You probably became an entrepreneur/solopreneur because you wanted to change your lifestyle right?
More time with your family and/or travelling and independent freedom?
For me, my motivation as an entrepreneur building WPX Hosting was a different take on change, but still relevant to the importance of independence…
The year was 2013, back when Frozen and Iron Man 3 ruled the box office.
And the old way of doing Web hosting was badly BROKEN and desperately needed to change.
Having been an online entrepreneur since around 1998, before 2013 I had tried pretty much every hosting company out there.
At least twice.
And my universal experience, probably like yours, with those companies (companies that were and are usually a part of large horrible conglomerates) was TERRIBLE.
My ‘customer experience’ was awful for several reasons, such as, support (non)quality like this – snapshot from 2020:
- and support that was painfully slow to respond to requests
- even slower, ancient, overloaded servers with horrible page loading times, especially under any traffic load
- hosting support that didn’t want to actually fix anything but just try to quickly send me to long, difficult, technical articles and expect me to:
[a] understand them, and then,
[b] apply the correct solution
And did you become an entrepreneur to learn complex Web technologies or to build a fantastic business through marketing, developing relationships with customers and establishing market presence?
- and ‘unlimited’/unmetered’ websites/bandwidth/disk storage deals that turn out to be VERY limited as soon as much traffic comes to a site or a certain level of server resources are needed – a total scam shamefully still going on today e.g.
and then when you check the ‘fine print’ – GOTCHA!
SiteGround play a similar game with “unlimited websites”:
and strictly limited resources:
- endless upsells – usually unnecessary, useless and complete suckerbait for newbies, yes GoDaddy, I’m talking about you
- companies ONLY accepting annual up-front payments for hosting when you have no idea what they’re like
- hidden gotchas on extra expenses like malware removal e.g. SiteGround below wanting you to spend $200 a year for malware removal from an external service, Sucuri, via their affiliate link (can make hosting there quite expensive):
and seemingly good hosting prices:
that skyrocket if you aren’t prepared to commit to them for years ahead and only want to pay month-to-month:
In short, in 2013, Web hosting generally and WordPress hosting more specifically, sucked and was ripe for independent disruption.
And so what you know today as WPX Hosting (we changed the name in October 2016) launched in December 2013 with a clear mission to completely CHANGE the customer experience in WordPress hosting – change it in ways that give people like you much more time to actually run your online business and enjoy your life and not need to become a Systems Administrator to have a fast website.
None of that would be possible if WPX was not a completely independent and bootstrapped private company.
How Did We Change Site Speed?
At WPX, one of our core principles is that we don’t do things just because other companies do them AND we don’t NOT do things just because other companies don’t do them.
That applies across every area of WPX, such as our direct action on homeless dog welfare with our own nonprofit foundation.
So when we were evaluating our technology ‘stack’ to deliver maximum performance, we ruled a bunch of stuff ‘in’ and a lot was ‘out’ e.g.
- Renting servers was out as typically even the top end servers available for rental weren’t right at the leading edge of server performance (even WP Engine used to rent their servers from Linode I believe but more recently switched to the Google Cloud, like Kinsta and SiteGround).
We considered, then rejected the ‘host on Google Cloud servers’ option partly on the grounds of ‘inflexibility to customize/optimize’ – for example, in this late 2019 independent speed test, WPX crushed Google Cloud C2 on speed performance on both Kinsta and WP Engine – plus, Google has truly appalling customer support too, don’t even get me started on that.
In short, I absolutely refused to sacrifice that degree of our independence and make WPX a hostage of Google’s outrageously poor customer service philosophy and subject WPX customers to that – even if it is the ‘flavor of the month’ among Web hosts now.
Google also has downtime, just like any other host or infrastructure provider – I received this email on July 3 2020 about our test account at WP Engine, hosted on the Google Cloud:
Besides, here’s how Google C2’s “40% faster” hosting went against WPX on Pingdom:
And on GTMetrix.com?
- Overloading servers with hosting accounts was also out and was/is one of the big issues for hosts like Hostgator and Bluehost where price dictates everything and charging $3 a month for hosting AND delivering high quality performance (or support) just ain’t compatible.
To be blunt, their whole marketing strategy targets newbies who will soon painfully learn that cheap hosting massively sucks and if an online business can’t afford $20 a month for high quality hosting+support, is that actually a serious business?
- From the very beginning, WPX also rejected that clunky dinosaur cPanel and instead went our own way, something that competitors like WP Engine and Kinsta also chose to do e.g. (ours will be heavily revised/updated later in 2020):
cPanel was out as it was too heavy on server resources, lacked flexibility and wasn’t the future, in our view. And given cPanel’s outrageous price increases recently, hosts like SiteGround have been dumping them as well.
- For a while we trialled offering MaxCDN (Now called Stackpath) with our hosting but it wasn’t flexible enough for us so we built our own Content Delivery Network with 26 global end points so that we could optimize it to death for speed, something impossible with an outside provider.
Facebook had similar issues with hardware years ago so built their own.
For example, DNS loads from our CDN and that’s a significant speed enhancement and our own, highly customized CDN was a big factor in the above test results, something also achieved in 2018.
To my knowledge, WPX is still the ONLY host in the world with their own custom-built CDN, others use existing 3rd party providers.
We switched to SSD very quickly instead of conventional HDDs
We switched from Apache to Litespeed (more recently)
As soon as the Google/Facebook co-sponsored initiative for free SSL certificates went live with Let’s Encrypt, we introduced a 2-click wizard to install it (it used to take an hour of painful mucking around) – WPX was the first host to offer that I believe
Apart from pure hosting-related changes, WPX began fully funding the food and medical care of 500+ homeless dogs here in 2016.
Then in April 2019, we created our own foundation to DIRECTLY and MASSIVELY improve the welfare of shelter, homeless, abandoned and disabled dogs (and some cats) in our part of the world.
Instead of simply donating to other (often broken or poorly resourced) organizations, WPX took responsibility to directly manage, staff and resource our own nonprofit NGO to ELIMINATE the problems here: Every Dog Matters (EU).
In 2021 and beyond, we will also rescue abused/vulnerable horses and donkeys as well and let them enjoy the remainder of their lives on our own large, open farm sites.
Our work through Every Dog Matters perfectly illustrates WPX’s commitment to POSITIVE change directly through our own independent work and not simply handing off that responsibility to anyone else.
How Did We Change Hosting Support?
But as good as fast page loading speed is, if a host’s support sucks then the whole project is a failure.
So over the life of WPX, these were the most important milestones – all aimed at changing your experience as a hosting customer.
Firstly, we brought in 24/7/365 live chat and sufficiently staffed support so that our average support response time dropped to UNDER 30 seconds – independently verified by the live chat vendor we use:
- we also introduced our ‘Fixed For You Fast & Free’ guarantee – we will fix any issue that has taken a site offline (e.g. software conflict, failed theme update etc) for free, fast INSTEAD OF sending you to a long knowledgebase article and expect that you can read it and find the correct fix (though we do have the articles and can send you the links if you really want!)
- and added unlimited free site migrations to WPX (unless a domain change is requested as that takes additional database editing time)
- while also bringing in free malware scanning & removal (as you saw above, that can be a $200 a year ADDITIONAL expense on top of hosting – Bluehost are masters of this upsell too).
But How Does WPX's Hosting Industry Changes Affect Your Change Ambitions?
To free you up from almost all of the boring, technical requirements of running a business or project online so that you can spend more time on accomplishing your change ambitions e.g. running a successful online business, probably from home, in order to spend more time with your family – being a great mother/father/partner is a fantastic change ambition.
Or you might just be after more independence and freedom in your life.
That’s exactly what WPX was built to help accommodate.
And it’s our independence in the hosting industry, unlike almost every other host out there (even WP Engine were swallowed up by GoDaddy’s backer) that allows us to innovate, evolve and simplify the customer experience for entrepreneurs/change-seekers like you.
But Where's The Proof Of Successful Change For WPX Customers?
It’s one thing for companies to blather on about how they are initiating change in their industry or for their customers – even toilet paper companies probably do that – what about actual PROOF that WPX has made an impact for its customers?
Well you can head over to Trustpilot.com, probably the world’s largest review site, and see hundreds of real, verified (many long-term) customer reviews on WPX and our impact on their business/life:
or see hundreds of reviews on the WPX Facebook page from real customers about their experience with us:
or watch some short videos about how WPX helped customers achieve change in their business/life:
If you made it this far – WOW! – kudos, and that’s where the WPX story of change and empowering change is up to right now.
Either way, I wish you every success on your journey.
CEO, WPX Hosting