It’s almost unbelievable how much of the online world relies on the hard work of smaller digital agencies. Innumerable full-scale, high-performing websites have teams of only three, four, or five dedicated people behind them. More remarkably, those agency teams are repeating their magic for multiple clients.
We understand this side of the digital economy, and we believe that it can be made even more effective.
The secret is letting everyone in your agency spend as much time as possible doing work that they’re great at, and which delivers value to your customers. You know, the stuff that your customers love.
What’s not a secret is that no-one in your agency is great at server administration. You’re experts in a lot of things, but cloud hosting isn’t one of them. We understand that.
Dealing With Web Hosting Can Slow You Down a Lot
What we don’t understand is why so many so-called hosting “solutions” make your life so hard. You know what we mean: From the moment you log in to check a server, it looks like your browser has gone back in time. Sometimes it feels like you need to learn a whole new language just to begin. And forget about getting help when you need it – personal service is priced for the heavy hitters only.
You’re the last to know when something goes wrong – like when a site starts running slowly or goes down entirely. And every time you stand up a new website, you have to brace for a bigger bill.
All you want to do is not have to worry about this stuff. You’ve looked into what it would cost to have somebody else take care of everything, but it’s not much cheaper than hiring your own team – and your agency isn’t that sort of a place.
It Doesn’t Have to Be Like This
We’ve talked to a lot of agencies around the world about what it’s like out there (some of the best people we’ve met from Agencyland have even joined our Mavericks program). We’ve heard your pain, and we understand.
Things don’t need to be as hard as they are. It’s possible to keep your head (and your schedule) clear for the valuable client work that makes your agency tick. This peace of mind comes when you don’t have to worry about web hosting issues like your clients’ sites running slowly, or missing out on updates and patches.
The answer isn’t magic, even if it feels that way to some of our customers. All we’ve done is listen really carefully to agencies like yours and solved those things that get in their way.
Five Steps to Getting Web Hosting Right for Smaller Agencies
At the risk of giving away the secret to our success here at Cloudways, here’s a quick look at the formula we’ve brewed up for our agency clients. People love it.
Step One: Enable solid managed hosting decisions. We give agencies (and every other Cloudways customer) the choice between five cloud hosting providers with servers all around the world.
Want a market leader? AWS or Google Cloud awaits. Looking for something more cost-effective, or in a different niche? Pick DigitalOcean, Linode, or VULTR.
It’s your server and your choice. And whatever server choice you make, that’s what your invoice will be based on. No matter how many sites you host, our accountants won’t get excited.
The sites that you run through Cloudways can reflect your preferences, too. We make it really easy to install WordPress, Magento, Laravel, or custom PHP.
Step Two: End the confusion. Whatever host and application you choose, you get the same Cloudways Platform interface. The old, confusing tools you’ve been using are in the past now. cPanel? More like c’ya Later Panel.
Every time we work on the Platform, we make it easy for you to do what you need. It’s all about control without confusion. We don’t expect you to know everything about managed cloud hosting (you can leave that to us).
But the really clever part is how we often stop you from even needing that interface in the first place.
Step Three: Turn “do it yourself” into “do less”. What’s better than making it easy for Cloudways users to do things? Making it so they have less to do in the first place. The more time agencies can spend on designing, developing and improving their clients’ websites, the better. This is why we automate away so much of the back-end effort.
For example, we’ve done a lot of work to improve load times and website speed, so you don’t have to. The tech stack (and extras) that we provide are ready to run fast from day one. We love it when our agency clients tell us that load times have improved just because they’ve moved to Cloudways.
We make that move easy, too. For example, our free WordPress plugin migrates sites in three easy steps (we take care of Magento and other migrations too).
Then there are the monitoring tools that keep an eye on vital server resources (like RAM, CPU, bandwidth, storage, caching, and database connections) and application resources (like traffic, PHP performance, cron jobs, and disk usage). All these monitoring data are easy to find and understand.
Every agency on Cloudways also gets a clever little helper who can keep you in the loop about everything from server health to backups to application upgrades. That’s how CloudwaysBot rolls, every minute of every day. We’re not here to bug you, though, so these messages are opt-in (and available via email, Slack, HipChat, or an API).
The Cloudways Platform even takes care of backups.
Step Four: When you have work to do, we help you work together. A lot of other web hosting set-ups don’t seem to understand that agencies are made up of multiple people with different jobs to do. Meanwhile, on the Cloudways Platform, you can easily collaborate. Team members have access only to relevant areas of the Platform, with controllable permissions.
You can even create a clone of your site or application to use as a test environment. Then you can reduce risk by letting your team lose on this clone and only pushing changes live later.
Step Five: Be here to help, whenever you need it. This is one of the biggest pain points we hear from agencies: when something goes wrong customer support isn’t up to the task if it’s up at all. But if you’re on Cloudways and you get stuck with something you’re never, ever alone.
Middle of the workday? Hit us up on Live Chat. 9 PM? Just open a Live Chat and we’ll be there. 3 AM? That’s right: Live Chat. There’s always a team of real people with real training waiting to help you out. This 24/7/365 support comes standard for everyone on Cloudways. (Our Advanced and Premium Support add-ons go even further, and are definitely worth considering if your agency runs mission-critical websites for clients.)
Five Things That Make Your Job Easier, and Your Agency Better
So that’s it. These five things capture what Cloudways does for digital agencies:
Enable solid hosting decisions. End the confusion. Turn “do it yourself” into “do less”. When you have work to do, help you work together. And be here to help, whenever you need it.
This is a simple formula that gives agencies more time and headspace to spend working on the important stuff. As proud as we are of the technology behind our Platform, and the clever time-savers that we’ve built into it, our biggest goal is making it easier for you to run a kick-ass agency. When you can do great things for your clients, we’re at our happiest.
Why not take a three-day trial and see what life is like with Cloudways? It costs nothing, and we reckon it’s more than enough time to see how much easier things can be.
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Max is Cloudways' Director of Content. Based in New Zealand, he is a digital content strategist with experience in markets from software to higher education. He has spoken at industry conferences in Australasia, America and Africa. When he's away from screens he can be found with his young family walking in New Zealand's native bush, or helping out at his local toy library.