Interview with Terry Kyle From WPX Hosting – Today, I have Terry Kyle, the CEO of WPX Hosting, on board with us to discuss his journey as a web entrepreneur. WPX Hosting is one of the highly reliable and secured WordPress Managed Hosting on the web today and it will be great to learn about the company from the CEO himself.
First of all, let me welcome Terry and thank him to offer his precious time for this interview.
Interview With Terry Kyle From WPX Hosting
Hosting is a big concern to many probloggers, especially when it comes to WordPress hosting. The speed, the support, and most importantly the power and security features are the key factors that help us decide to find a reliable host company.
In this interview, I would like to know from Terry himself about his journey as a web entrepreneur so far and the basic reason why he launched WPX Hosting. Being a WPX user myself, I would also like to know what beholds in the future in terms of WordPress Hosting.
Let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth.
#1) What made you feel you need to launch WPX Hosting? Was it Cost / performance / Demand / growth potential or opportunities?
Before launching WPX Hosting (as Traffic Planet Hosting back in 2013), I had tried pretty much every hosting company out there.
At least twice.
And the experience was universal disappointment, despair and disbelief that this was how hosting had to be, especially with the so-called ‘big name’ brands e.g.
#1. ‘Unlimited’ plans that were actually extremely limited, and had a knack for shutting down at crucial times
#2. Support that took up to 30 minutes to reply to each response in a live chat
#3. Pages that took forever to load whenever a tiny traffic flow came to my sites
#4. Hosting companies that refused to help fix frustrating issues and instead insisted on trying to teach me how to fix things myself with endless Knowledge-base articles
In the end, I decided that enough was enough and I could do better and launched Traffic Planet Hosting that became WPX Hosting in October 2016.
#2) How old is WPX Hosting? What differentiates WPX compared to its competitors?
Traffic Planet Hosting began life in December 2013 and the name – and nothing else – changed to WPX Hosting in October 2016.
Keeping it brief, these are the top 5 fast points of difference:
#1. WPX only uses new, very high end SSD servers that are deliberately UNDERloaded (the exact opposite of ‘cheap’ hosting services)
#2. WPX AVERAGES under 30 seconds response time on live chat with a 99% satisfaction rating, verified independently by Live Chat Inc - View Page
#3. WPX fixes your technical issues fast for you and unless you ask, we don’t try to teach our customers about deep technical topics
#4. WPX moves your websites from other hosting services to us within 24 hours, all for free. For example, someone with a 5 site WPX plan can have 5 sites moved for free or a WPX customer with a 35 site plan can have 35 sites moved for them for free
#5. WPX covers ALL customers on ALL plans with enterprise level DDOS protection from Incapsula, for free
#3) As CEO of WPX - What do you feel is unique about WPX?
The old ‘bluegator’ way of hosting is broken.
As a company, we want to not only move the hosting experience for users massively forward but WPX is also striving to make a huge, positive impact on the homeless dog population in our home base country.
#4) As CEO of this company, what is your view on Managed hosting? What is future of Managed hosting?
The term ‘managed hosting’ can mean different things to different people and different companies.
The WPX philosophy with all our hosting plans is that our customers should need to do almost nothing from a technical or setup point of view – we do that for them – and they can just focus on building a great online business WITHOUT the need for having to learn a lot of difficult technical hosting stuff.
#5) In maths, ‘X’ usually represents an unknown variable. What made you feel the need to use ‘X’ in WPX? Any particular reason?
When we wanted to move beyond the TrafficPlanet.com base (e.g. Traffic Planet Hosting) to a broader audience, we wanted to keep ‘WP’ in the new brand name but also keep it very simple.
After much discussion, we settled on ‘WPX Hosting’ as the new name.
Internally, the X has since also become symbolic of us striving to offer a lot ‘Extra’ to our customers whose trust with their business websites we take very seriously.
#6) On the WPX website, we find you with your pet dog; any specific reason? Sentimental, Strategic? Hope this is not too personal!
Three main reasons I (and I have a 2nd dog now, adopted homeless dog called ‘Rina’):
[a] Animals are a huge part of my life and what WPX Hosting as a company is heavily involved in. I currently have 2 dogs, 3 cats, walk homeless shelter dogs 2 days a week, WPX feeds 350 homeless dogs a day on an industrial site outside our home city (we have been doing that for the past year) and WPX is currently building additional off-leash play areas for 1500 homeless shelter dogs at a government facility so that they can have much more out-of-cage time (dogs there currently get about 20 minutes walk a month, some get none).
[b] WPX Hosting is not another giant soulless corporation whose only mission is something like, “to hugely increase shareholders’ return on investment” and not much else. WPX Hosting as a company strives to be a vehicle for good in helping homeless animals on a large scale, so it’s a big part of our identity.
[c] My personal ‘why’ for my entrepreneurial activity is that the income earned allows me to scale up my animal work, possibly to the point of having a huge no-cage, no-kill animal shelter of my own and that’s expensive. I’m not motivated by exotic sports cars, fancy watches or ‘stuff’ generally, only having an impact with homeless animals on a large scale.
#7) You have created many tools/platforms over the years; what would be the most exciting moment in your career to this day?
Hard question this one!
Probably this experiment I ran a long time ago on Warrior Forum that kind of went viral and may still be in the top 10 or top 20 most viewed forum threads of all time there, over 1100 replies too.
Crazy time then but was a lot of fun!
#8) How do you foresee the future of hosting services?
Apart from the inevitable introduction of new technologies, new security threats and new ways of interacting online, I actually think hosting companies need to focus much more heavily on one-to-one relationships with their users and do much more for them.
Hosting companies should have the expertise, knowledge and skills for the Web technology side of online business so that’s what they need to happily and willingly offer while relieving Web entrepreneurs of the need to learn all that stuff just to run their websites.
At WPX Hosting, this takes the form of our ‘Fixed For You’ guarantee but we want to develop this approach much more deeply in the future.
#9) What advice would you have for fresh bloggers who intend on perusing a career in blogging?
If the blog is intended to be a business, ask yourself this question:
What am I prepared to bring to this niche APART from my desire to make money e.g. previously unseen levels of research, community, case studies, software innovation and/or real leadership.
Far too many ‘throwaway’ blogs exist today and virtually none of them [a] make any money, or, [b] offer much of value.
And forget all about ‘passive income’ nonsense and get ready to WORK.
#10) Could you share information about the SSD hardware that drives WPX?
SSDs (or Solid State Drives) are just one aspect of speed optimization at WPX Hosting.
Though that technology has been around for a long time, it’s still very important in improving server performance.
However, we are always working on other vital speed optimizations that improve page loading times like http2, PHP 7.x, Virtualmin tweaks and Litespeed PHP, to name a few.
#11) Could you tell me about the future of (your) data centres?
In 2017, we added London as a service option for WPX customers with all of the same speed and security benefits as our original location, Chicago.
In 2018, we plan to add Sydney and either Singapore or Hong Kong as additional hosting location options.
Beyond 2018 is still to be determined but we are always strongly in favour of adding flexibility, innovation and convenience to WPX Hosting’s capabilities for our customers.
#12) What are your future plans for WPX? In terms of innovation, how do you foresee WPX’s movements?
Apart from supercool top secret stuff, I expand on this in my answer to the next question.
#13) With regard to WPX, what would you feel needs to be improved?
I am impatient for us to have:
#1 - More hosting locations
#2 - Our own CDN service
#3 - Our own large office building fully renovated in the city center here
#4 - Support in other languages e.g. Spanish, German and Mandarin
#5 - More business/marketing-focused software tools
Apart from those, we must also keep incrementally fine tuning, tweaking, revising and responding to our customers’ feedback as the WPX service evolves in the future.
We are not at all complacent about the need to continually develop our customers’ experience with us.
#14) As an individual, how would you position WPX as an independent assessor? Top tier? Within the top 3 or 5?
There is currently no hosting service that is superior to WPX Hosting, at any price. And our prices are very very reasonable for the performance, security and support offered.
That’s not bragging but factually accurate as we closely monitor what others offer and many that are vastly more expensive than us actually offer much less.
For instance, according to the independent live chat software platform that we use, Live Chat Inc (one of the biggest I believe), we average under 30 seconds for live chat support responses and have achieved a 99% satisfaction with customers.
With Kinsta, for instance, where hosting 1 website costs $100 a month, they are proud of their 8 minute average support response time!
One of the reasons that customers and respondents are so happy with WPX is that we actually fix frustrating problems for them, usually in a few seconds, instead of wasting their time trying to teach them how to fix it themselves.
Our customers love that about us, our ‘Fixed For You’ Guarantee.
WPX hosting offer other useful features like a Staging Area, unlimited free SSL certificates automatically installed in under 30 seconds, unlimited free site migrations within 24 hours, managed by us, from other hosting companies over to WPX, http2, PHP 7.X etc.
#15) What do you project as future challenges/opportunities within the hosting industry?
I see security as a major challenge in the future.
For example, DDoS attacks have been rapidly growing, both in terms of capacity and volume, and this will be a big test for all hosting companies.
That is why WPX Hosting invests heavily in security and providing as much protection as possible to our customers, hence our free enterprise-level DDoS protection via Incapsula.
Other challenges/opportunities include:
#1 Figuring out where the evolution of mobile devices fits in with the future of hosting
#2 The general need for greater functionality but with increasing simplicity of operation for users (like mobile devices have achieved)
#3 Maintaining superfast page loading times for increasingly complex, plugin-heavy websites and, internally,
#4 Recruiting and retaining the highest quality staff in a fiercely competitive environment where we are based
#16) What was the primary reason that attracted you to this industry?
Most entrepreneurs feel frustration with the broken status quo of their industry and initiate change.
I was no different.
It turns out that many other online business owners felt the same way as I did, judging by their happiness with what we do at WPX Hosting (though we still want to improve in certain areas!).