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Alkali is a web design and development company. It was founded in 2015 and was previously known as Alkali Designs. The team at Alkali comprises experts in both technology and marketing with diverse experiences and knowledge of every client. This not only helps them with client engagement but also helps them provide the best possible outcome. They are dedicated to bringing your vision to life and are fully committed to delivering the utmost level of client satisfaction.
Cloudways: What’s your agency name, and where is your agency’s headquarters situated?
Nick Baudoin: My agency is called Alkali. It is based in Houston, Texas.
Cloudways: Tell us about yourself. What is your designation at the agency? What are your core responsibilities?
Nick Baudoin: I have been developing web and mobile applications for 10+ years. I am the owner of Alkali. Currently, my responsibilities range from client acquisition, solution architecture, software procurement, and project management.
Cloudways: What services does your agency provide and how many clients do you currently have? Please tell us a bit about your agency here, like what do you guys do? Your team size, which market do you serve? Your USP, etc.
Nick Baudoin: We provide web and mobile application development, optimization, and marketing services. We currently have 11 employees spread across the United States, Switzerland, Australia, Nicaragua, and Canada. We primarily serve the US market but have also worked on international projects for companies based in Germany, Australia, Brazil, and The Netherlands.
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Cloudways: How did you first hear about Cloudways? Name one major problem that you were facing that made you switch to Cloudways. Something that was the tipping point, and how Cloudways fixed that for you.
Nick Baudoin: I had heard about Cloudways from Googling solutions a few years ago (back when the model was essentially an add-on) to DigitalOcean instead of the current platform. We were managing close to 100 sites on DigitalOcean and AWS. We kept finding ourselves in a nonproductive scenario when we needed to add an SFTP user, or add a new site to an existing NGINX setup. We eventually created custom scripts to deploy containers for new websites on one of the several large DO servers we had. But we kept running into one issue. If anything broke, we had to fix it. This would cost us money because the team members fixing the regular issues that came up couldn’t focus on their primary work for clients. As a result, I started doing some estimations, and going with a managed provider made the most sense. I have had bad experiences with WPEngine and the other go-to managed providers. I also found it very important to have more control over scalability. Cloudways provides my team the flexibility and control to get applications up and running and maintained quickly.
Cloudways: Before Cloudways, which hosting solution did you use? Are you using any other hosting service currently? If “Yes” Why?
Nick Baudoin: AWS, DigitalOcean, WPEngine. I am still using DigitalOcean and AWS for a few dozen websites because we are still trying to get clients to migrate (a lot are high traffic sites so they are very hesitant), we will eventually move to offer a pricing incentive to get them to make the move.
Cloudways: What was your experience like with Cloudways when you first signed up? Please tell us about first impressions.
Nick Baudoin: I believe I signed straight up for the partnership program and had a meeting with an onboarding specialist who was able to answer all my technical questions. It was very smooth!
Cloudways: In your opinion, what sets us apart from other hosting providers? How has our in-built support for PHP-based apps such as WordPress, Laravel, and Magento made matters easier for you?Nick Baudoin:
I think the biggest differentiating factor is the fact you get the best of both worlds: utilising world-class infrastructure from top cloud providers with an easy to use dashboard to assist with any server/application level issues. The other thing is the support. I have referred a few people to Cloudways and they always send me a message about how great their support is. They generally switch from WPEngine, Siteground, or GoDaddy.
Cloudways: How do you use Cloudways to solve your client’s problem(s)?
Nick Baudoin: User management, backups, application deployment, maintenance, and optimization.
Cloudways: How has Cloudways contributed to the success of your agency? Tell us about how Cloudways’ features align with your needs.
Nick Baudoin: It allows us to get the right people in the dashboard to service our clients in minutes versus having to worry about permissions for a specific server, adding keys, etc. I can have nontechnical people better assist clients without the worry of them breaking something.
Cloudways: Out of five cloud providers available on Cloudways which one(s) do you prefer to use and why?
Nick Baudoin: DigitalOcean, I feel it’s the very bang for your husk given our particular needs.
Cloudways: How do you resell Cloudways to your clients?
Nick Baudoin: I typically bake the Cloudways fee into our standard maintenance packages. For larger, high traffic websites, I typically sell it separately. We market the backups, CDN, and other auxiliary services as well.
Cloudways: If you could briefly describe the values you perceive from Cloudways?
Nick Baudoin: Ability for me to easily train someone to take action when a client has an application or server issue, ability to easily scale applications, domain/ssl management, third-party integrations such as SMTP and Cloudflare.
Cloudways: How do you feel about being a part of the Cloudways Agency Partnership Program? What additional value does the program provides to you? Do you think this program is going to help your agency grow in the long run?
Nick Baudoin: To be honest I haven’t attended any of the talks, but I do find the email blasts to be a good read. I don’t think the program necessarily increases our hosting sales, the platform itself does.
Cloudways: Do you think that by switching to Cloudways, you were able to free up resources at your end? If yes, how were you able to utilize those?
Nick Baudoin: 100%, we were able to keep developers focused on developing and decrease downtime for clients.
Cloudways: Thank you for your time and for sharing your agency’s story with us, Nick!.
Nick Baudoin: Thank you for having me here and for your excellent services and support.
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