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Minted Empire is a brand that Keith Mint created to document his journey of building and running niche content sites monetized by display ads and affiliate marketing. His websites cover a range of niches like technology and lifestyle. With a small team consisting of a writer, an editor, and a virtual assistant, Keith’s role is to manage the strategic direction of the business.
In early 2021, Keith faced slow server response times with his previous hosting provider, prompting him to look for alternative options. After switching to Cloudways, he noticed a significant speed improvement, increasing traffic and revenue by 3x. Since then, Keith has experienced no downtime, which has helped him achieve his goal of having a reliable host.
Keith’s success with Cloudways has been evident, as he has freed up the time and mental bandwidth he previously spent contacting support and dealing with downtime issues. His recent performance score of 98 for mobile and 100 for desktop for some of his posts is a testament to the hosting provider’s capability to deliver fast loading times.
Cloudways: Can you tell us about Minted Empire and describe your business to our audience?
Keith Mint: I own and manage a small portfolio of content sites monetized by display ads and affiliate marketing. Minted Empire is a brand I created to talk publicly about my journey of building and running these content sites. These websites are often referred to as niche websites. Most people who follow along via my Twitter feed, newsletter, and YouTube channel are fellow publishers trying to increase website traffic.
Cloudways: Tell us about yourself. What industries are you targeting through your niche websites? What does your team look like?
Keith Mint: I’m a former accountant, and I’ve also run various other businesses before I got into online marketing. My websites are in various niches, including technology, hobby, lifestyle, and living. I have a small team consisting of a writer, an editor, and a virtual assistant. My role is to manage the strategic direction of the business.
Cloudways: How did you first hear about Cloudways? And what was your first impression of Cloudways when you signed up?
Keith Mint: I first heard of Cloudways in early 2021 while trying to speed up my websites. This was when optimizing for Core Web Vitals was all the rage. Later that year, I changed my hosting to Cloudways and noticed a big difference in speed—specifically, the server response time. The difference was very noticeable in the speed reports, too. So my first impression of Cloudways was the impressive speeds and ease of use. I was also very impressed with the free migration process, and it was seamless.
Cloudways: What were some of the problems you faced before that made you evaluate Cloudways? Also, have you always been using Cloudways for your websites?
Keith Mint: Slow server response time was becoming an issue with my previous host. It would have been very expensive to improve it with the old host, so that was the impetus for me to look at Cloudways.
Cloudways: How has Cloudways helped you achieve your goals? Can you give us a highlight reel of where your site is today regarding revenue and traffic?
Keith Mint: Since joining Cloudways, my traffic and revenue have increased by 3x. I’ve never noticed any downtime with Cloudways. Support is top-class, so my goal of having a reliable host was achieved simply by switching to Cloudways. I haven’t looked back since.
Cloudways: We would love to know about the hosting plan you’ve chosen on Cloudways, so we would understand if you know some of the overhead or costs associated with running the site and maintaining it.
Keith Mint: I use Vultr (High Frequency). I have the 2GB plan, which is enough for my current needs.
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?
Keith Mint: I was able to free up some time and mental bandwidth. My previous host had downtime issues, and I spent much time contacting support.
Cloudways: You recently tweeted about reaching a performance score of 98 for mobile/100 for desktop for some of your posts. Can you please tell us a little about that? What were some of the things that helped you achieve that?
Keith Mint: I did very little real optimization work to achieve that score, and I’m sure it could be improved. So, first things first, the right choice of hosting is very important. Then I selected a fast theme with minimal design. The free version of Kadence is what I opted for. I reduced the number of plugins to a minimum so there would be fewer remote server calls. I also enabled Varnish on the server and caching via Cloudways’ Breeze plugin. The Breeze plugin looked after everything from GZIP to minification to script concatenation. It’s one of my favorite plugins.
98 mobile / 100 desktop. Results for my longest post. (5,500 words / 38 images). Tech stack:— Keith (Minted Empire) (@MintedEmpire) January 8, 2023
– CloudWays hosting
– CloudFlare (free)
– Breeze caching plugin
– Kadence WP theme
– No ads pic.twitter.com/FTB4t6o9h0
Cloudways: 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?
Keith Mint: I just love the one-click WordPress install. It’s the only PHP-based app that I use. I’m also a big fan of the staging environment that makes it easy to test things out on a private cloned site before deploying to the live version. This is a huge piece of peace of mind knowing that I won’t inadvertently bring my own site to a halt!
Cloudways: Tell us a little about your vision for Minted Empire and how you’re helping some of the other content creators achieve similar results.
Keith Mint: My vision for Minted Empire is to continue growing and expanding my portfolio of content sites while sharing my knowledge and experiences with fellow content creators. I believe in creating value for my audience by providing practical advice, actionable tips, and tried-and-true strategies for building and running successful niche websites. I’m only at the beginning of my journey regarding traffic and earnings. The sky’s the limit!
To help content creators achieve similar results, I share insights on various topics relating to online marketing. I can empower others to achieve their goals by sharing my successes, failures, and lessons I’ve learned.
Cloudways: What future features or improvements do you want to see at Cloudways?
Keith Mint: I’d love an integrated analytics solution within the Cloudways dashboard. Google Analytics (UA) will sunset this Summer, and based on what I’ve seen, Google Analytics 4 is not as intuitive and will make understanding our website traffic much more difficult. This is a general view held by many webmasters globally.
I’d also love to see Cloudways introduce email server hosting at some point in the future.
Cloudways: Who would you recommend Cloudways to in general? How do you benefit from it, and how can others take advantage of it?
Keith Mint: I highly recommend Cloudways to anyone looking for a reliable, scalable, and user-friendly hosting solution, especially those running WordPress and other PHP-based platforms. Cloudways is an excellent choice for many users, including bloggers, SMB owners, web developers, and digital agencies.
I have personally benefited from Cloudways in several ways. By switching to Cloudways, I experienced significantly faster server response times, contributing to a better user experience, higher search rankings, and increased website traffic. Scalability has been seamless too.
For example, switching from the 1GB to the 2GB plan was a simple click of a button. The reduced downtime and efficient customer support have saved me valuable time that I can now invest in growing my business.
The one-click WordPress install, built-in caching solutions, and staging environment make managing and maintaining my websites much more straightforward. Others can take advantage of Cloudways as I have and leave the server management up to Cloudways.
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