Download Case Study
Share your contact details and we’ll send a download link to your inbox.
Soulheart.co is an agency that “exists to relentlessly problem-solve, inspire, and drive extraordinary results so brands can make a positive impact on the world,” according to Joshua Brown. But the agency was having a difficult time with its managed hosting provider, especially as it began to scale. It was at this point that they needed a platform so simple that “even project managers could start new sites.”
But with the hosting providers they were using, things only got worse, and finally, disastrous at a live event with thousands of people where scalability had been critical. Let down for the last time, the agency decided it was time to make a change – to find the right managed hosting solution that would shore up the custom web hosting solutions it offered clients.” And that decision led them to Cloudways.
Joshua Brown explains the challenges he was facing with hosting providers, and how Cloudways proved its mettle to Soulheart.co right from the outset. He shares what he feels about features like the staging environment and cloning, as well as some metrics to show the immense performance boost the agency has experienced since choosing Cloudways. They are also a member of our Agency Partnership Program.
Cloudways: Can you tell us a bit about your agency?
Joshua Brown: Soulheart.co is an agency that exists to relentlessly problem-solve, inspire, and drive extraordinary results so brands can make a positive impact on the world. The fully remote agency provides marketing, digital ads, and web services. While we specialize in working with nonprofits, we also work with brands, typically in the $5-50M revenue space to help them grow, drive traffic to their websites, or help overhaul their websites.
Cloudways: What challenges were you facing that compelled you to start looking for a better solution?
Joshua Brown: As a provider of custom web hosting solutions, we had bounced through several managed hosting providers including what was supposed to be best-in-industry at the time. But as we scaled our services up, those services got worse. We finally reached our breaking point when a live event of thousands of people attending brought a site down and the hosting company was not there to help us scale on the fly despite being warned ahead of time.
Cloudways: What specific solution were you looking for in your ideal solution to your problem?
Joshua Brown: As part of our web services, we build out custom server configurations for each of our clients that prioritize speed, simplicity of setup, and the ability of our team to troubleshoot issues quickly. Our ideal solution would prioritize a support team that would be competent and available to help in times of need and a platform that could simplify the process to spin everything up so even our project managers could start new sites.
Cloudways: How did you figure Cloudways had the best solution for your problems?
Joshua Brown: I had heard about Cloudways but not tried it. After trying to do custom solutions with SpinupWP and DigitalOcean directly, I realized that I was building something that would only slow me down. I did a trial test with Cloudways – the service was outstanding and the process was super simple. Within two weeks, we migrated dozens of sites to the platform and it’s been a dream to work with ever since.
Cloudways: What success did you initially face when porting to Cloudways?
Joshua Brown: We prioritize website speed for our clients and the optimization process. Cloudways delivered this better than every other solution we tried, even the ones that we built ourselves. They walked us through the best setups, practices, and even pointed us to the right resources to better understand server performance. Not to mention their knowledge base articles are fantastic for learning.
Cloudways: Has Cloudways helped you save money or increase productivity?
Joshua Brown: Cloudways is not the cheapest platform on the market but the price to value is the absolute best. And believe me, I tried every last one of them. Our team is more productive now and I don’t have to spend weeks troubleshooting frustrating server performance issues. Cloudways’ service is rock solid, and they continue to add new and improved features over time.
Cloudways: Can you share any specific KPI or metric that shows how the Amazon server works better with Cloudways?
Joshua Brown: Our main goal is to have client websites load in under 1 second because research shows you start to lose sales when it doesn’t feel instantaneous. We had achieved on average about 1.2s on a custom solution we built but with Cloudways + Amazon, we were able to get numbers as low as 380ms which was accomplished without using any blocking scripts.
Cloudways: What do you advise the people willing to host their sites with Cloudways?
Joshua Brown: My advice is to do it. Make the transition and enjoy.
Cloudways: What are some features that you think allowed you to manage on Cloudways?
Joshua Brown: The chat feature is the #1 as well as the ability to spin up new servers, choose the platform (DigitalOcean, Amazon, Google Cloud, etc.). The one-click migrations, backups, and changing core settings are super user-friendly. One of the biggest features honestly is having a link directly to the PHPMyAdmin in each site’s dashboard is such a simple thing and a complete time-saver.
Cloudways: What cloud providers did you choose? What do you think of the flexibility of choosing a cloud provider at Cloudways?
Joshua Brown: We have DigitalOcean, Amazon, and Google Cloud servers. The flexibility has helped us save money on smaller sites by hosting on DigitalOcean and making sure reliability was a premium on larger sites by choosing Amazon or Google Cloud.
Cloudways: How do you find our staging environment and cloning feature?
Joshua Brown: We researched everything ahead of time. Our clients all require a staging site which comes from my days of working on agile development teams with JIRA projects on high-ticket projects. That process has helped us stay consistent in our quality output.
Cloudways: How would you rate our customer support experience?
Joshua Brown: I would give it 5-star now. And recommended getting on the premium tier of customer service because it’s so worth the cost.
Cloudways: What overall impact did Cloudways have on your business? Before and after? Speed, performance, multiple site management?
Joshua Brown: Our initial setup process took a couple of hours but now it’s simply minutes thanks to Cloudways. We host nearly 100 applications and are expanding every month so having something this flexible has been tremendous. Not to mention we host our own site on Cloudways and the performance has been incredibly reliable.
Cloudways: Was there anything surprising about moving to Cloudways?
Joshua Brown: The only thing I encountered was a question to myself: Why didn’t I do this sooner?
Cloudways: Do you have any advice for people or businesses that may face the same problem as you did?
Joshua Brown: My advice is to figure out your needs and doesn’t just talk to a salesperson. Spend the $$ to try out the system. Migrate a website to it and compare it to other platforms. You’ll quickly see that this one is in a league of its own.
Receive the growth, reach and support your agency deserves.Apply Now
Short but focused presentation of how businesses achieved their goals with our help
Grow With Meerkat LLC is a US-based digital agency that...
This case study examines how Cloudways supported Echidna in enabling...
Plugin and web developer Marinus Klasen is also an independent...