Jesse Friedman on raising the WP hosting standard across the industry with WP.cloud-Post Status Draft

Transcript ↓

Cory Miller is joined by Jess Friedman from WP Cloud discuss how hosting companies can improve their infrastructure and services to provide better performance and reliability to their customers. They also dive into the importance of customer support, the benefits of using managed hosting services, the ethics of data collection, and more. The experience and expertise offered are sure to inspire you to increase your standards of service

Top Takeaways:

  • Outsourcing Infrastructure. WordPress hosting companies can benefit from outsourcing their infrastructure to specialized providers such as WP Cloud. This can free up their customer support team from dealing with infrastructure-related issues and enable them to focus on providing better customer service and value-added services.
  • Increase Customer Satisfaction. By democratizing publishing and providing a superior WordPress experience, hosting companies can reduce churn and retain customers who may otherwise switch to other platforms if their WordPress experience is subpar.
  • Set Up for Speed. While many factors can impact website speed, some of the most important ones include optimizing images, using a content delivery network (CDN), and minimizing the use of plugins. By focusing on these areas, WordPress agencies can help their clients improve their website speed and ultimately provide a better user experience for their visitors.

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Transcript

Cory Miller: [00:00:00] Everybody welcomed back to post status draft. I’ve got a longtime friend
of mine in the WordPress space. I think we met like 10 years ago, Jesse. Um, but we’re gonna
be talking about WP Cloud today, and this is part of our product people series. Um, I heard
about WP Cloud, I know Jesse and I was like, Hey, I wanna know more about WP Cloud.
It’s really compelling from what I’ve heard. Um, but first and foremost, welcome to the podcast.
Jesse. Could you tell us a little bit about your.
Jesse Friedman: Yeah. Thanks Corey. And yeah, it probably has been a decade. It’s, it’s, uh,
it’s awesome to, to be able to, uh, know people like you and be able to work with people like you
for so long.
Um, and that’s one of the great things about the WordPress community, right? Oh, yeah. Uh,
yeah. So, uh, I, I, uh, got started in WordPress, geez, back in 2005, I think. Uh, I was, uh,
working as a professor at a university and, uh, trying to teach, [00:01:00] uh, students, uh, well
actually I was a student at the time and then later I became a professor and started teaching
WordPress.
Uh, but my professor, Hillary Mason, who’s actually, used to work at Bitly and is pretty world
renowned, uh, data scientist. She, she turned me onto WordPress and, uh, I never looked back.
Uh, prior to that I was building like static websites. Um, and, uh, and WordPress, uh, is not just a
piece of software, right?
It’s a community of people that, uh, help to kind of raise the level of everyone who works on it.
Um, and that, that’s where I got my career jump off. It was, uh, it was definitely with WordPress
for sure. That’s awesome.
Cory Miller: Well, we met when you’re part of Brute Protect and uh, I was asking in the pre-roll
about your art in the background.
I’m a big fan of art. Yeah. I wanna get some from the walls, but tell me, tell me more about the
art in the background cuz I was like, Hey, we met when you were part of Brute Protect before it
was acquired by automatic. And you kind of pointed to the [00:02:00] lightning in the back. So,
yeah, tell me more.
Jesse Friedman: Yeah. So actually before we jump in here, this is an not an, uh, chronological
order, but I was actually working for a company called Astonish, uh, where I actually got to build
a, a, a large web team.
I actually still work with one colleague from that company, Jeff Kalinsky. He works at Automatic
now. Uh, when we were tasked with building, um, or converting a. source.net based cms, uh,
from an old product called Blue Squid, uh, to a new WordPress powered multi-site. And it was
gonna house like 4,000 sites.
Um, and so we, I found this at like a art show. Uh, bought it, hung it on the wall, and uh, and we
spent a year building this new platform. The funny thing about it, this is a really unique story.
Didn’t give us access to the source files. Uh, and they kind of held everything hostage. This third
party company that we were host, host, hosting everything with.
Um, so we actually had to build a, like a [00:03:00] w get scraper. To scrape our own websites
and convert them into WordPress themes. So we didn’t even like turn them into Ion out, we
turned them into full blown WordPress themes on a multisite. And, uh, we were able to move all
those sites over very quickly. Um, and so I asked that same artist, I said, Hey, can you paint a, a
harpoon now that Blue Squid is dead?
It’s this old product. And so we hung that up on the wall and that, and that was that. I left that
company and co-founded Brew Protect. Uh, brew Protect was a cloud powered. Um, Uh, botnet
prevention service. So like anyone who’s trying to brute force into your website, we used, uh,
data that we would gather from attack vectors from different various, uh, areas.
And it was really the first time that I was able to say like, we’re building something that leverages
information that we gained from multiple hosting partnerships to better the entire WordPress
community. Because everything that was happening before then was hosts would gather attack
vectors against their own infrastructure, and that was the only thing they could [00:04:00] learn
from.
But what we did was we grabbed that information from across different hosting companies, uh,
across customers who were around the globe, and we were able to really do a better job of

thwarting those attacks. Um, and so that represents cloud data raining down on a, a botnet, uh,
going outta business there.
And then, uh, yeah, and so then we got, uh, acquired by Automatic back in 2014, and I joined
the Jet Pack team. Uh, I’ve been working on hosting partnerships and. Product development for
Jet Pack for almost nine years now. And, uh, then we started, uh, you know, launched WP Cloud
last year.
Cory Miller: So it has been 10 years.
Because I met you all right before the automatic acquisition. Acquisition. Yeah. Yeah. Um, man,
well, some nostalgia there. Um, so what’s, what’s, uh, really compelling, what you just said too,
is Jet. So when I knew you all got required and got got to meet you and Sam [00:05:00]
Hotchkis, and then at some point I realized, Sam, and you were on the jet pack team and at Ithe
we.
Felt like we were competitors to Jet Pack in many ways, um, from backups and security. And I
was like, oh no, these, these guys are gonna take jet pack to the next level. And I’ve definitely
seen, I think, what is probably the product of your work over the years where it’s like, oh no.
Okay, Sam, Jesse getting in there, um, with Jet Pack.
So, uh, that’s a, I wanted to mention that cuz I’ve thought that many times. I think I’ve expressed
that to Sam. Um, but. Anyway, thanks for that background. That’s, that’s really compelling. Back
to the old static h CML days. Woo. Thanks WordPress. Yeah. So Jesse, let’s talk about WP
Cloud. I know, um, we’ve talked a couple times about this and I, what, I know I can throw this at
you and you’ll, you just, you just hit it out of the part and, uh, but tell me really succinctly, what
do you [00:06:00] think? What is WP Cloud?.
Jesse Friedman: WP Cloud is a WordPress focus cloud platform that we built within automatic
to power the highest and most trafficked websites in the world. Um, and to provide a very unique
solution, uh, that gets very close to, if not a hundred percent up time. Um, and so we’re doing
something that’s a little bit different than what you see with other cloud platforms.
We provide vertical scaling and automated real-time fail. So what we want to do is provide a
solution that, again, is 100% WordPress focused, but allows you to stop thinking about hosting
altogether. You don’t have to worry about it anymore. We’re gonna take care of all the
infrastructure, keep it up and running, keep it high performance, and, uh, let hosting companies
or others focus on what they do best, um, to provide a, a fantastic experience to customer.
Cory Miller: Well, anytime you say something around wordpress.com infrastructure, I always
go, holy [00:07:00] cow. Yeah. When you can say, pretty near, I know you’re being humbled too,
but like that, that system is renowned because it’s incredible. I mean, people that work on, uh,
the platform and what it does, but. Now, who’s it? Who’s it really for?
When you think about WP Cloud, you kind of maybe mentioned this, but I wanna drill down on
that. Who do you think it’s really for?
Jesse Friedman: Yeah. All right. So if we look at the actual, uh, hosting, uh, platform itself, it’s
for anyone who wants to have high availability, high performant websites. Uh, but if we look at
the brand WP Cloud, what we’ve done is we’ve decided to take, um, the entire platform and, and
give.
A brand that we can then go to hosting companies with and, and provide services to hosting
companies. So WP Cloud is not interested in individual customers, uh, small agencies, things
like that. What we’re actually interested in doing is providing services to hosting companies
[00:08:00] to help them provide. Better hosting.
Um, you can think about WP Cloud as a utility service, like the electrical grid underground, uh,
providing services to customers all, all around the globe. But, um, allowing those hosting
companies to, uh, maintain their experience, the things that differentiate themselves, all of. But if
you’re, if you’re listening to this and you’re thinking, oh, I have one website or 10 websites and I
want to host them and I don’t want to have to worry about, um, downtime or, or speed issues or
anything like that, I would suggest going straight to one of WP Cloud’s partners, pressable, for
example.
Mm-hmm.
Cory Miller: So when we were prepping for this, I said, Hey, so this, this pa uh, this is
leveraging the.com platform, and you corrected me. Share a little bit more about that.
Jesse Friedman: Yeah, sure. So, uh, so what we did was we took the minds and, and the
people behind wordpress.com powering hundreds of millions of sites there.

We took the [00:09:00] same, um, experienced individuals who were helping to power some of
the, um, most powerful websites on v i p. Uh, we took the experience that we had from Running
Pressable, which is, um, like a, uh, a managed WordPress host that we, uh, use to, um, really.
Test and grow our own product base. And so we took all those things and we said, what, how
can we build a cloud platform that’s gonna service all of the needs that we have internally, um,
and, and provide the absolute best experience?
And so when we did that, we ended up launching, uh, what we called internally, uh, product
called Atomic, uh, and that is now powering uh, wordpress.com business and e-commerce
plans. Pressable News Pack. And so that was, uh, similar to like how a w s got born. You know,
a, uh, Amazon was an e-commerce platform that was dealing with scale issues.
They couldn’t compensate for [00:10:00] the amount of the influx of traffic, so they had to really
sit down and think about how they can rebuild their entire platform. Um, and so then that’s how
aw w s was born. It’s not too dissimilar from what we’re doing. We have built a platform that is
now powering, um, 13 billion page views.
Um, and, uh, with sites that are experiencing incredibly fast speed under load. Um, and, and
now we’re saying to ourselves like, well, we know we built something amazing here. We know
that it’s something that we can really give back to the community as a way to raise the bar for
cloud hosting across, across the board.
Um, and so now that, that is the, that is the effort there is we’ve powered. Internally what we
need to, to make sure that everything runs smoothly. So again, if anybody wants to try out WP
Cloud, sign up for a wordpress.com business site, sign up for pressable. Um, you’ll feel the
speed, [00:11:00] uh, the proof is in, in the, uh, experience right there.
Um, but then WP Cloud is really now focused on how it can provide services to hosting.
Cory Miller: Yeah. I love that I’ve observed from the industry being in as long as both of us have
that, you know, there was this day where you started seeing some of the really big hosting
companies start go moving. There WordPress stuff over to the cloud.
Yeah, there’s a lot of bumpy roads along that way, but um, your comparison with aws for
instance, cuz I’ve heard Google Cloud, aws, some of those offerings kind of moving over and
that’s the way it feels like it’s shifting. I’m not a technical person, but I’ve been in the space a
long time and I go, it makes sense to have cloud-based hosting, especially for WordPress.
And then you get specific WordPress expertise. That knows that application better than anybody
I’d, I’d, I’d challenge anybody to say, do you know more about WordPress and automatic teams?
Yeah. Um,
Jesse Friedman: we definitely leveraged our, our own internal expertise to solve for that. And,
and you’re right. I [00:12:00] mean, you look at hosting companies and they’re trying to figure
out ways to differentiate themselves outside of the infrastructure.
A lot of them are moving to Google Cloud or aw. Um, the shared hosting is still, you know,
mostly the same kind of solution, um, that everyone is kind of racing to the bottom on pricing on.
Mm-hmm. Um, and so, so how are hosts differentiating themselves? Well, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s
made on top of promises of speed and performance and, and security.
But the reality of the situation is the, the infrastructure underneath is actually not. That different.
So hosting companies are really focused on trying to differentiate themselves now in the way in
which they market themselves. The onboarding experience that provide the partnerships that
they can leverage to provide a better experience to customers.
The speed at which you can launch your site, the customer service, those are all things that
HUS hosting companies really f are, are focused on, and. Frankly, the places where they can,
they can really win. One of the conversations I had at cloudfest, uh, which was a conference
that we went to, um, [00:13:00] two weeks ago, was about the power of diversity within hosting.
Um, and so I think that it’s really important to recognize that, especially when we’re talking about
WP Cloud, helping to power those hosting companies in terms of like a utility. Um, you look at
something like shop. And or, or w and they have these global solutions for every single, um,
customer across the world.
Um, but you know, we, we know why that’s not, uh, advantageous and why WordPress is better.
But one of the major advantages that WordPress has is that, um, the hosting companies can
define the niche that they wanna solve. They can solve problems specific for geographically
locations. WordPress has seeded itself into hosting companies around the globe.

So the solutions you get from a hosting company in let’s say the Netherlands, is completely
different than what you might get in Malaysia or Africa. Um, and so that’s an advantage that that
hosting companies have in that diversity. And so, uh, you know, if we can come [00:14:00] in
and try to help and provide better services at that infrastructural, Then that frees those hosting
companies up to think about ways in which they can differentiate themselves and provide the
absolute best experience to those, to those customers.
Cory Miller: Take care of wordPress, you got the power of WP Cloud, the.com top experience
and do other stuff on top that adds value for your customers. Yeah, exactly. So. I know having
been acquired, our company was acquired by hosting company, uh, been on the inside of that
and realizing how much, you know, they, they really worry all, all hosting companies about price.
Um, yeah. Anytime you, you know, c panel was this big conversation in the industry for a long
time because they started cranking at prices and everybody started fleeing because they’re like,
they felt held hostage. But I know every penny accounts in hosting. So Can you talk a little bit
about the pricing structure for WP.
And I know that this is still early.
Jesse Friedman: It is still early, and I [00:15:00] appreciate that and, uh, I probably shy away
from getting into the super specifics of pricing right now, but what I can tell you is this, is that the
way in which WP Cloud Scales is based on the number of pH p workers, uh, CPUs. Uh, and
storage that you want.
And so what we want to create are ways in which hosting companies can come in, um, and
create bespoke offerings to either power their managed WordPress offering now, or to start by
offering the higher tier hosting that they haven’t been able to offer before. If you look at most of
the hosting companies in the world, a lot of them cap out at a hundred bucks, 150 bucks a
month.
Um, and so then you leave, uh, the super high end. Hosting customers to, to either fend for
themselves with their own cloud platform to go to, uh, you know, higher, higher end managed
hosting. Um, or something like W P V I P. What we wanna do is be able to provide services that
go from that range, from, uh, 25 bucks a month to [00:16:00] $2,000 a month, um, and to be
able to provide consistent uptime throughout all of that.
So hosting companies will be able to come in and use WP. Um, and, and if they want to go with
a lower tier, like two PHP workers, two CPUs, this is getting super technical. That’s still built for
like 400,000 sustained visitors a month, uh, which is gonna compensate for, you know, most.
Customers that’s only gonna cost that hosting company a few bucks a month with WP Cloud.
Um, and then, and then it scales up from there. And since we’re talking about scaling, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll
just say one thing is, is that we offer something that’s pretty unique in that we don’t, uh, we don’t
reserve, uh, we, we don’t have any limitations on visits. So if you take a look at other hosting
companies, you’ll see that they create, uh, they’ll create really robust, powerful servers.
And then they’ll put traffic limits on it. Mm-hmm. I’m thinking of a hosting company right now
[00:17:00] that has, um, a robust amount of power, uh, allows for up to 40 WordPress websites
and only, uh, and stops at like 400,000 visits a month. Mm-hmm. Well, if you only have 10,000
visits a month, you don’t need all that power anyway.
Uh, even if you’re not sharing it across all of those things, that’s just a waste of power. That’s a
Lamborghini on the, on the back of a flatbed pickup truck. You know what I mean? Like you’re
not taking full advantage of that. WP Cloud is gonna come in and, and basically say, uh, we’re
going to create bespokes solutions that are designed to house the amount of traffic that you’re,
or serve the amount of traffic that you’re bringing.
Uh, but we’re not gonna limit you on, on the amount of traffic that you have there. Um, so there
are no real, uh, traffic limitations with WP Cloud, unlike other hosting companies.
Cory Miller: Yeah, it, I don’t know all the specs, but I know enough to go when they put a traffic
thing, there’s something underneath that they’re trying to be careful of when they put limits and
things.
But, um, [00:18:00] so that, that’s a conversation for another well, unless you.
Jesse Friedman: Well, I was just gonna say that it’s a way for them to mitigate their, their, their
risk and their costs. Yeah. Um, but we, we have built a platform that we know can scale to any
amount of traffic. So, uh, we’re, we’re gonna differentiate ourselves there.

Cory Miller: Yeah. Um, so I think you said fully managed performance security and WordPress.
What does that mean?
Jesse Friedman: It means that we’re literally gonna take care of it all for you. So in terms of
security, uh, it has built-in backup solutions. So it’s actually pretty unique in the way in which we
do backups. I’m sure we’re gonna touch on automated failovers soon.
But the way we do our backups is that we do, um, daily file backups and hourly database
backups, but we don’t just store that on the same box. What we do is we put it onto another data
center. On another box that actually has power ready so that we can switch to that if we need to.
We can talk about that in a second.
Um, but we [00:19:00] do, it comes with s ssl, it comes with, uh, TLS encryption. It comes with,
uh, WAF DDoS protection. I’m telling you. Like we harden the heck out of it. Yeah. Um, and then
in, in addition to that, we automatically build in a c. No extra cost. It has a CDN built into it. Um,
and it, uh, also resizes your images.
So you’re only serving the size of the image that you need high resolution, but you’re not serving
these 10 megabyte images that people upload straight from their phone to their WordPress
instance, right? We’re resizing it and only showing the size that you need for the device that’s
requesting it. Uh, we also do, uh, automated caching built in too.
Um, and. It’s all run by our team internally, so there is really no tweaking or configuring or
anything that you have to do. Um, it’s 100% fully managed outta the box. That also includes the
management of things like P H p, uh, database. Um, it manages, uh, WordPress core [00:20:00]
files, certain plug-ins. It allows for templating and staging.
Um, and again, we handle all of that. It’s not, these aren’t things that you’re gonna have to.
Cherry pick based on price or anything. It’s all 100% inclusive in the product.
Cory Miller: So I, you mentioned principle way earlier. I’m a paying, and I wanna say that really
loud and clear. I’m a paying customer principle.
Yeah. So I’ve seen this, the performance, all these things. And, uh, so that, that’s, that’s pretty
awesome. But I, I wanted to push in on that because I’m a, this is my comment, not. But when
you say managed, you always, I always go, tell me what that really means. Yeah. Yeah. It’s like,
you know, the Tommy Boys, like you can slap a label on the side, but it’s, you know, what
actually happens inside.
And I think that’s one thing that differentiate, differentiates, uh, any automatic brand is it’s not a
label on the outside. Um, yeah. Okay. So tell me what automated realtime fellows.
Jesse Friedman: So we touched on this briefly, right? [00:21:00] So if we, if we back up your
entire site to another location and we put that back up on a box that has power, um, and you’re
serving traffic to one location, we can automatically detect some kind of, any kind of issue.
So even if there was catastrophic failure, uh, you know, a pipe got cut. Uh, the data center
actually you. We have tons of redundancies in terms of power and things like that, but like, let’s
just say like a volcano erupted or something like that, you know, something really catastrophic.
We can in real time redirect that traffic to another data center that already has your site live on it
and already has, uh, the, the power behind it.
So we can in real time, switch that traffic and people will not experience any downtime. And that
is something that is nearly impossible with other cloud platforms. It is possible, but it’s incredibly
expensive. And because of the scale that we operate at, uh, and the WordPress efficiency that
we [00:22:00] have, um, we’ve been able to, to build that into the platform.
Cory Miller: See, when you talked about backups earlier, it’s something to know about having
helped lead our product, uh, for backups. And when you said that one thing, it’s not on that
server. It’s somewhere else within a vast infrastructure. That’s really compelling to me because
we would tell customers all the time, don’t just don’t back up on that server because what’s,
what’s it gonna do for you when it crashes?
Um, so like, I love the secure, the backup feature of that. It’s not just a. A backup if something
happens. And this was way before all this technology existed today, but that’s how we got the
backup is like into our product. Is it crashed? We didn’t have, we had backups maybe on that
server. And literally the hard drive was like capoot.
And so that was our mantra. Always remote, offsite, you know, so that you can restore and. In
case
Jesse Friedman: we’ve, we’ve seen this, I, I’ll [00:23:00] leave hosting companies names out of
this, this conversation, but we’ve all seen hosting companies that have had. Catastrophic failure.

Um, data center fires, for example, things like that.
Uh, and if you’re not backing up, this is getting into like a conversation about Jet Pack two, but
like, if you’re not backing up your, your website offsite, you’re susceptible to that. Mm-hmm. Um,
and that, that can be, um, unbelievably painful. I can’t tell you how many conversations I had
with people who say, well, I’ll worry about security later, or I’ll, I’ll, you know, I don’t really care
about backups right now.
I just wanna get my site. But all the time you’re investing in that, right? You’re building your
website. Think about the dozens of hours of time that you’re spending tweaking all those things.
And if you lose that, it’s, it’s not just catastrophic failure for the host, it’s catastrophic failure for
the site owner too.
It’s, it’s incredibly painful and to, you know, some, some people out there have stronger will than
I to start all over from the beginning, but I don’t, but that’s, [00:24:00] sometimes I felt that pain
you left with doing.
Cory Miller: Yeah, I, I felt that. Yeah. Um, we were, we were scraping. We had some clients at
the time and scraping data from Google Cash to redo websites, and so I felt that pain.
Yeah. So we’ve talked about, um, the power, performance, security, all these things that are
baked into WP Cloud, that powers.com business, eCommerce plans. But how about the,
Preserving and growing the hosting experience. What are your thoughts on that? So key, key
client for this is our hosting companies, um, to be able to really leverage all of this for, I mean,
when you said utility tool, it really rang a bell for me.
It’s like, okay, all of this at a re, very. Reasonable price, and I know they need to talk to you
about all those things. But yeah, let’s, let’s talk about that hosting experience a little bit. Tell me,
tell me your thoughts on that related to WP Club.
Jesse Friedman: So every single [00:25:00] host that, and I’ve worked with a lot of hosting
companies, every single host has a unique experience.
Uh, the signup flow is typically about the same, but the second that you get into that WordPress
instance being launched, Unique onboarding flows. You get unique sets of tools. Um, the
different combinations of the way in which they combine, uh, partnerships they have with
security or performance companies.
Um, And then the platform, the platform is always really unique. Um, a lot of them are built on
top of cPanel or Plak. I think something like 70, 80% of all hosts use that technology. Mm-hmm.
Um, and sometimes you feel it and sometimes you don’t. Like, there are certain hosting
companies that are just using cPanel.
It literally says cPanel and you, and you know what you’re on. But then there are other hosting
companies that have built a completely custom bespoke solution that’s layered on top of. No
matter what it is, um, that, that again is how you’re differentiating yourself. Um, so if I look at six
hosting companies that are using the same [00:26:00] basic boxes to do shared WordPress
hosting, they’re the only difference.
There is price, but we’re all. All hosting companies are racing to the bottom on price, and we’re,
we’re talking about a difference of a few bucks a month. Um, so then what is it that you get with
that hosting that’s really gonna differentiate ’em? And so most people are either making
decisions based on the fact that they have a recommendation from a friend, or they’re taking a
look at, uh, you know, the, the, the bespoke solutions that are coming bundled with that.
The great thing about WP Cloud is that it has no platform. It has no user interface. It is 100%
API driven. So for any hosting company to use it, it has to work underneath every single thing
that they’ve already built. Um, and so it can work with C Panel, it can work with Plesk, uh, or it
can work with whatever bespoke solution you have.
Um, but your, um, Unveiling of the use of WP Cloud is up to you as a host and company. You
[00:27:00] can go one way and say, Similar to, I think like WP Engine does this with like a w s or
Google Cloud. They say like, you know, proudly like we’re partnered with this company to, to
launch this. Um, and the same way that Pressable does this with like WP Cloud or Grid Pain,
uh, you know, they say proudly powered by WP Cloud.
And that’s starting to mean something as we start to have more of these conversations and
more people understand what WP Cloud really is. But, um, WP Cloud also offers a completely.
Uh, an option that allows you to basically use our infrastructure without ever mentioning us. You
could even bring your own IP addresses if you wanted to, um, and then take use of the entire

infrastructure underneath it, uh, without having to disclose that it’s not something that’s
homegrown.
Um, so however the host and company wants to work in that, in that area makes sense to us.
Uh, what we want to do is just really. Allow them to refocus their efforts away from things like
[00:28:00] managing WordPress or handling security or dealing with uptime. The other thing I’ll
talk about too is, um, cost to serve.
Cost to serve is something that’s on the mind of every single hosting company. Uh, when
Pressable moved onto WP Cloud, we saw a dramatic decrease in, um, support tickets related to
anything infrastructure rate, limiting DDoS, anything like. Um, and the same thing with
wordpress.com, uh, wordpress.com business and e-commerce customers.
They’re not, uh, reaching out and asking for support on anything related to the box or how fast
their site is performing. What they are asking questions about is more things around how can
they be successful. How can you know what plugins should I use for this? Or, or that that’s your
decision as a host and company decide pr provide support in that area or not.
But I can tell you that when you relieve your host, your, your happiness engineers, your
customer service team, from the burden of having to figure out why a site is down or why it’s
[00:29:00] performing so slowly, it gives them the ability. You know, focus on what keeps those
customers there for the long term, reducing churn, which is what every host and company thinks
about.
Pressable had something like 36,000 tickets last year. Less than half of a percentage of them
were even associated with anything, uh, related to to infrastructure. And I even read some of
them. And a lot of them were just questions about how, how Pressable goes about handling.
Um, so we’ve basically eliminated support for, for hosting.
Cory Miller: That’s the headline right there for, for WordPress hosting that, that’s the headline of
the interview today. For sure. Well, um, Jesse, we’ve covered a lot, but I wanna make sure we
didn’t miss anything. Um, I think it’s an incredibly compelling service. Could help really raise the
standard of the hosting industry for WordPress.
Um, that’s exactly. So what, uh, [00:30:00] and, and this is the note I wanted to say about the
hosting experiences like that, uh, I think that frees a hosting company to also innovate on that
application labor. What things, whether it’s plugins, themes, services on top that add value for
who their customers are and what they’re trying to get.
And I think that’s, that’s pretty dang cool. If I were in that seat hosting product, uh, manager, I’d
be like, okay, this is taken care of. It’s base lever, le level here. Now how can we set ourselves
apart by adding value to who our customers are? But is there anything with that, um, we left at,
or you wanna mention?
Jesse Friedman: Well, I’ll actually just pick up right there where you, uh, you mentioned about,
uh, hosting companies. I think one thing to remember is, is that, Our mission at Automatic more
than anything is to provide, um, and democratize publishing. We know that, but it’s, it’s also
about making sure that WordPress is not only [00:31:00] readily available, but performing at a
level that, um, allows you to focus on getting the word out about your business or your political
views or whatever it might be.
Um, but hosting companies, uh, are experiencing incredible churn right now. Uh, we. This was
like the number one topic at that conference I mentioned earlier. Cloud Fest, um, hosting
companies are seeing extreme churn, and the problem is, is that when someone churns from a
hosting company that is specifically for WordPress, they don’t churn and go, they don’t try
hosting company a.
Say, oh, my WordPress experience wasn’t so great there. I’m gonna go try hosting company B
and try WordPress there, and then I’m gonna try hosting company C and try WordPress there.
That’s not really What happens is that they give WordPress a shot on whatever hosting
company they’ve chosen. And if that fails, uh, or that doesn’t work out for them, a lot of them
end up going to something else.
And so that one opportunity to provide a [00:32:00] superior WordPress experience is really
where we want to help, right? So if we can take care of the, the infrastructure, the hosting, the
security, the performance, and make sure that everyone has this like level set, amazing hosting
experience in terms of the infrastructure.
I wanna touch on the exact, like, I wanna reiterate what you just said, which is that that allows
hosting companies to innovate on what they can do to provide better onboarding, reduce time to

live, which is how fast they can launch their site, helping to make sure customers are
successful, focus your time on marketing so that customers sites, once they’re launched, they
can actually gain traffic and, and really help them to achieve their business goals.
And the other thing that I just wanted to touch on real quick too is, is just, uh, we talked a little bit
about scaling, but one of the things I do wanna mention is, is that, um, so these are bare metal
boxes that we built up that we own. They’re, we’re not outsourcing anything at all. Um, and we
have 28 data centers around the globe already that are ours, uh, powering this entire
infrastructure.
[00:33:00] Um, and then, uh, when someone. Hit with traffic, an extreme amount of traffic. What
typically happens with other, um, cloud platforms is that they replicate everything onto a
separate box and they try to throw additional boxes at the problem. But the problem is that if
you’re down, because you can’t service the amount of traffic that you’re handling, you have to
wait for that extra box to spool up, or you’re paying for it to be laying in weight.
Right. What we can do actually is what we do is vertical scaling. So we have the option to throw
more PHPs and more CPUs at the problem until we’ve compensated for the amount of traffic
that you have. But this is where things get really unique. We go when we build out hosting
plans. As I said before, hosts can build plans between two and say 30 PHP workers and CPUs.
That’s built for sustained traffic of 400,000 visits to 15 million visits. Um, but now let’s say you
have an e-commerce website that got featured on the wire cutter, or you have, uh, a product
that you’ve been [00:34:00] ready to release and you have a huge wait list, uh, and everyone’s
gonna slam your site at the same exact time.
WP Cloud has a very unique opportunity that we can burst to 110 PhD P workers in CPUs. And
then what we’re talking about then is, is handling the type of traffic that like the Washington Post
gets when they release an article about what’s happening in our, in our government, or. C n n
traffic, you know what I mean?
Mm-hmm. Um, and so those, those are the types of things that we’re, we’re mainly focused on
so that we can provide, you know, v i p level hosting, um, and allow hosting companies to break
out of that shared hosting and the cheaper managed hosting, and to really offer something to,
you know, to any of those customers that are, that are experiencing incredibly high.
Cory Miller: I wanna go back to something you said because I absolutely, it rings true with me,
is that if the hosting experience is not good, particularly on the WordPress as an application
layer, [00:35:00] um, yeah, we’re, we’re not, we’re doing a disservice to the entire industry
because we’re. Turning a WordPress person into another Com competitor.
And you know, I’ve been in this space a long time and I go, you know, I woke up a year ago and
go, wow, there’s very solid competitors to WordPress now out there. And if we want to, as the
business eco ecosystem of WordPress continued to have this incredible thriving grow.
Ecosystem and the software. Then we, you know, we used to say like, you need two things.
You need a domain name and you need WordPress hosting to Yep. To buy our products. And
then again to those agencies out there who we serve, um, at post tennis and are building on
that, that love, that inflow and growth that we’ve all enjoyed with the growth of WordPress, then
we need to be serious about this conversation in the hosting experience because, You hit it right
on the nail.
They’re not leaving the hosting [00:36:00] company. Just the hosting company. They’re leaving
potentially WordPress. And that’s the bell I want to keep ringing, is that as an industry, we need
to do things like this. This is, this is a key pillar. I think. Um, there’s other things that we need to
be doing as a WordPress business ecosystem to keep this healthy, thriving, growing.
And, uh, I’m glad you mentioned that because it’s something I’ve seen, um, too, but that just
gives a real world experience of like, if these hosting companies are having churn, it’s not just
them, it’s all of us. And there, there’s a brand that we’ve had with WordPress that has been
awesome and I’m incredibly grateful for the brand and the open source software.
So I appreciate you mentioning that .
Jesse Friedman: Yeah, of course. Yeah. If you remember the old days of the five minute install,
um, I do. That was basically, uh, yeah. And for anyone who’s listening, who, who may not be
familiar with that, cuz it’s, it’s been enough years now. Uh, when you used to get a, [00:37:00] a,
a new hosting account, it never really came pre-built with WordPress, uh, out of the box, you’d
have to.

Download WordPress from wordpress.org, re-upload it, sftp, build a database. Um, and then the
five minute install came out and it was like this brilliant way of like launching a WordPress
website super fast. And that was the moment I think that husband companies decided like, wait
a minute, we can actually like really create custom WordPress experiences.
Because it’s no longer in charge of the customer to actually launch a WordPress website. It’s
now up to the, the host to actually launch that instance. And that’s when they started packaging
their own plugins, their own themes into it, providing their own unique solutions. And that’s all
well and good. Um, but I think there is a responsibility to those hosts, to the larger ecosystem to
make sure that we’re, we’re furthering the mission across the board.
Um, and so their churn is definitely a reflection of the larger ecosystems. Hundred percent.
Cory Miller: I mean, that affects all of our members that post us from product companies,
[00:38:00] professionals that do WordPress love, being able to do pre WordPress as their career
and the agency serving their clients out. Across the world.
So a hundred percent agree. And this, this is something we’ll have to change the headline a little
bit and add to it because it’s my personal viewpoint that we need to, all of us collectively look at
the industry and go, what makes it healthier for everybody? And this is a, this is part of the
conversation, so it matters, this conversation today, even if they don’t choose to go with WP
Cloud, that we need to be thinking about this experience for the overall health of, of the industry.
Yeah. Absolut. For sure, Jesse, my friend. Um, so if somebody’s interested and wants to talk
more about W Cloud, what do they do?
Jesse Friedman: So if you’re a hosting company and uh, you wanna partner with WP Cloud, go
to wp.cloud. Uh, it’ll load so fast, you think it’s a local site. Uh, so that’ll be your first taste of the
power of WP Cloud.
Uh, funny [00:39:00] enough, that site is actually hosted by Pressable on just a regular account.
Nothing special. Um, so, uh, you’ll see, you’ll see how that works if you’re thinking. Moving your
own personal sites or your businesses sites, um, and you’re not a hosting company, but you
want to, you want to try out WP Cloud, take a look at our partners.
So we have, uh, wordpress.com Pressable, uh, if you’re a news site, you could try News Pack
Grid Pain now offers, um, uh, WP Cloud as well. And, uh, and uh, yeah, we have some other
partners coming down the pike too. Uh, that will be, uh, will be.
Cory Miller: Let me know when the new
partners come in. We wanna share that, um, to, to our members at Postes.
But Jesse, thanks. Sure. Uh, for this today. I appreciate your time sharing about what you’re
doing at WP Cloud and Automatic. Um, so thank you and everybody else. Thank you for
listening in to another post status draft episode I, the product People series.
Jesse Friedman: Yeah. Well, thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.[00:40:00]

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