The Website Planet
team has tested hundreds of web hosting providers, and we have found one common issue among most providers: focusing too much on sales, and forgetting about what users really need.
That is what made WPX
manage to survive and thrive as a bootstrapped company in the ultra-competitive WordPress hosting market, while making a social impact.
We were lucky enough to have the chance to sit with Terry Kyle, Co-Founder & CEO of WPX, and learn how he made WPX one the fastest growing web hosting providers without a dime from external investments.
If you dream to build the next unicorn, read Terry’s advice, and you will be one step closer to making that dream come true.
Please introduce yourself and WPX to our readers.
My name is Terry Kyle. I am the Australian co-founder of WPX.net with Georgi Petrov (CEO).
As a digital entrepreneur, I have been using hosting services since the late 1990s and was always frustrated with their mediocre service and support.
So in 2013, Georgi Petrov and I set up our own hosting service to address our dissatisfaction with the legacy hosting providers at that time.
The result was WPX, an independent, fully bootstrapped company offering:
- industry leading server speed (independently verified)
- sub 30-second average response time on live chat by experienced support agents who can usually resolve issues without the need for escalation elsewhere
- unlimited free migrations to WPX from other hosts within 24 hours
- free speed optimization for website performance on Google’s Core Web Vitals
- a Fixed For You Guarantee where most problems affecting our customers’ websites are fixed by us for free, fast – instead of just sending customers to a long, complicated technical article and expecting them to figure out the solution themselves (frustrating!)
- free malware removal
And we have loads more stuff in the pipeline for the years ahead too!
What made one decide to get into WordPress hosting, arguably one of the most competitive niches out there?
When we started in 2013, WordPress hosting was far less saturated than it is today but I firmly believe in the “Customerpreneur” model of business creation – deep experience in an industry as a customer gives you great insight into creating a successful business in that same industry.
Plus, a lot of the drive to create our own hosting service came out of despair and frustration about what other companies offered at that time.
The bar for high quality performance was very low back then.
How does your mission differ from the other web hosting providers?
At WPX, 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 philosophy has served us very well over the years.
We are one of very few independent hosting companies left in the industry and that independence is very important to us.
In terms of hosting: We are dedicated to providing a really hands-on premium service. We treat each customer website with care, as if it’s our own.
The easy way isn’t always the best way, that’s why we refrain from using many tools and presets for a particular site that, probably, won’t benefit from. So, instead, we chose to walk a different path.
We will go the extra mile for you and your site, we will optimize, scan and proactively check your websites so you can rest easy.
When it comes to our local community, our mission is to have a huge positive, permanent impact in terms of technical training, encouragement of entrepreneurship (especially through our new Hyperspace events facility) and animal welfare via Every Dog Matters EU.
What are the common pain points among your customers when they come to you, and what makes them eventually choose you over your competitors?
Our core audience is non-technical solopreneurs and digital entrepreneurs.
These are people who love the freedom and independence that digital business offers but they have no desire to become Systems Administrators running their own Web infrastructure.
Our challenge therefore is to continually make our platform simpler, easier to use, faster to execute on and giving reliably high performance.
In doing so, our customers get to spend less time on technical tasks and can get on with running their digital businesses
WPX promises to be the world’s fastest WP hosting. How do you ensure that?
Page loading speed requires constant innovation, both technically and in other areas of our service (e.g. support speed + quality).
Generally, websites are getting heavier with more analytics types tools, ecommerce, membership plugins and other server-heavy addons.
For us, that means greater investment in new high-end servers (that we own, not rent) and constant research into speed optimization. We have invested in creating our own technical infrastructure, which helps us control and optimize each service area for the best performance possible.
Let me put it this way: When you create the pieces of your product, every single one fits perfectly with the others, and you are in complete control of the quality you offer. Of course, you can use different external pieces, which is more accessible, but it’s a slippery slope – there usually are restrictions that will stop you from innovating and scaling.
On Trustpilot.com, we have close to 3,000 5-star customer reviews and most of those are about our support speed (we average under 30 seconds on live chat) and the fact that it is our longstanding policy to fix most customers’ technical website issues for them
(for free) rather than sending them a technical article and expecting them to figure it out and apply the correct solution.
Our customers love that innovation and differentiating feature of WPX.
Is there a success story from your customers that you are particularly proud of?
We have many but this recent Trustpilot review of our service from one of our oldest customers, Nick Haines, is particularly pleasing:
9 years with WPX and it gets better and better.
I’ve been with WPX for nearly nine years, having moved from a super expensive server with an exceptional record and customer service. I moved to WPX because my business was in financial difficulty, and changing servers was a way to save a chunk of cash.
I was prepared for a drop in site speed with WPX and slower/less efficient customer service. But you get what you pay for, eh?
But I was wrong!
All my sites ran faster – much faster with WPX. Their customer service has been out of this world, even when it’s not their responsibility – as in I’ve messed up and deleted a file or even a site!
I’ve just come off a chat with their helpdesk after another cock up on my part, and they’ve gone way over what they should have or were responsible for.
Plus, they did it in a supportive way and like it was no trouble, which is why I felt compelled to write this. They are the very best of the best!
So if you’re unsure about choosing WPX, join them. After nine years, I’m still blown away by them.
If you had to share one piece of advice with aspiring digital entrepreneurs, what would that be?
Figure out what is the most important thing to you, then do as much as you can for as long as you can but start now.
There is no perfect time to start anything and time passes incredibly quickly so get moving today.
Plus, entrepreneurship is about driving change – not just business or money – so consider what you want to change in the world and go hard after that.
Also, failures are inevitable and they usually provide skills, experience and connections that are useful in later projects. The only real failure is giving up.
What opportunities and challenges do you see in the future of the WordPress hosting industry, and how do you plan to cope?
WordPress hosting is far more saturated now than it was in 2013 when we started and that puts pressure on prices and profit margins.
Our future goal with WPX is to be a software company that includes WordPress hosting but in the coming years, we will launch many other tools and products related to digital business and hosting, but not just hosting itself necessarily.
Lastly, tell us about your work with animal shelters, and how people can contribute.
As was the case with WPX, our mission with rescue dog welfare is to permanently change the status quo for dog shelters which currently involves putting dogs into tiny cells for life (this is emotionally devastating for dogs and makes many of them unadoptable) or euthanizing them to make space for the next unwanted dogs to come in (who will also be euthanized, most likely).
Our vision is that all shelters should move to the large open-yard, no-cage model (our shelter yards range from 300m2 to 1500 m2), unlimited free castrations for pet dogs (where most rescue dogs come from, unwanted puppies dumped somewhere) and making inroads into the demand for buying breed dogs (credible UK research suggests that if just 7% of breed dog buyers adopted a rescue dog from their local shelter, all shelters would be empty almost immediately).
This is the long term mission of Every Dog Matters EU (sponsored by WPX).
Contributions to Every Dog Matters EU can be made through the foundation website at https://everydogmatters.eu/