[PODCAST] – Brent Weaver– Cloudways -A Managed Cloud Hosting Platform Where Teams Can Build, Deploy, Scale & Manage Phenomenal Web Applications

Cloudways - Managed Cloud Hosting Platform Simplified. A Managed Cloud Hosting Platform Where Teams Can Build, Deploy, Scale & Manage Phenomenal Web Applications

In today’s episode, I am talking with Brent Weaver, a brand evangelist for Cloudways, a cloud based hosting program that helps you manage more efficiently and can cut your hosting costs up to 70%.

Brent Weaver is on a mission to help 10,000 digital agency owners achieve freedom in business and life by helping them own their market. Brent is the founder and CEO of UGURUS, a business training and education company dedicated to this mission. We are talking about simplifying hosting experiences because we believe in empowering individuals, teams and businesses.

Takeaways From This Episode:

  • Hear Lee and Brent’s  hosting war stories.
  • Cut your hosting up to 70%
  • Getting hit by a bus idea!
  • What's an ideal recurring revenue-based business model for an agency?
  • How do you get peace of mind in your agency?

Cloudways has set high standards of performance, committed to complete freedom of choice coupled with simplicity and agility in every process. Backed by an innovative approach, their platform is built on best-of-breed technologies and industry-leading infrastructure providers that creates smooth managed cloud hosting experiences. And, they do this by investing in the right talent and by organizing the perfect teams, diversifying revenue streams by adding (and building on) solid recurring revenue. Why agencies need to abstract the technical layer if they're going to offer hosting.

So, Brent and I talk about how they can help you through their partner program on how you can lower your hosting costs to 70%, putting more money into your pocket, and lower the amount of time and stress that it takes for you to maintain all that hosting. For anyone who doesn't know who or what Cloudways is? Or what they do? Brent breaks it down for you. Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting platform. Most people know about the big cloud providers, such as, Amazon, but one of the challenges is trying to figure out how to manage the hosting if you are not big enough or do not have a full-time sysadmin.

hosting war stories and how that correlate with a cloudways helping.

They started offering hosting to their clients, not really charging a lot, but at least offered it. They piled website after website after website on this server. It was literally in the basement of some colocation facility. It ran like a workhorse until one day, it decided to stop working. About 55 client sites on this server just went down. You need to hear Brent’s nightmare experience and how he found the solution. He talks about how  it was great to make this extra few thousand dollars a month in hosting revenue, but he actually  ended up having to write off an entire month of our business growth and a lot of other initiatives because the server went down. 

Lee’s story - I tell you what, my story is almost identical, except for the fact that the hard drive didn't crash. It was hacked by a Turkish security professional Turkish security agency. It was called defacing and it was  32 clients who woke up one morning and they saw the 1919, Russian Bolshevik Revolution picture! Great story! It took two to three weeks building these sites and it cost me about 32 to $35,000 to get it fixed. Just know whenever you have a bad situation in hosting, when it goes bad, it's really bad. It's not, you know, it's not like, Oh, no, my image is not showing on my website.

Hit by a bus factor! 

Brent talks about being in a situation where they had the keys to the client's infrastructure, emails, websites, e-commerce, processing millions of dollars in orders a year. And he had the thought, if one of them gets hit by a bus, like the clients kind of screwed, and so they decided, they needed to move their infrastructure.So, if they end up getting hit by a bus, there's still an infrastructure component. Boom - Cloudways. Cloudways does beautifully, it gives you access to that cloud hosting layer, but also provides that management layer on top of it, so that you don't have to have any sysadmin people. Brent explains that in a little more detail.

How do you find a unicorn? 

It's really hard to replace a person who's in two very distinct seats - Like a lead developer, and sysadmin all in one. And replacing that person who's like an amazing developer. It's kind of a unicorn person. It can be expensive and also hard to find. So, Brent always tells people, anytime you have that team member that basically has become a unicorn in your business, It’s best to try to separate that. Hear how to keep from having the unicorn in your business and how Cloudways helps replace the unicorn.

Having the right infrastructure in place is crucial. It's just not logical for you to do everything at a web or a marketing agency, but it is critical for you to have a say in what is going on. That's why outsourcing is such a big deal and who you outsource to is a big deal. One of the things that I hear from a lot of people is I don't touch posting, I just let my clients host or wherever. They just pick their host. And what ends up happening is, every client you bring on ends up choosing a different host, even if you recommend stuff, maybe they stay with a legacy host. BUT, They have your cell phone number. They do not call the CEO of GoDaddy. They call you when something goes wrong. By allowing them to pick their own host actually creates bigger problems for you. Hear some of the nightmare  situations.

Cloudways. Partner Program.

Cloudways has what they call their agency partner program. It's currently in its pilot program. They took some of the advice from the Mavericks and they went in and did customer development, user experience research with agency owners and said, “Hey, what do you guys actually need from a managed hosting provider?” They came back with three main things: 

  1. Jerry Maguire moment, ”Show me the money, right?” They want to have better pricing, because they feel like one agency is bringing 50 sites or 10 servers or whatever, not just bringing one server at a time. So we should get a better deal. 
  2. The second big thing is support. Having a team, depending on what level, you have a different additional layer of support. 
  3. Then having exclusive access to some other resources. Someone helping them to grow their business and solve problems outside of just the hosting bucket.

Having exclusive benefits, discounts and the additional support, has become a part of their agency partner program vision. The whole program was built from the ground up for agency.

A lot of people say they have a partner program but they know it's basically in name only. They don't actually go out there and put the money and the time and the effort resources into developing a true partner program.  There's no way I could have built my agency without having that partner community there for support. I hear all the time agency owners how they feel like they're on an island, they don't have anybody to help. Cloudways has set up the partners to walk alongside you and help you grow. It can be a real game changer.

How do you find peace of mind? Peace of mind in your agency.

Brent talks about going into his conference room one day, and they were having a hard time. Like a lot of agencies, balancing that feast and famine kind of roller coaster. His partner at the time said, I do not have peace of mind in our business. Then he started to explain the 3% - that was how much revenue they get per month. That is recurring, and predictable. That 3% number is low, but what that actually means if you flip it 97% of their business's revenue, they had to go out and hunt every month. 97% of their revenue was not necessarily predictable. Hear Troy’s story of getting the peace of mind in his agency.

Shameless Plug

Brent would love for more agencies to explore Cloudways as a managed hosting provider. Whether you're on WordPress or using another system that is hosted, looking at them to provide that infrastructure would be probably a smart move. We were able to cut our expenses by 70%, and our site's doubled in speed, so we've benchmarked everything before and after. Their team has been an absolute joy to work with and I can highly recommend them. 

Learn About & Connect With Our Amazing Speakers/Guest

Lee Goff

Hyper focused on serving digital agency owners grow, scale, and enjoy their digital marketing agencies. It is hard to grow a digital agency unless you have the right tools and guidance.
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