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Howard Spaeth is a WordPress enthusiast, working as a principal owner in H Grant Designs. He is committed to catering to the IT needs of small businesses and is currently managing almost 80 WordPress websites.
We are excited to have him and would love to hear about his experience with Cloudways and how he utilizes our managed hosting solution for his agency’s growth.
Cloudways: Hi Howard, thank you for joining us today. Let’s start with your introduction & brief work history.
Howard: Hi there, thanks for the intro! My company focuses on anything and everything WordPress. Whether it may be a simple fix or a complicated issue, we don’t give up until it’s done. We currently manage over 40 websites for clients while helping out another 50.
Cloudways: Interesting! So what is your agency’s name, and where is it headquartered?
Howard: H Grant Designs. And we are headquartered in New Jersey, USA
Cloudways: What is your designation at the agency and your core responsibilities?
Howard: I am the principal owner, but I deal with everything from sales to development to answering tickets.
Cloudways: What services does your agency provide, and what’s your target market? Also, how many clients do you currently have, and what are your plans with the agency?
Howard: We provide anything WordPress related. This includes developing, maintaining, and building websites, then handing them off to our clients.
Cloudways: So, what is your agency’s USP, and how big is your team?
Howard: Our USP is that we are a small shop and try to answer and help anyone we can while keeping their interests at heart. We don’t oversell or go into things that don’t make sense for our clients. We only offer solutions that will work for them. Our team currently is 7. We have some developers, SEO managers, and a graphic designer on staff.
Cloudways: How did you discover Cloudways? What convinced you to move to Cloudways, and is there any major problem that got solved after this switch?
Howard: I knew about Cloudways from WordPress Montclair and heard great things about it, so I wanted to try it. After moving to Cloudways, our website’s speed and downtime issues were quickly resolved.
Cloudways: Which hosting provider were you using before Cloudways? And are you currently using any other hosting service?
Howard: We used a bunch of providers. We first tried GoDaddy, then switched to Siteground, then went to AWS before moving to Cloudways.
Cloudways: What, in your opinion, sets Cloudways apart from other hosting providers? Has our built-in support for PHP apps like WordPress, Laravel, and Magento made things easier for you?
Howard: For me, support is key. If a company provides amazing support, that goes above anything else. Cloudways offers fantastic support. The easy installation of WordPress is also really impressive. I can get a new install done within 2 minutes, and it “just works.”
Cloudways: How do you use Cloudways to solve your client’s problems?
Howard: I have a colleague using GoDaddy whose site was loading in 30 seconds. We moved him to Cloudways, which reduced the load speed to 7 seconds, and that was before we did any kind of optimization or anything; we were both blown away!
Cloudways: How has Cloudways contributed to your agency’s success? Tell us about how Cloudways’ features align with your needs.
Howard: Downtime and reliability are the things that we needed to fix. Cloudways has helped with that. We have been a partner with Cloudways now for over 2 years, and our sites have been up 99.9% of the time. We host some popular websites and find Cloudways as the best option for such enormous sites.
When clients come to us about hosting their website, we say we partner with Cloudways, have been with them for over 2 years, and wouldn’t rely on anyone else.
Cloudways: Which IaaS provider do you prefer from the five choices (DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, AWS, Google Cloud) on Cloudways?
Howard: DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode. I can’t say we prefer one over the other, but we have servers with these 3 companies, and we are super happy.
Cloudways: How do you resell Cloudways to your clients?
Howard: We either put our clients on our management plan, which includes hosting, or we sell hosting to our clients. Clients can also buy hosting themselves, and we help launch their site.
Cloudways: How do you feel about being a part of the Cloudways Agency Partnership Program? What additional value does the program provide, and do you believe it will help your agency grow in the long run?
Howard: The agency program has helped me connect with Cloudways personnel directly, and everyone has been super helpful. In terms of growing my agency, I can see it helping when we get to the point where we are spending a lot of money, and the pricing discounts will help!
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Cloudways: Did you free up resources on your end after switching to Cloudways? If yes, how did you utilize those resources?
Howard: Yes, since our websites are now up 99.99% of the time, we are able to focus on other things within the business itself.
Cloudways: What future features or improvements do you want to see in Cloudways?
Howard: I would like to see the ability to have an “agency dashboard” so I can connect my email to other clients’ dashboards to easily access their servers without logging out and logging back in.
Cloudways: Thank you, Howard, for taking the time to share your views on Cloudways. It was a pleasure to have you with us!
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