After having started as part of an SEO agency, WPSpeedFix experienced an instant rise to fame and soon people started asking Brendan and his team for standalone speed optimization services. “We were optimizing SEO client sites for speed and then people started asking us for standalone speed optimization services so we split those services out into a separate brand.”
Brendan Tully, Founder of WPSpeedFix, got into the hosting and site speed scene by chance around 2009-2010. He started doing website design and builds around that time. When he was building the first website, his customer requested him to host it as well. It was more like an expectation he had to fulfill, and Brendan happily did so.
In the beginning, Brendan and his team hosted the website “on a shared, cheap hosting account” and then proceeded to do the same for the next 10 websites.
They then started receiving regular complaints from the customers about their websites crashing and going offline. Soon enough, they discovered how poor shared hosting was in terms of reliability. It was very important for them to learn the difference between shared hosting and cloud hosting.
WPSpeedFix’s Stance on Their Niche
WordPress Speed Optimization is the primary service Brendan Tully and his team offer. However, WPSpeedFix originally evolved as a standalone service out of their SEO agency. When it comes to their niche, everything has come full circle for them, and now they even offer SEO services through WPSpeedFix.
WPSpeedFix’s Biggest Challenges and Achievements
The first challenge that they faced came from hosting their customers’ websites on shared hosting. But they were quick to discover what they were doing wrong.
“We then started including some basic speed optimization in our web design work and did things like Smush images (Smush plugin was powered by Yahoo at the time) and setup Cloudflare. Cloudflare was brand new at the time and was (still is) an amazing product especially for free!”
Through this experience, they discovered the importance of page caching, image sizes, and page sizes, and also realized how important it was to host in the country that had most of their visitors. They also understood how cheap hosting chokes CPU and memory resources that cause websites to malfunction and incur errors like 502 and 504. Hence, they came up with solutions.
“We then started including this sort of work as part of our SEO agency work and saw a direct correlation between SEO performance and the sites that were on better hosting and optimized for speed.”
Another challenge for WPSpeedFix has been that the market needs are constantly evolving.
“When we first started, you could install a caching plugin, set up a CDN, compress images, and that was enough. Now, speed optimization is a much more detailed process involving the entire site versus just the homepage.”
Their business has had to evolve from offering a simple service to a more detailed and thorough consulting service with many moving parts, and that certainly involved a lot of challenges.
“Optimizing much bigger sites requires more attention around change management processes, and things like rollback plans where things like the risk of a change are identified upfront and the process to undo that change is clearly defined should something go wrong.”
WPSpeedFix’s biggest achievement was being able to optimize over 4000 sites since WPSpeedFix became its own brand in 2016. They have now even built their own site speed test tool at SiteSpeedBot that will give recommendations other tools won’t; including SEO insights that big SEO agencies are unaware of or simply ignore in their never-ending quest for MORE LINKS!
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The Most Challenging Project for WPSpeedFix
So far, WPSpeedFix has experienced many challenging situations. But one thing that has remained constant with them is their drive to overcome all odds and keep moving forward to achieve more!
When it comes to challenging projects, WPSpeedFix finds optimizing large WooCommerce sites the most challenging.
“Some of the more difficult speed optimization jobs are large Woocommerce sites where they may see a large number of checkouts in a short period of time due to things like TV ads or being a show like Shark Tank which can generate 1000s of visits in a the time span or 1-5 minutes.”
How Cloudways Contributed to WPSpeedFix’s Success?
When we asked WPSpeedFix how Cloudways has been able to contribute to their growing success and added value, they had only good words to say.
“Cloudways is the host we typically recommend to customers when they’re on a poor quality host. We often see hosts that STILL don’t have current technology in place like HTTP2 protocol support which is critical for a fast loading site on the modern web.”
We also asked them to tell us how they compare us against others and for what reason do they prefer our hosting above others.
“10 years ago, before providers like Cloudways, running your own VPS was a major pain. Configuring a reliable and fast server stack with all the things Cloudways includes like Redis, Memcached, PHP FPM, Fail2ban, Apache with Nginx, and so forth was near impossible without a Linux dev you could regularly get help from.”
When asked if they would go back to their old ways and ever consider switching from Cloudways, this is what they had to say:
“Today, we still come across manually configured server stacks that a Linux admin has put dozens of hours into to just get up and running perform really poorly in comparison to a Cloudways server we can have up and running in 15 minutes or so.”
WPSpeedFix’s Recipe for Success
For WPSpeedFix, the most important ingredient in their recipe for success is that they don’t underprice their services. They firmly believe that undercharging and then doing substandard work hurts everyone – the customer/client, the person delivering the services, and the entire WordPress/SEO ecosystem.
Secondly, they believe doing good work and not over promising results is also extremely important.
“I see competitors guarantee 90+ scores in certain speed test tools and then essentially breaking customer websites in order to achieve those scores. As a professional service provider, it’s your job to educate customers and help them set expectations in reality and focus on what is actually going to move the needle in their business.”
Some Important Tips That WPSpeedFix Has for Those Who Want to Start a New Agency
WPSpeedFix stresses the fact that the WordPress community seems to underprice themselves, and train customers to expect things for free or cheap, almost in a race to the bottom fashion. They also believe that when you don’t price products and services appropriately, it’s the customer who misses out because of all the corner-cutting required to achieve bargain basement pricing.
“My broad advice would be to find customers who have a genuine need for your help, price your services fairly, and do good work instead of being the cheapest and delivering sub-par products and services.”
How WPSpeedFix Sums Up Their Agency’s Success Story In a Few Words
“An important takeaway is that site speed is just a small part of a broader online marketing strategy. A fast website means nothing if it doesn’t help you sell your product or service! I’d also add that website uptime and reliability beats site speed every day of the week!
I see people boasting all the time about their 100 scores in Pagespeed Insights or A+ in GTMetrix but in order to achieve that they’ve partly broken their site and made it unreliable.”
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