ProfileTree - Case Study

From Lag to Lightning: Web Agency ProfileTree Achieves 100% Performance Boost and A Grade on GTmetrix with Cloudways


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Ciaran Connolly
Ciaran Connolly

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About ProfileTree

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ProfileTree Web Design and Digital Marketing, established in 2011 by founder Ciaran Connolly, is a prominent agency in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It started with the aim of introducing local businesses to the evolving world of digital marketing.

The web agency has developed expertise in SEO, content marketing, web design, and videography. This has ensured that their clients are equipped with the necessary tools for success, leading to industry recognition and awards for the agency.

This case study features Ciaran Connolly discussing the selection of Cloudways as their web hosting provider, a choice that has been integral to the development and success of ProfileTree’s own website and that of their clients.

Cloudways: ProfileTree is a leading web design and development company serving clients worldwide. As your business grew, did you encounter any challenges with your previous website hosting solution? How did these challenges impact your operations?

Ciaran Connolly: As ProfileTree expanded to become a leading web design and development agency with a global client base, we faced some challenges with our previous website hosting solution. One of the primary issues was the limitation in creating servers globally for our clients. This was particularly challenging as our clientele grew to include many customers outside the UK.

Additionally, with the introduction and enforcement of GDPR regulations, we had to be extremely cautious about data protection and compliance, especially for our clients in the European Union. The constraints of our previous hosting provider in addressing these critical requirements impacted our operations. We found ourselves grappling with technical limitations and the risk of non-compliance, which could have significant legal and reputational repercussions.

These challenges necessitated a shift to a more robust, flexible, and compliant hosting provider that could cater to the diverse needs of our international clientele while ensuring adherence to stringent data protection standards. This was essential not only for our operational efficiency and scalability but also for maintaining the trust and confidence of our clients in our services .

Cloudways: What factors led ProfileTree to choose Cloudways for website hosting? Were there any specific features or functionalities of Cloudways that were particularly appealing?

Ciaran Connolly: Several factors led us to choose Cloudways; the primary appeal was the significantly greater control we could have over server configuration. This control is crucial for a company like ours that manages diverse client needs and requires the flexibility to tailor hosting environments accordingly.

Another key feature that drew us to Cloudways was the Cloudflare Enterprise add-on, which includes a Content Delivery Network (CDN). The integration of this CDN was particularly appealing because it enhances website speed and performance for us and our clients. In the digital age, where website loading speed is a critical factor for user experience and SEO, having this functionality was a game-changer.

Cloudways: Since migrating to Cloudways, has ProfileTree experienced any improvements in website performance metrics such as loading speed, uptime, or scalability? If so, can you quantify the impact of these improvements?

Since migrating to Cloudways, ProfileTree has experienced significant improvements in our website performance metrics, particularly in terms of loading speed, uptime, and scalability. These improvements are not just anecdotal; they are quantifiable and have had a tangible impact on our operations and clients’ services.

One of the most notable metrics is our achievement of an A-Grade on Gtmetrix, a widely respected tool for analyzing website performance. This grade reflects a performance score of 100% and a structure score of 99%, indicating that our websites are optimized to the highest standards. Such scores indicate our hosted websites’ efficiency and technical excellence, ensuring an optimal user experience.

profiletree on gtmetrix

– Performance Report of ProfileTree on Gtmetrix.

The Total Blocking Time (TBT), a critical factor in website performance, is now 0 milliseconds. This means there are virtually no delays due to unoptimized scripts or excessive load times, which is crucial for maintaining user engagement and satisfaction.

These metrics, especially our high Gtmetrix scores, underscore the benefits we have gained from migrating to Cloudways. The platform has enabled us to achieve and maintain optimal website performance, which is essential for our business and clients.

Cloudways: As a web design agency managing client websites, how important is website security and compliance for ProfileTree? How has Cloudways helped you address these concerns?

Ciaran Connolly: For ProfileTree, as a web design agency that manages multiple client websites, website security and compliance are not just important; they are paramount. In the digital landscape, where threats are ever-evolving, ensuring the highest level of security is a top priority for us and our clients.

Cloudways has significantly contributed to strengthening our security posture. One of the key aspects of Cloudways that stands out is its responsive support . Cloudways’ team provides timely and informative assistance whenever we have security-related queries or concerns. This level of support is invaluable, especially when dealing with complex security issues.

We also utilize the Bot Protection available through Cloudways. This software is a critical tool in our security arsenal, enabling us to protect our and our clients’ websites from malicious bots and other cyber threats. The ability to actively detect and mitigate such risks is crucial for maintaining the integrity and performance of the websites we manage.

Another essential feature we leverage in Cloudways is the ability to use whitelisted IP addresses . This ensures that only authorized IP addresses can access our server, adding an extra layer of security. This feature is particularly important for us in maintaining strict control over who can access the server and safeguarding the data and websites hosted on it.

Cloudways: How has Cloudways impacted ProfileTree’s development workflow? Has it streamlined the development process in any way, such as through features like automated deployments or staging environments?

Ciaran Connolly: Cloudways has profoundly impacted ProfileTree’s development workflow, significantly streamlining our processes and enhancing efficiency. One of the most notable improvements is the ease with which we can clone a site for testing purposes. This feature is particularly useful when troubleshooting or testing new features, allowing us to ensure that any changes we make are sound before they go live.

The staging environments provided by Cloudways are also invaluable for our development process. They offer a safe and isolated platform where we can develop and test websites without affecting the live version. This minimizes risks and allows for more creative and thorough development work, as changes can be tested in real time without impacting the live site.

The ability to easily push from staging to live is another feature that has streamlined our workflow. When a site is ready to go live, the process is seamless and efficient, reducing the time and effort typically associated with website launches. This feature ensures that transitions from development to live environments are smooth and error-free, which is crucial for maintaining the integrity and performance of the websites we manage.

Cloudways: Did ProfileTree experience any cost savings or optimizations after migrating to Cloudways? If so, can you elaborate on the specific areas where you saw cost reductions?

Ciaran Connolly: Regarding hosting costs, Cloudways proved to be drastically cheaper than other hosting providers we considered or used in the past. This reduction in hosting expenses has been a major factor in our cost savings, allowing us to allocate more resources to other areas of our business.

Additionally, the platform’s ease of use has significantly reduced operational costs, especially considering the number of developers working on various projects. Cloudways strikes a perfect balance by providing total control for those who need it while remaining simple and intuitive for less complex tasks. This flexibility has enhanced our team’s productivity, reducing the time and effort required to manage hosting environments.

Cloudways has also offered us reduced CDN costs. The £3 CDN offering has been an added financial benefit, particularly as we host our clients’ websites through Cloudways. This cost reduction in CDN services has been advantageous for us and our clients, as we can offer them more competitive pricing.


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Cloudways: As ProfileTree continues to grow its business, how confident are you in Cloudways’ ability to scale and support your website hosting needs in the future?

Ciaran Connolly: Since migrating to Cloudways, ProfileTree has indeed observed significant improvements in terms of scalability. 

With Cloudways, scaling has become remarkably easy and efficient. This is especially important for us as we cater to a diverse range of clients, some of whom experience substantial fluctuations in website traffic, particularly around specific events or peak business periods. The ability to scale resources to match these demands ensures that our clients’ websites remain high-performing and reliable, even during traffic surges.

The Cloudways Autonomous has been a particularly exciting development for us. It’s not just about handling current demands; it’s about being prepared for future growth. As we and our clients expand their businesses, the Cloudways Platform has shown the capacity to grow with them. This flexibility and foresight in hosting capabilities have been instrumental in supporting our growth trajectories.

Cloudways: How has Cloudways’ managed service offering benefited ProfileTree? Has it freed up your team’s resources to focus on other core business activities?

Ciaran Connolly: One of the key features that have been particularly beneficial is the automated email notifications regarding server issues. We receive prompt automated emails whenever there is downtime or any problem with the Cloudways servers. 

This immediate notification system allows us to proactively manage issues, significantly reducing the time and resources typically spent monitoring and troubleshooting server-related problems . It ensures that we are always on top of the situation, maintaining the reliability and performance of our client websites.

Additionally, Cloudways’ Cloudflare integration and CDN offerings have been invaluable. The CDN is a fantastic addition that has notably enhanced the speed and performance of the websites we manage. This improves the user experience for our clients’ websites and saves us considerable time manually optimizing site performance.

Integrating these services into Cloudways’ platform means we can enjoy these benefits without the need for extensive setup or management, freeing up our team to concentrate on other critical aspects of our business, like development and client engagement.

Cloudways: How would you rate your experience with Cloudways’ customer support team? Have they been responsive and helpful in addressing any questions or concerns you may have had?

Ciaran Connolly: Our experience with Cloudways’ customer support team has been exceptionally positive, and I would rate it highly. One of the most impressive aspects is their responsiveness. Typically, we receive answers to our queries within 5 to 10 minutes, which is incredibly efficient and greatly appreciated in our fast-paced environment.

Creating support tickets is also straightforward and user-friendly, streamlining the process of seeking assistance. This efficiency in raising issues means we can quickly get back to focusing on our core business activities, confident that any concerns or technical questions will be addressed promptly.

Overall, the customer support at Cloudways has been a key factor in our positive experience with the platform. Their blend of rapid response times, ease of communication, and technical expertise has significantly impacted how smoothly we can manage our hosting needs.

Cloudways: Based on your experience with Cloudways, would you recommend them to other web design and development agencies looking for a reliable and scalable website hosting solution? Why or why not?

Ciaran Connolly: Based on our experience, I would definitely recommend Cloudways to other web design and development agencies seeking a reliable and scalable website hosting solution. There are several key reasons why Cloudways stands out as an excellent choice.

Firstly, Cloudways excels in scalability. The platform is well-suited for businesses that are growing or have fluctuating needs. It provides the flexibility to scale resources up or down based on the demand, which is crucial for agencies that manage websites for various clients with varying requirements.

Another significant advantage of Cloudways is the freedom it offers to perform complex tasks. This aspect is particularly beneficial for web design and development agencies that often need to customize hosting environments or implement specialized configurations. Cloudways provides the necessary tools and freedom to tailor hosting solutions to specific needs without the usual restrictions that can hinder such customizations.

Cloudways offers a combination of scalability, flexibility, and exceptional support, making it an ideal hosting solution for web design and development agencies. Its ability to cater to complex and varying needs and supportive customer service make Cloudways a recommendation I would confidently make to others in the industry.

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