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SoftwareHow is a tech blog founded by J.P. Zhang after his experiences working in the California startup community in 2016. Since then, SoftwareHow has expanded with experienced tech enthusiasts who each have their own fields of expertise and personal passions. The brand is dedicated to providing software reviews, tips, and guides.
Since COVID-19, the work-from-home culture has boosted the need for consumer software, making SoftwareHow a popular website for people to seek information about various software tools. They needed reliable hosting to ensure a fast and smooth visiting experience, which can give them an edge over competitors.
After moving to Cloudways, SoftwareHow saw a 200% surge in traffic and a 50% reduction in load time. They also saved on consulting fees with the help of the Cloudways Support Team, eliminating the need for a freelance developer. This case study is a must-read for anyone looking to replicate their success.
Cloudways: Can you tell us a little bit about your business, SoftwareHow, and what it does? What inspired you to start SoftwareHow, and what is its mission?
J. P. Zhang: Absolutely. It was around 8 years ago I was working for a startup company in San Diego. I was put to work on a short video animation project that helps explain what our app does.
I started looking for animation software online and hoped to find the best tool for this project. However, I was disappointed to see that most of the online reviews are just like copy-paste product descriptions from the vendor, which don’t add much value to us readers.
Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit, I created a tech website that provides honest, unbiased reviews of computer software written by real software users for real software users (yep, that’s our mission!)
So, when people read our reviews, they immediately know the pros and cons of the software and whether it’s for them or not.
Because our software reviews are of the highest quality on the Internet (at least at that time), readers save time and money shopping for the software they need.
To give you an idea of the quality, when I was reviewing a piece of software, I often contacted the vendor’s customer support team via phone calls and emails simply to test their customer service quality. That way, I could give them a fair rating.
Cloudways: What were your main criteria when selecting a web hosting provider for SoftwareHow? What were the most important features and considerations for you?
Cloudways: How did you come to choose Cloudways? What factors influenced your decision, and how did you research and compare different web hosting options?
J. P. Zhang: Choosing Cloudways was largely influenced by friends’ recommendations. Before the pandemic, I attended many industry conferences and meetups, “Which hosting do you use?” is a common question often asked.
So, when several friends started to mention Cloudways and try to “sell” the benefits of this platform, it was hard for me not to try it. I didn’t spend much time comparing because I’ve already tried several hosting providers before moving to Cloudways.
Cloudways: Can you tell us how Cloudways impacted the growth and success of SoftwareHow? Have you seen any changes in traffic, conversions, or other metrics?
J. P. Zhang: The traffic increased quite a bit after moving to Cloudways, but many other factors are playing around here.
I can confidently say that after moving to Cloudways, we’ve saved quite a bit on hosting costs and are less worried about the speed and uptime, allowing us to focus on other things to grow the site.
Cloudways: How has Cloudways helped you save time and/or money in managing your website? Have you noticed any cost savings or efficiencies since switching to Cloudways?
J. P. Zhang: Absolutely, as I’ve mentioned above. We run a portfolio of websites, previously, I used four different hosting services, and we paid a lot.
Then, two years ago, we started to move a handful of sites to Cloudways and canceled two hosting services. In total, we managed to save at least $300 per month.
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Cloudways: How has Cloudways met or exceeded your expectations in terms of performance and reliability? Have you noticed any website speed or uptime improvements?
J. P. Zhang: I initially didn’t have high expectations because I know many hosting companies come and go. It’s hard to maintain the same quality standard as time goes on.
But after several months, I was surprised to see that I don’t get these annoying “site is down” emails from UptimeRobot (a free uptime monitoring service), giving me a good first impression that Cloudways is probably reliable.
I conduct speed tests occasionally, and Cloudways has always done a great job.
Cloudways: How easy was it to set up and manage your website on Cloudways? Were there any challenges or difficulties during the setup process, and how were they overcome?
J. P. Zhang: As a tech enthusiast, I easily migrated to Cloudways and managed everything. I remember there was a time when the staging site had some issues after using your migration plugin to make a copy of the site files.
But after live chatting with your customer support, they quickly helped us resolve the problem. So, nothing to complain about here.
Cloudways: Have you taken advantage of any of Cloudways’ additional features, such as their CDN or backup services? If so, how have they provided additional benefits for your website?
J. P. Zhang: I don’t think we have. The existing features are already very amazing. We’d be happy to try out your additional features if needed.
Cloudways: Can you compare your experience with Cloudways to other hosting providers you have used in the past? What are the main differences and advantages of using Cloudways?
J. P. Zhang: I think quality consistency is the main differentiator for Cloudways, which is also the main reason why we decided to move several other sites to your platform.
Previously, we tested different hosting providers. Many of them were pretty good at first, but the performance went downhill after some time. Cloudways is unlike them. Also, your pricing model is very reasonable.
If our site traffic is higher than normal, we can use the Cloudways Autoscale feature to increase the capacity. Last but not least, you guys are ethical marketers and don’t seem to run many promotions to hunt new customers or lock us existing customers.
Cloudways: Would you recommend Cloudways to other businesses in your niche? Why or why not? What specific benefits do you think would be most valuable for businesses like yours?
J. P. Zhang: I’ve repeatedly mentioned you when friends ask me for hosting options. We eat and sleep on our website, Cloudways gives us that peace of mind, so we can focus on growing our business without worrying about the site performance and security.
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