In late 2017, OGAL Web Design faced a small PR nightmare, the kind that leaves a bad mark on the brand and takes a lot of grit to overcome, thanks to his hosting provider. But Kyle realized early on that the need of the hour was to move his website to a reliable hosting solution instead of shared hosting plans that are notorious for giving users all kinds of headache. On a friend’s suggestion, Kyle moved his business to Cloudways and hasn’t looked back since.
A Good Agency Needs Better Hosting
OGAL Web design is a small design agency on the outskirts of Fort Worth, Texas. Kyle started the agency in early 2017 after accruing 15 years of experience in the Print industry – so he was equipped with the skills that would impress his clients.
But for a solo agency owner like Kyle, care plans are essential in ensuring that the bills are paid each month to keep the business running, and hosting plays a big role in that since that’s how he got businesses to sign up on his plans. While Kyle was well-versed with the design side of the business, hosting and managing servers wasn’t his forte.
So Kyle did what seemed to be the most obvious choice:
“I got a low-cost shared hosting plan. You know, the ones that have a cartoon animal for a logo and keep your ad-blocker working around the clock.”
That was the beginning of his problems with the server side of his business, troubling his clients in extension as well. However, the final nail in the coffin was the aforementioned PR nightmare.
The Final Nail in The Coffin: Crashing During a Live Webinar
Dave Foy, an icon in the WordPress design realm, offered Kyle a chance to showcase his website and business in front of a highly targeted audience on a live webinar. While all Dave Foy wanted was to critique a funnel Kyle had built on his website, it was nevertheless a chance to get the brand in front of people that mattered.
“It was my brand in front of a big, highly-targeted audience. It was something to celebrate.”
The live webinar began, but 15 minutes into OGAL’s showcase, the nightmare happened: Kyle’s website crashed.
On legendary Dave Foy’s webinar, no less.
In front of a targeted audience.
And it wasn’t just his website. It was all his client’s websites that were hosted on the shared server that crashed, taking Kyle’s confidence along for the time being.
“It was embarrassing, it was a nightmare, and it was the last straw.”
This wasn’t an isolated instance of Kyle facing problems on a shared server.
“Emails not being delivered, constant downtime notifications, and poor support with long wait times. I put up with all of this as I thought this was just part of hosting.”
Perhaps waiting a bit for tech support that doesn’t even solve your problem may be not such a big issue. But having your website crash in front of a select audience hosted by a known name in the industry isn’t. And Kyle had had enough.
On the lookout for a better hosting solution, Kyle’s friend, Pete Everitt, advised him to test out Cloudways on a 3-day free trial. The difference was undeniably obvious. The performance report threw shared hosting results out of the window, and it was an easy decision from thereafter.
“While the initial lack of a cPanel threw me for a loop, the instant results I was seeing on performance reports was something that I couldn’t argue with.”
Kyle soon realized, though, that cPanel was an antiquated setup that wasn’t necessary for hosting websites. Without wasting time, Kyle put the included Migration Tool to work and brought all his sites over to Cloudways.
Simply changing the server from his old shared hosting to Vultr on Cloudways brought down Kyle’s website’s loading time from 3-5 seconds to under 1-3 seconds. This was necessary for Kyle to succeed in the field, and this is what the clients wanted as well!
While this was a win-win for Kyle, thanks to Chris Castillo’s optimization tips, Kyle was able to further optimize website speeds, with many sites scoring sub-one second load times!
“The sites I moved went from 3-5 second loading times to 1-3 seconds with no changes other than the server itself (Vultr via Cloudways). Throw in little further optimization tips I picked up from Chris Castillo, and a handful of sites have a sub one second load times.”
OGAL Web Design’s hosting worries were over.
But the benefits of moving to a cloud infrastructure didn’t stop there.
Why Cloudways Was Perfect for Kyle’s Agency
While great website loading times is what most website owners desire, Kyle was reaping benefits beyond that on Cloudways.
One-Click Staging Environment
“With a click, I can spin up a WordPress staging environment for one of my sites to play with updates and push out new features. I use my blueprint site to quickly launch a new WordPress installation using the built-in “clone” feature that is ready to go with all my settings, theme, and plugins. That literally takes 2 minutes to do (I’m not exaggerating).”
Like every diligent owner, Kyle maintains an uptime monitor, but after switching to Cloudways, hasn’t felt the need to keep a regular check on it, nor does he receive notifications about the sites ever being down.
“I’ve stopped getting notifications of sites being down.”
Live Chat Support That Doesn’t Disappoint
Kyle had been let down too many times by his old hosting support. But thankfully, Cloudways Live Chat Support never lets him down.
“When I do run into a question I can’t find the answer to, Cloudways’ live chat puts me in contact with a real human instantly (sorry bots, but I’m sick of ya). I’ve never seen a queue and I wonder if they even exist?”
Scale Your Server Up or Down
When traffic exceeds the server limit, things go awry. On Cloudways, Kyle doesn’t have to fear downtimes in times of high traffic, because servers can scale up automatically!
“I can scale my server at any time. Oh, what I would have paid for that back when my site crashed!”
While you can scale up a server automatically on any provider, AWS and Google’s GCE hosting allow the users to scale down the server as well. It’s like the double-edged sword you need in a competitive environment!
So What Did Kyle Pay For a Better Host?
OGAL had a lot of clients by this point, so pricing wasn’t an issue. Kyle was ready to pay top dollar for a better hosting solution anyway.
“For such drastic improvements, you expect to be paying more, right? I mean, for all that I would easily pay double.”
However, Kyle did the math and turns out he was actually paying LESS on Cloudways than he was paying for his old shared hosting servers!
“When I compared that to my combined price on my old shared servers I’m actually saving about $38 per month (yay, more AppSumo money!).”
Kyle is one of the thousands of happy customers Cloudways is serving, and we don’t shy away from admitting that we love providing top-of-the-line hosting solutions to people like Kyle! Not only do they appreciate the hard work we put in, but they actively promote our service so other people can benefit from it too!
“To say I’m happy that I made the switch to Cloudways would be a gross understatement. I’ve practically become a walking, unpaid billboard.”