WPblab EP127 – Marketing Managed WordPress Hosting in a Saturated Market

In this episode, Jason Tucker and Bridget Willard were joined by Jeff Matson from Pagely’s NorthStack. He gave insight into Managed WordPress, WordPress Hosting, and Managed AWS Service.

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Stop Getting Cheep-A$$ Hosting

WordPress hosting matters. Hosting is hosting is hosting until it’s not. When it comes to your “hobby,” if you take it seriously, it has the potential to become your career.

It seems like WordPress hosting is saturated, but it’s really not. Pagely was the first to create WordPress Managed hosting back in the day. You can hear Joshua Strebel talk about the last ten years in his WordCamp Phoenix talk.

So, how do we convince content creators, bloggers, and non-inside baseball writers to think good hosting is important?

When you pay for $5 hosting, you get $5 hosting. They’re digital slumlords, Bridget says in jest. If the support folks are getting paid minimum wage ($7 something in VA), the Five Dollar Host loses money every time one of their customers calls.

“Even if they are getting paid minimum wage, if they talk to you for an hour, the company lost money on you.” Jeff Matson

Bridget spends $25 a month on Pressable and thinks that’s a reasonable amount for anyone to spend. To her, it matters that the company she chooses has a reputation of treating their employees well.

“I don’t want to use a service that has a big turnover. If they can’t keep their employees, they have internal issues.” Bridget Willard

Hobbyists Learn Everything When Their Sites Blow Up

It’s true. When your blog gets notices, as Jason points out, and all of a sudden you’re getting traffic, your site may not be able to handle that. Managed hosts will scale the traffic.

Do you want to learn the hard way? Your hobby or small business needs to value website hosting.

“You teach them that their business is important.” Jeff Matson

You don’t need more web hosting than your site requires, especially if you’re getting only 20 hits a week. But with something like a managed service, you can scale up and then down when you need it.

What do you get with Managed WordPress Hosting?

If you’re in the $250 a month or $25 a month plan, when you pay for managed WordPress hosting, you’re paying for support. Larger fees at the front pay for concierge-level service. Jeff recalls how Pagely had top-tier folks in their slack helping with Gravity Forms site migrations at midnight. That’s the kind of service you get with top-tier Managed WordPress Hosting.

Why not run your own box?

You could run your own DigitalOcean box, but why? If you’re running your own box, you have to do all of the security maintenance, patches, and updates. Also, if you’re facing a DDOS attack, you have to face those trials, too.

Almost any level of business should outsource these types of things so they can focus on working on your business.

“Is that really what you want to spend your billable hours on?” Bridget Willard

So, the perfect solution between running your own box and buying high-end Managed WordPress hosting is managed AWS service.

What is a Managed AWS Service?

With NorthStack, Pagely is bringing the same level of product without the support. You can get a fast site that scales when someone posts your article to Reddit.

“It’s an unbelievable product to host your sites on without all the extra stuff that you might not need.” Jeff Matson

This is made for developers who use GitHub and CLI to create apps and build sites. For now, that’s where NorthStack is focusing. You pay for the amount of resources you’re using instead of a general bucket. Automated deployments for the win.

This product better suited for small to enterprise agencies. Not everyone needs Disney-level service.

How do you market your product?

Marketing products in a word-of-mouth space like WordPress requires finesse. Jeff makes recommendations on products based upon his personal experience. He regards his recommendations as a reflection of himself. In short, Jeff manages his personal branding and that’s how he recommends products.

“I keep my reputation above all else and that’s what I use to market products. “Jeff Matson

Tool or Tip of the Week

This week’s Tool or Tip of the Week is brought to you by PeepSo. PeepSo is a super-light, free, social network plugin for WordPress that allows you to quickly and effortlessly add a social network or an online community right inside your WordPress site. Your Community. Your Way. Find out more at at PeepSo.com

Bridget recommends Everybody Writes by Ann Handley. It gives actual and practical tips on effective copywriting.

Jeff recommends The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.

Jason recommends the app Vignette which allows you to (at a minimal cost) add and update photos for your contacts.

Do you have any tools or tips we should know about?

We’d love to hear from you. Also, how are you marketing yourself? Tell us in the comments below.

Weekly Watercooler Discussions about WordPress and it’s community.

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