount for an accounting system.
  • The customer side of things. This allows you to track all of your leads, emails out, and more. Once the lead is converted into a paying customer, they can be added to your system where you list all of their information, and can connect them to projects and invoices. A part of this is the proposal tool which allows you to create proposals that look good and help you convert.
  • The project side of things. Here, you manage your projects, track all billable hours, and attach all associated documentation to the individual project such as contracts and proposals. The customer can view and create tasks, and you can track your progress easily through this tool.
  • Tickets and support. For support, customers can easily create tickets, which you can then attach billable hours to. You can also easily send surveys to get some feedback. There's also a fully featured knowledge base / documentation tool, which is public facing and great if you need to offer education to your customers that is standard throughout all of your projects.
  • There are tons of other features such as team communication and more on the back end of the platform. Additionally, there are a bunch of super high quality, well developed addons for the tool which includes specific functionalities that we will discuss at a later point.

Of all of the features, the biggest selling point to us, and to many website design professionals is the well featured invoice system that ships with this tool. As you may have gathered from our feature rundown, all aspects of this platform are connected to each other. For example, customers can have invoices attached to them, customers can also be added to individual projects where billed hours are tracked and then formed into an invoice, and more.

You can also easily track your expenses, and attach them to the individual invoice or discount them from that invoice.

Once invoiced, a payment receipt is generated for both you and your customer, and that financial transaction is categorized in the system, which is easily searchable and exportable when it comes time to taxes and balancing the books.

In terms of actually invoicing your customers, this is done through your online platform, and the payment is managed through a third party service like PayPal.

Customers are notified of this invoice, and all other activity on their account via email notifications. The invoice is also attached as a PDF for easy record keeping on their end. In our opinion, invoicing is one of the more important aspects of website creation, and this platform excels in that area.

You can also set up recurring invoices with stripe subscriptions, so if you're selling maintenance plans or website hosting, you can automatically bill your clients through this tool.

In fact, if you're looking for an invoicing platform, and don't even need the rest of the CRM, this is definitely worth a look, especially because it's a single time purchase (and self hosted).

Perfex Pricing

On the topic of price, let's take a look at the costs of this platform, and compare it to some other offerings out there.

This is a Codecanyon item, And the regular license only costs $59. That's not $59 per month, like other competing platforms out there, that's a $59 one time payment that includes all future updates. It's definitely a good deal, and over 12,000 people see that as well.

Let's compare this to QuickBooks and FreshBooks, which offer similar platforms but aren't oriented towards website creators. The simplest QuickBooks plan costs $25 per month, and the simplest FreshBooks plan costs $148.00 per year, and don't contain all of the features that this Perfex CRM does.

Our Experience

For the past three years we have used this platform as our main project tracking tool, invoicing system, knowledge base, and more. We've had a great experience with it, and even created our own custom theme, using basic CSS, to completely white label the tool and offer clients a unique experience. Virtually every dollar of billable hours has gone through this tool, and we've used it on projects that included multiple full-time employees, independent contractors, and more.

Perfex did its job perfectly in the hour tracking, task management of projects, customer classification, invoicing, and more. We simply never had an issue with it, and after setting it up, just used it for the past three years.

Now, as we grow in project value, and number of employees, we simply need a more robust platform that is more oriented towards enterprise applications. However, we wholeheartedly recommend this tool to anybody looking for a complete customer relationship management and invoicing tool for website design and website development services.

The Setup/Hosting

A unique selling point of this platform is the fact that it is self hosted. What that means is that you need to provide the hosting for it, but it is accessible on the Internet once you set it up. For some, this may be a drawback, but for us this gave us complete control over our data, hosting, and platform.

Setting it up was actually very easy, and all you need to do is follow the well written instructions discussing how to do just that.

Initially, we used Bluehost shared hosting for our host (not recommended), but after issues when multiple clients and staff members were using the platform, we upgraded the Perfex CRM hosting to Cloudways, and had no issues.

Powerful Addons

One of the best parts about the Perfex CRM is the fact that there are a ton of add-ons out there that extend the usability functionality and flexibility of the platform. While we used the platform, there were several integral add-ons that we purchased and installed:

  • Perfex CRM Chat
    • This adds a self hosted live chat feature directly to the CRM, incredibly helpful if you’re offering realtime customer support.
  • Appointly - Perfex CRM Appointments
    • Kind of like Calendly, this allows individuals to self schedule appointments with you, and cross reference it to the internal calendar that ships with Perfex CRM.
  • Custom SMS & Email Notifications for Perfex
    • This is allows you to send out SMS notifications when you create a project, close a task, or send an invoice.

Add-on installation follows a standard procedure, and is relatively easy to do. The platform is meant to be extended by these add-ons, or custom development, and truly can grow with you to a point. (Read more about addons in this article).

Not Just For Web Designers/Agencies

As we did our research when preparing to purchase this product, we read through the reviews in CodeCanyon I noticed that many web designers did use this CRM, but also many other companies such as jewelry businesses, startups, and more also used this tool. So, if you’re reading our Perfex CRM Review And you're not a web designer, but you find yourself thinking that this may be a great platform for you, know that others are in the same boat.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a fully featured CRM or alternative to costly platforms like Wave, FreshBooks and others, definitely consider the Perfex CRM. As an agency, we have used this tool for over three years and only have good things to say about it. If you have any specific questions about it (or our review of it), feel free to ask in the comments below.

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George
4 months ago

Hey!

George from themesic here.

Congrats on the wonderful article. Explanation is complete - Perfex is just a diamond CRM.

Just felt like sharing a complete module's list our team developed for serving special needs of clientbase, which may fit your readers' needs aswell: https://codecanyon.net/user/themesic/portfolio

Cheers.

IsoGroup- Web Dev/Design, WordPress and More
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$59 • v2.7.0

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