I’ll hold my hand up in saying that I’ve never truly understood cloud hosting, how it works and how it truly differs from shared hosting and other standard website hosting services.

But luckily, director of WordPress at Cloudways Hosting, Robert Jacobi, is on the podcast to help give us a basic (and more in depth) understanding!

In this episode, he shares a basic understanding of cloud hosting, how it differs from shared hosting along with the basics of CDN’s, site speed and more.

Robert is also great with analogies which we can use to help our web design clients to better understand hosting and why it’s worth investing in GOOD hosting.

In this episode:

00:00 – Introduction
03:33 – Greeting to Robert
08:32 – Joomla to WP
10:48 – WP owns 50% internet
13:01 – Retrofit hosting
15:54 – What is cloud hosting
19:50 – Apartment complex
23:54 – Where is the “Cloud”
26:25 – Hosting on steroids
28:43 – Portable containers
31:56 – Redundant data globally
33:31 – What is CDN
36:51 – Cloudway’s purpose
40:47 – Making pizza
43:41 – Saving time or money
47:56 – What are panels
53:57 – Generic panels
57:52 – Cloudways over Siteground
1:02:23 – Meet distinct needs
1:05:50 – Next five years
1:09:40 – Offload what you don’t do
1:13:07 – Slightly geekier clients
1:17:37 – Caching pays off
1:19:45 – Final thoughts

This episode is presented by Josh’s 10 Step Action Plan to Learning How to Build Websites

Connect with Robert:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #191 Full Transcription

Josh 0:02
Hey, friends, welcome into the podcast. This is episode 191. So this, this episode reminds me of a movie, my wife and I watched with some friends. Gosh, years ago at this point, it was a Cameron Diaz movie called sex tape. It was it was pretty funny. It was worth watch. But anyway, there’s a scene in there where the whole if you haven’t seen it, you don’t really like seeing it. The whole premise is this, this married couple made the sex tape. And somehow he saved it on the cloud. And it got out, which is actually a hilarious premise. But there’s one line in there that has stuck with me ever since. And he’s the main actor. He’s like, No one understands the cloud.

Josh 0:56
And that made me laugh so much, because I resonated with that. Because I don’t really understand cloud stuff. And I’m sure I’m not alone and feeling like, well, I don’t understand the cloud. Like what is are the fire files just floating in the clouds, particularly when it comes to hosting and website hosting? What’s the difference between Cloud Hosting and, you know, typical shared server hosting? Like, what is the difference? How does it actually work? If you have questions, just like I had a lot of questions about this. This is your episode, because I’m super excited to bring on Robert Jacoby, who is the director of WordPress at cloudways.

Josh 1:32
Cloudways, if you don’t know is one of the leaders in great hosting nowadays, it’s also I think they’re just about the best when it comes to affordability for like really good products. I still use SiteGround personally, and I’m still really happy with SiteGround. You’ll hear about that in this episode, like Robert and the team are not enemies with SiteGround. But I have to admit, if I was just starting out today, I would seriously look into cloudways. Because they know their stuff. They have a great team. And Robert is here in this episode to share with you the difference between cloud hosting, and shared hosting, and how it all works. What is right for you and your clients.

Josh 2:12
And last thing I’ll say before we dive in is that Robert does a really good job of using analogies, which is really good for you to be able to explain this to clients because clients are not going to understand hosting, you need to help them understand hosting. So this episode, I think, is not only going to be beneficial for you, but it’s also going to filter down to your clients because you’re going to understand how to like use analogies and practical stories on you know how hosting works and what is best for you and for them. So without further ado, here is Robert, we’re gonna dive right in.

Josh 2:43
And I do want to say for those of you who may be early on in your journey in web design, and you’re just getting a pulse on hosting, if you also want to figure out how the heck to learn web design, and you’re curious about design, SEO, all the different things, I do have a free action plan for you, you can pick that up at Josh hall.co/learn. It is a free 10 Step action plan. It’s like a little coaching session that you and I will have. It’s kind of like a guide, then I’m going to share with you the most important things you need to know to get going in web design when it comes to learning web design. And this episode is going to be a perfect complement to that. So check that out at Josh hall.co/learn to pick that up for free. And here’s Robert of cloud ways. We’re going to talk about understanding cloud hosting.

Josh 3:33
Robert, welcome onto the podcast, man. Great to have you on. Thanks for taking some time to chat with us today.

Robert 3:38
Oh, thanks so much, Josh. I really appreciate and I’m really looking forward to this for a while.

Josh 3:43
Yeah, it’s funny, we’ve been emailing quite a bit. So it’s nice always one reason I love doing the podcast is to be able to sometimes put a face to the name and actually get to talk with because sometimes when you email people, you get a good feel for them. But there’s nothing like being able to actually well ideally see Him face to face. But Zoom is the is the next best option. So I’m really excited to to pick your brain for a little while about hosting. Obviously, you will be in with cloudways We’ll talk about that.

Josh 4:09
But I let you know, kind of early on before we went live that my audience. A lot of them are new into web design. So I kind of thought we could talk you know, hosting one on one and then really dive into Cloud Hosting and the difference between that and and some and some fun tech stuff as well. So before we dive in, Robert, do you want to let everybody know first off if you wouldn’t mind sharing where you’re personally based out of and what do you do in your role with cloudways?

Robert 4:34
Thanks so much. I am based out of lovely Chicago I think the greatest city in the country sorry to Columbus and every other city but

Josh 4:43
You’re not far from me. I love Chicago my wife and I oh my gosh, it’s been I think almost five years since we’ve been last but I I’ve said it before in the podcast. I love Chai town. Honestly can’t wait to go back. We have two little girls right now so we don’t do too much traveling but I can’t wait to go back.

Robert 5:00
It’s a It’s so funny. I mean, especially from the Ohio area. There are so many folks from Columbus, Cleveland, Cincy all, you know transplants?

Josh 5:10
Yeah, I mean, it’s only it’s only about a five and a half Well, six hour drive for some it’s five and a half for me. But we Yeah, it’s not that far driving wise. And so we we flew last year into Chicago from Columbus and it was like 45 minutes. So yeah, yeah,

Robert 5:25
It’s great. Ohio is great. Columbus is great. I haven’t been there in a while. But I have to make a road trip doing an in person podcast.

Josh 5:33
I would love to.

Robert 5:36
Answer the second half of your question. Yes, I am a director of WordPress at cloudways. cloudways is a cloud hosting platform on top of services like Digital Ocean, AWS, Google Cloud. Who else am I missing? Oh, of course, Linode and VULTR. And so we, you know, provide a whole bunch of stuff on top of that, and I know, we’re gonna get into what all that means throughout the hour. But that’s, you know, what we do a cloudways. I focus on the WordPress business unit. So we have a couple of sort of verticals, that we really try to make sure, you know, we’re satisfying those customers doing, you know, best products and services for them. And yeah, my jobs in the WordPress world.

Josh 6:18
And what was your I’m just kind of curious to have some context. What was your experience before? Working with cloudways? Did you do web design yourself? Were you in a different role before getting into WordPress, and that what that look like?

Robert 6:31
So I ran an agency, a web development agency for almost 20 years. And we focused on open source and the content management system CMS that we were embedded with was Joomla, which is, while it’s the probably second largest open source content management system out there, it’s it’s it’s been taken over by tools like Wix, Shopify, you know, those guys.

Josh 6:58
I had one, I had one Joomla experience and it see this like, receding hairline right here, I got going on that. That was a big part of that I would have a little more if I didn’t try to build a site in Joomla. But that was just my personal experience, which is why I’m so thankful for WordPress.

Robert 7:13
Well, I like Joomla, so much that I was president of the project briefly.

Josh 7:18
Hmm, interesting,

Robert 7:20
Really, into this open source stuff.

Josh 7:24
And look, this is actually a good distinction right away, because I have a colleague who swears by Joomla. So maybe because I was used to WordPress, I just could not get my head around the differences. Or maybe I just didn’t enjoy the experience as much. But I have heard that people who go into Joomla, I’d really like and I think that’s really common for themes to a lot of industry and for hosting companies, whatever, whatever you, you get used to, and you end up liking and you know, that tends to be the one you stick with. So that’s an interesting point right off the top.

Robert 7:56
Yep. But now I’m in WordPress world, and I’m happy to talk about that transition and why. And, you know, a lot of it does boil down to, you know, what’s the focus on the technology? You know, how’s that being? What’s the ecosystem look like? And my talk ecosystem, like you said, you know, themes, extensions, plugins, hosting companies, two very different worlds.

Josh 8:21
And let’s hit let’s just go right there. Robert, since you talked about it, what, what was the impetus of the transition? What, what caused you to go from Joomla? to WordPress? And what what did that period look like for you?

Robert 8:32
So I had sold off my agency, and because we were completely focused on the Joomla, space, and Joomla was never huge in North America. It globally it’s got, you know, for a long time, had insane adoption. One of the key benefits of Joomla besides some really geeky MVC, coding thing, stuff, it was that it had multilingual support. Really, right out of the box, and early on, and that, basically, you know, that sort of came from where a lot of developers were, gotcha from, you know, a lot of European developers a lot of Europeans open source and it was just one of those things where you had to have German and English, you had to have French and English, Italian and English.

Robert 9:19
And, you know, WordPress, well, technically still lags in that and a lot of ways. I mean, you have wonderful plugins like week lot that try to make that a bit easier. And Matt Mullenweg talked about at the state of the word at the end of 2021, that having multilingual support is high on the roadmap. But you know, some of these things, you know, like lots of projects, some focus on one thing, some focus on another, and you take advantage of what makes the most sense. So that was that trend? So, our agency was a jewelry shop, I gotta get back to the question because I can ramble on all day long. I’ve been

Josh 9:58
Welcome on this podcast, everyone ever listening so used to that,

Robert 10:04
And actually jumped into a hybrid startup that did Joomla and WordPress plugins. And within two years, we were acquired by WP Engine. And then I was like this WordPress stuff is really great. I mean, the software had, you know, from when I really had evaluated and looked at it and taken, you know, tried to take it seriously. The software ecosystem had really taken off, and there’s a lot more functionality a lot more companies doing really cool stuff, you know, integrating SAS solutions, in conjunction with WordPress. So what may be missing in core was being augmented and supplemented by, you know, all sorts of plugins and third party providers.

Josh 10:48

Robert 10:48
You know, and certainly the hosting ecosystem was huge run it, you know, you know, it’s not I don’t know the exact number, but let’s just pretend it’s, you know, WordPress is about four 50% of the internet. Net at the moment. So I mean, that

Josh 11:03
I was wondering what the recent stats were, yeah, I’m looking for the world’s

Robert 11:07
Somewhere. I think, technically, it’s, I think it’s 43%. But, you know, that’s huge.

Josh 11:16
Eyes. Wild.

Robert 11:18
If you’re any double digits on the, you know, owning this portion of the internet, that’s crazily huge. So there’s just a lot more investment a lot more, a lot more community a lot more. Others a word, I’m looking for lateral movement. And that’s not the one I’m looking for. But there are so many people with so many great ideas around what you can do with WordPress,

Josh 11:45
Innovation, maybe innovation.

Robert 11:47
Thank you, boy.

Josh 11:49
I mean, look, here, people come to me, Robert, for fancy words like innovation. That’s what I’m here for. So

Robert 11:56
I always use the excuse that English is my second language. So I’m just gonna go with that.

Josh 12:00
Its code for now that it’s a good distinction, though. And that’s why like, I think for people, again, most most everyone listening uses WordPress, there’s some other awesome platforms out there as well. But I have seen it even just from my experience, really Morf and grow into what it has become I, I first heard about it in 2010. And I was like, because I was just building static HTML CSS sites initially. And I just heard about this WordPress thing. And I thought it was just a blog. I just thought it was like a weird text editor for a blog. And I really didn’t pay enough attention to it until a couple years later, when everyone started talking about it.

Josh 12:37
And then a lot of clients said they heard they should use WordPress. And I was like, Maybe Maybe I should learn WordPress. And that’s definitely how it started for me. And to your point, I know we’ll segue to hosting here, the hosting landscape. I mean, how I guess here’s a question, how has the growth of WordPress affected the hosting landscape? I mean, if hosts had to make WordPress, their top priority or a big priority, what is what have you seen in that?

Robert 13:01
Oh, definitely have seen large hosting companies make huge changes in their teams and their infrastructure in their outlook with regards to WordPress. You know, there are a bunch of more recent ones. And then you have sort of almost the old school original ones. I mean, you have automatic has its own WP VIP platform for enterprise WordPress. And then, you know, sort of that that second tier of people who started up and you have WP Engine, you have page Li, which is now owned by GoDaddy.

Josh 13:37
Oh, I didn’t know that.

Robert 13:38
Oh, yeah. pateley was acquired. Was it last month? I think it came out in the last four to six weeks, which will be great, because who knows when this will be broadcast. So the timeframe will be very confusing. Yeah, end of 21, early 2002, the announcement of page should be acquired by GoDaddy. DreamHost was another early adopter of WordPress. And so that’s sort of that I look at that as a second tier. And then you had companies like insurance slash Bluehost, which were in a completely different space, and have also, you know, sort of retrofitted their infrastructure, their teams or support on that. So yeah,

Josh 14:22
That’s a great way to put it, retrofitted their support and team around it. That’s a really good way I know. When I started, the first hosting company I started doing or hosting clients with and stuff was Bluehost mainly because they had a like WordPress specific line of tools and functions and stuff like that. I actually host with SiteGround right now, but yeah, Bluehost I remember when I figured I figured you’d do some convincing for me. But yeah, that was a big that was a biggie because host that hosts really display that I think.

Josh 14:57
A lot of hosts have hosting companies now even at Cloud Ways I was looking at your homepage right now, at the time of recording this, you really, you can kind of pick what tools you use. And then you guys have the solutions laid out there, which I think is really important. So there’s a lot of interesting distinctions already here, Robert, between WordPress and Joomla, and some of these other ones and some different hosts. And what’s what the landscape has looked like, let’s kick off with this question here. The different type of hosting and for the folks who are new to web design, this is super confusing.

Josh 15:29
I’m, I’m by no means this is not my area of expertise, to say the least. So it’s one reason I’m excited to have you on to shed some light as to what’s going on. But for the folks who are fairly new to web design, and they don’t know the difference between Cloud Hosting and all the different types of hosting there is, would you like to maybe just explain that just kind of give us like a one on one of the difference between Cloud Hosting and what it is?

Robert 15:54
My pleasure. So even though I was in the agency space, running one for you know, almost two decades, we did our own hosting way back in the early aughts. And when we hosted someone it was we got a server, we got, you know, installed everything out there. And that was that clients host and we put it into a rack and a room somewhere.

Josh 16:17
So literally, like, you got a cert, like you got a server, it wasn’t like your, you know, you pick your server wherever it is in the world, it’s like you server?

Robert 16:27
In a closet somewhere with some good ventilation and a lot of cabling. Wow. Yeah. So I mean, that’s, you know, we’re talking 2025 years ago, you know, that kind of world of hosting, where, you know, everyone just sort of had a dedicated box. technology and software has obviously changed a million fold since then. And you know, that the next big step was, you know, platforms that, you know, created, sort of multi tenant, multi user hosting, we call that shared hosting.

Robert 16:56
So that one box that I had in my closet, now is a box somewhere at a hosting company. And they’ve put software on top of it, typically, for the last 20 years, you’d see, like WHMCS, cPanel Plesk, as sort of that friendly user facing layer, but you know, you’d say I’m going to spend 20 bucks a month, 100 bucks a month, 1000 bucks a month, and you’d have one or more real servers, where you’re sort of partitioning, one or more customers, websites, web applications on them. So that’s that short, sort of shared hosting world. And because even a little further, in that the hosting company itself would then be the manager of all that.

Robert 17:43
So sort of pure shared hosting is my customers are on the same server with your customers and another customer and which made it very affordable to like crazily affordable. I mean, you’d see starting prices, I mean, SiteGround is a perfect example. They were a leader in shared hosting, because they would, you know, kick off, you know, first year deals for like, a few dollars for the whole year of hosting, and you have shared hosting, and you’re on some infrastructure that’s being shared by another, you know, 50 100 people, depending on how powerful the bare metal was. That’s our little fun term for the actual hardware.

Robert 18:24
So, you know, depending on how powerful the bare metal was, you have X amount of, you know, sites and traffic. One of the, you know, the problems that comes up with shared hosting is that one bad tenant in that environment can take down everyone. So, you know, if you have if you’re a server with a bad tenant that all sudden spikes on CPU utilization, they’ve put it on a PHP application that goes into an infinite loop and recursive database madness, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Well, that’ll slow down the experience for everyone else in that box. So there, I mean, there are pros to share hosting, it could be dirt cheap. The cons are that it’s hard to prevent someone else from causing you harm.

Josh 19:20
And that’s a good point. That’s a really good point. It’s funny, you mentioned the the the verbiage of a tenant because I had one of my good colleagues who I consider a total email DNS expert. And he uses the same type of analogy with with shared hosting is particularly when it comes to email. And how like if one site on that shared hosting environment gets hacked or has any sort of complication that can literally affect other all the other sites in that same apartment complex?

Robert 19:50
Yes, it’s an apartment complex that analogy I mean, it’s what the email you know you have because you have a still a static IP address, and if emails coming in Have someone else’s some other tenants apartment that is getting blocked or you know, banned or marked as spam, then every one other IP address suffers the same penalty, you know, it’s like, well, you know, so and so just, you know, no pushing an elephant down the, you know, garbage chute. And now no one can use the garbage chute. So that’s kind of that’s that problem was shared hosting.

Robert 20:26
It’s a great way to, you know, as entry super entry level it is, you’re not going to find anything more affordable. But your needs and requirements might be significantly different, like, you can’t go down or you can’t, you know, you can’t slow down and whatnot. So, you know, a lot of people have taken advantage of it, especially for you know, whether you call it a vanity vanity site, or, you know, if I wanna throw my resume up somewhere, or like a brochure site or something brochure site, if you know, it’s kind of Yellow Pages shingle, that kind of thing, you know, those typically, you know, you’re not going to find something much cheaper these days. But you have to realize that there’s uncertainty in that.

Josh 21:10

Robert 21:11
So that’s sort of that’s sort of the next next step. So everyone went through having bare metal, they were, you know, running out of their own offices, then out of data centers. That’s a lot of upkeep. You know, let’s, let’s, let’s shift all that responsibility, liability, expertise to hosting companies hosting companies get their own metal, they start with shared hosting. And, of course, they are happy to also, you know, put up your own individual boxes. I mean, at one point, when we were, when I had the agency, we went from managing boxes, in our data center. Those are big giant air quotes for anyone,

Josh 21:57
For anyone just listening data center, aka basement or closet or something, right?

Robert 22:01
You know, that, you know, it may have been sitting in a rack, like four feet away from my desk, but that’s besides the point. But you know, those are the days you did what you had to do to get it online. And then you moved it to a data center, where it’s like, oh, uninterrupted power, that’s amazing. You know, so So if, if the next Chicago winter Blizzard comes through and knocks everything out, there’s a generator, and that’s going to keep the lights on and the server is going to keep going, you know, amazing stuff, you know, better internet connectivity, you know, how close are you to main access points, things like that for better performance, speed, all that fun stuff.

Robert 22:38
So hosts would start putting servers in their bare metal in there, and then started really looking at how to sort of bundle all that infrastructure to more useful platforms. And, and we, you know, sort of have to guess I’m doing little pointy dance here, with two fingers, too. Different themes that converge in and out in multiple ways. So you start getting more managed hosting. And managed hosting is can apply to different types of hosting situations, but really, that the hosting company is doing all the it work for you.

Josh 23:25

Robert 23:26
If we go back, you know, 10 15 years ago, they’re the ones who are gonna set up the box, you know, they’re gonna make sure that the lights are on, they’re gonna shell into, you know, Linux and tweak things and whatnot. And at the same time, you see, you know, sort of the birth of the cloud. And, you know, it’s the actually fancier and pretty than it really is, you know, it’s like, knowing how the sausage is made.

Josh 23:52

Robert 23:54
The cloud is, is a software layer across within a data center across data centers. With at the end of the day, physical hardware, running websites and software solutions.

Josh 24:10
So the secret’s out, Robert, you just let the world know that the clap Dr. website’s files are literally not in the clouds. Actually, it’s just a fancy way to say it spread across different data centers and stuff. Is that is that the layman’s term to say that?

Robert 24:25
Yeah, it’s, it’s really boring. I mean, it’s it cloud is such a wonderful term, because it implies that it’s everywhere all the time.

Josh 24:35

Robert 24:35
It’s not it’s, you know, at the end of the day, it’s still sitting on some kind of harddrive with some kind of ram with some kind of CPU in someone’s closet, what okay, that closet may have your floors it’s never gonna fly. It’s, it’s, you know, oh my gosh, what’s called, you know, different types of fire suppression that you know, won’t affect the hardware. So if you know wouldn’t server’s blows up, everything else still keeps running, you know, network connections, all that kind of stuff. But you know, it’s, you know, at the end of the day, you know, it’s still a, you know, some kind of, you know, beige boss.

Josh 25:12
Yeah. And look, this is important, though, because yeah, might be boring, but maybe not for you, Robert. But for the average web designer, this is the, you know, this is the boring tech stuff. But it’s important, it’s really important, because all the marketing in the world, all the social media, all the traffic, all the SEO, all the website optimization, all the conversion tips, all of that goes to your website, and what is holding your website together. And what’s it on the foundation is the hosting.

Josh 25:40
So it might be boring, but I just want to articulate this for everyone listening and watching. This is super important. So it’s so important. I mean, I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here, but I, I just want to let everyone know and to relay this to clients, you need to tell them how important this is you can do everything and like you can build the most amazing house. But if you build it on quicksand, it’s not going to end well. Same thing with hosting if you get a super cheap, shared hosting environment that is not going to support you. Well, it’s bad news.

Josh 26:07
But it’s interesting how you kind of guided us through the evolution of hosting essentially there, Robert, it was the actual little okay, sir, I’m not done. Because we all know you’re fine. Yeah, I just wanted to kind of visualize that, because and I, I do want to ask about the difference between managed and cloud. But please go ahead. Let’s, let’s keep on going with that.

Robert 26:25
And sort of the last bit, or there’s two more big breakthroughs in hosting over the last 10 years, 15 years, you get something called a VPS, a virtual private server. So when we talked about shared hosting back in the early aughts, you know, there was conflicts, you have to worry about CPU utilization, all that kind of tech stuff, then then we got into something called a virtual private server. So a single box, single hardware box, however, you want to picture that I’m old enough to think of them as beige boxes. Now can run X amount of sort of full servers in software on that hardware.

Robert 27:15
And what made that really important is that at the top level, you could tell the box that if you have for, you know, virtual private servers, on some hardware, you could say each one is, you know, can max out a 25% of all the resources. So by utilizing a VPS, you knew exactly what you’re going to get on the hardware side. And the best part is, there would be no collision or, you know, tenant mischief on that box, because that VPS, that VPS number three, could only max out at so much, and it would never affect VPS, one or two or four.

Robert 27:56
So that kind of it’s it’s like, super shared hosting on steroids. You know, it’s, you can still partition a box out some specific hardware out. But you can also guarantee a level of resources and the fact that that is not going to go down. And so a couple companies did that and made that happen. Josh, you are on mute.

Josh 28:22
I’m sorry about that. Oh, my I’m so sorry. I was talking. I’m glad you mentioned that I my daughter was running across and I heard her in the background. So I muted I was just gonna say is that what a lot of hosting companies are essentially promoting when they say it’s shared, but it’s like, it’s more private, it’s like private or managed shared hosting is that essentially what that is,

Robert 28:43
So in my mind, managed means that someone is doing a lot of work for you. A VPS can be managed or unmanaged. So you could get a VPS from someplace. And you still have to be, you know, that SIS admin that understands Linux, or you can get a managed version of that where a lot of the IT work is offloaded to the hosting company. Yep, gotcha. And then the sort of the final point in that in this trajectory of hosting is containers. So containers are like VPS is on steroids that are portable, you can move them across different types of hosting providers, different cloud services, and you know, container can also no pun intended contain aspects of what’s expected from the hardware. So you can take it’s a portable VPS let’s put it that way. So now you have your VPS but now it’s because containers are more of a Portable server solution.

Josh 29:48
And does that give the hosting company more control as well? If something is literally contained, as far as the resources all the all the stuff?

Robert 29:56
So what what you can do what’s cool with containers is that you can secretly behind the scenes start moving them around for scalability and flexibility reasons. Because a container is not necessarily tied to a specific piece of hardware, where VPS is, a container is now a portable GPS where, you know, you can start, oh, okay, this, this box is too slow. Let’s let’s, let’s move this container over, you know, someplace else, and, you know, make that on a faster server. So it’s an encapsulated architecture. And the geekiness of that escapes me as well. But I understand it well enough to know that they’re, they’re portable. And you can really take advantage of behind the scenes optimizations that you couldn’t with a traditional VPS.

Josh 30:51
So we’ve covered a lot of the different types of servers and hosting, I’m still honestly a little fuzzy about what Cloud how Cloud Hosting is either different, or is it essentially kind of an umbrella term for virtual private servers, or managed or shared like, are all these other terms that you just talked about? Robert, Kim de fit inside Cloud Hosting, helped me understand the difference between Cloud Hosting versus somebody’s and I know, it’s, it is an intricate topic. But this is really important, because a lot of people go to sign up for hosting and myself included over the past several years has been like, is it worth it to upgrade to cloud? Or a VPS? Or like, what is the true difference in how do these all work together? How are they different?

Robert 31:39
There’s, and I’m probably guilty of it as well, but there’s a lot of marketing voodoo around what is managed, what is cloud? And, and there is no like, specific definition.

Josh 31:55

Robert 31:56
But you know, there’s no like, I triple E 15, digits, dot 14 digits, you know, Specification for cloud, what I think of as I’m just gonna go with what I think of cloud, perfect, I think most people are gonna be within, you know, a Delta of 5% of this is that cloud has multiple geographical locations of actual data centers, that data can be replicated, or run from one or more of these data centers, at the same time, so that, you know, if, you know, Amazon East goes down, Amazon Asia takes over, or, or there is redundancy, in almost real time of data across databases, so that folks in Asia have just as fast performance or the least amount of lag to get to that host, as they would in Europe. So you know, that cloud is really about making as much of the data as redundant and fast as possible globally.

Josh 33:13
That’s very well said, Is it? Well, how does a follow up question to that? How does cloud hosting differ from a content delivery network? Or is it very similar? Like if you’re gonna get a CDN? Do you use that in conjunction with Cloud Hosting? Or does cloud hosting take care of that automatically?

Robert 33:31
The CDN is our hyper specialized clouds. Okay, that’s really what what it is. So, you know, they’re not necessarily worried about as real time data, because a lot of CD ends, I mean, primarily support just static data, so images, documents, static pages, and all that those can be replicated to umpteen different geographic locations. So that means they’re redundant, they’re, you know, there’s backup. And, you know, the least amount of lag. So CDN is very specialized in what it’s doing with a type of content on the cloud. As we look at it.

Robert 34:16
So if I’m only a great example, say, I just want to run one site, I only want to pay for one location, one geographic hosting company or data center, that’s where I’m putting all my stuff, I can take advantage of a CDN to offload a lot of the static media content globally for a significantly lower price. Because really, it’s just a it’s really just a hard drive with an IP address at the end of the day. And okay, the ends are so you know, if I have a bunch of PDFs that I need to make sure people can get I can, you know, take advantage of significantly lower costs, but also reduce latency for customers all over the world by having that content To all those PDFs replicated throughout the CDN.

Josh 35:03
Gotcha. And then for folks who are maybe new to web design, who are wondering exactly what we, you talked about right there, what a CDN is, but you do find this practically like sometimes, because I am a web design coach, and I coach students all over the world, sometimes when I view their sites, if somebody is in Brazil, or in like South Africa or something, it will often load slower for me in Columbus, Ohio, because they they’re not using a CDN or Cloud Hosting, because it literally takes longer, and in a different location, if they’re, if their website is hosted on a server and South Africa say, it will literally take longer for me to pull it up is I mean, that’s kind of the that’s probably the most practical example of that, right, Robert, it literally just takes you longer to load if you’re farther away in the world.

Robert 35:49
Correct. And the and the, the funny part is, utilizing a CDN you can make, you can still have a really slow host at the origin location. But because all that other stuff, all those other media assets, static assets are spread out across us a CDN, you can infinitely improve the speed of your website, even if you’re on a really slow localhost. Because all that data will just get to you faster. And

Josh 36:18

Robert 36:19
And the way the internet is set up, you know, something somewhere what I don’t care where it is, just give it to me as fast as you can. And yeah, take advantage of

Josh 36:28
Gotcha. So with cloudways, the name is in your company name is Are you do you guys have shared as well? And I’m just playing devil’s advocate for folks who maybe don’t know you. What are you guys focusing on? And is it again? Is it shared and private? And Cloud? Is it all the above what’s that look like for cloudways, specifically,

Robert 36:51
So we don’t do any shared hosting. Gotcha. And in fact, a lot of the traditional stuff I just went over cloudways has kind of been at the leading edge of that, in the fact that we, we are a management platform across all this kind of bare metal. So you know, we’re management platform on top of AWS, Google, Digital Ocean, Linode, and vulture. So we take advantage of all their bare metal, their cloud data centers, and all that without having to maintain our own hardware, which is a very nice thing. But also making it really easy to use. Really easy to take advantage of all those other cloud platforms that are, you know, embedded with all the hardware and data centers, and Ultras and all that, you know, there is no shared hosting, out of the box.

Robert 37:52
As an agency, you can create your own shared hosting environment. So you know, they’re there. If you sign up for, you know, a $12, a month premium Digital Ocean package. And, you know, you have 100 clients that all have, you know, tiny static websites, you can put all 100 on them for, you know, $12 a month. And that gotcha, that’s all money back to you, depending on how you charge back from maintenance, support and hosting. If you have

Josh 38:21
In that, would that be considered like getting a container, essentially, the cloudways, like, you get your container, you have all your sites, but your that’s your container, you’re not an apartment complex with some scary neighbors who are going to be up to no good at three in the morning, you got your own container on it’s you know, that you have all your assets.

Robert 38:38
And then Digital Ocean speak, you have your droplets, you get a Digital Ocean droplet, which is a container in Digital Ocean speak, for all intents purposes. So you can manage that container in a bunch of different ways. You can scale it up if you want. You can manage the resources and you know, other software bits for all the applications within that. We have servers navigate within that server. The cool part is if you ever really need to, like crazily scale up, so maybe one of the providers just you know, doesn’t have the right locations doesn’t have the, you know, the performance metrics for that container. You can switch from DigitalOcean to AWS, you know, at the click of a button. So you know, our platform also provides all this flexibility to move back and forth between different providers depending on your needs.

Josh 39:35
And let’s let’s hit on that too. Right now. Since we’re there, Robert. So the different providers you’re talking Digital’s and AWS, which is Amazon Web Services, Linode. These are there’s Google Cloud. These are all data centers, essentially right that you could how does this work? Are these basically gas stations for the internet? Is that the best way like China? I’m just I’m a I’m a simple dude who needs like very A lot of you watch the office but my wife and I just watched the episode last night where Michael’s like, talk to me like I’m an eight year old. So this is what I this is what I need as a, you know, with my level of experience with hosting. So I like to simplify it.

Robert 40:13
If I remember that episode, he says, talk to me like an eight year old and then talk to me like I’m younger.

Josh 40:18
Yeah, then he’s like, Okay, now talk to me, like, I’m five. So now that’s me. I’m like, Alright, Robert, now talk me like I’m five, tell me as a five year old mind here with hosting the difference? You know, what’s a data center? And I guess one question I have is like, anyone can access these different data centers, technically, right? Do you guys as a host have like, special access to all these as far as how you use them as your data? Like? I’m really curious about that.

Robert 40:43
Boy, there’s bunch of questions. Now, let me

Josh 40:44
Sorry, there was like three questions. And one, yeah,

Robert 40:47
I’ll answer the last one first, because that’s when I can remember. You can go to aws amazon, what I just call it AWS these days, but Amazon Web Services, thanks for expanding on the acronym, or Google Cloud or digital, you can go to all these folks directly. So you know, if you’re a restaurant and you want, you know, chicken, you can go to a bunch of places to get chicken, and there’s gonna be different reasons for why some chicken is better than another, maybe some some of that chicken comes in on time, maybe some of that, I should maybe switch tomatoes for the vegetarians in the audience. Tomatoes, were no tomatoes.

Josh 41:30
Let’s go pizza make everyone happy that way, we could do meat or veggie.

Robert 41:36
But you see any the ingredients to run your business. So there are different places to get it. And there’s different reasons to get some are closer, some are fresher. Some are more price sensitive, you know, all those kinds of things that go into it. You’re going to pick one and you’re gonna, you know, be like, Okay, we’re going to make pizza with these tomatoes, because, you know, they sort of solve that Venn Diagram of timeliness, cost, consciousness and quality. And that’s what these hosting providers are, okay, you are what these data centers, data centers are all about, you can go directly to one, instead of being a pizza provider, you can just become another, you know, a tomato distributor and just go straight to AWS, and build everything on top of that, and you’re only going to have AWS tomatoes, and loving this analogy. I’m gonna reuse this.

Josh 42:35
I’m glad we’re doing this episode before lunchtime, too.

Robert 42:40
But it’s a lot harder to the whole effort is very difficult. And it’s especially from like, that web design space. I’ve been there. I know not everyone’s going to be hyper geeky and technical and really want to get into the weeds and figure out what exactly what kind of EC to wait, what is easy to any event.

Josh 43:02
I mean, God forbid, the DI wires and the clients who sign up for hosting. But even as web designers, like I am not going to be able to speak at that level. I mean, I can talk at some level with some tech speak. But yeah, if it’s like computer related RAM, CPU, all that stuff that is over my head, and I just I don’t have too much interest in that. So that’s where cloud ways and you know, I guess would you are you essentially the managed hosts that is the immediate the enemy, excuse me, intermediary between these data centers, and the client or the web designer.

Robert 43:36
So we abstract all the technologies and just make them a lot easier to use.

Josh 43:40

Robert 43:41
You know, at the end of the day, cloudways is a software company that looks for the best solutions, you know, for us to provide back to agencies, freelancers, and whatnot. Hardware is commoditize. I mean, you can you know, if you want 1000 CPUs of anything, you know, everyone’s gonna pay the same price for him. So, you know, so what, so what makes you different, and the value? And to your point exactly, is yes, you don’t want to learn about all this super nitty gritty technical stuff, but also is that really, what would make your time valuable.

Robert 44:15
I mean, if you’re a designer, an agency, a content creator not only is what you’re doing what you like, but you’re also going to make money off of it, you know, I have found that if you need to do something that you’re not interested in, you’re gonna spend two to three times as much time trying to get it done. Now, that’s a great point. You know, love you not that you couldn’t do this Josh, but you really want to spend a whole day you know, setting up an AWS server when you can get it you know, rolled out and you know, five minutes.

Josh 44:49
I am not ashamed and saying I have zero interest in doing that. And even like I I’m really good with CSS, but coding is not my strong suit. I don’t know any other type of coding and Little bit of PHP with that said, in it did your point was completely articulated by my experience as a web designer, it took me three times as long to code as a lot of my colleagues just because I did, it just wasn’t, it wasn’t natural for me, I didn’t, I didn’t love it. However, design, copy, conversion, sales strategy, those things came much more natural to me. So I think that’s, that’s a great way to articulate the value of what you guys are doing with Cloud ways. And sounds like what I’m sure a lot of other companies are doing as well with being that managed partner between all the scary tech tools and data centers and all that stuff. And then we’ll the end product.

Robert 45:39
And I don’t want to say it’s scary, but it’s you know, there’s value and a or you as a designer, or, you know, a design focus content focused agency, going to be able to recoup all that costs for getting stuff done. I mean, if if you can charge X amount per hour for a project, or you know, some project based thing, but you’re gonna have to spend 10 times as much time doing the technical stuff while you’re, you’re eating your own lunch there. And then it’s not a good thing. And yeah, so I mean, that’s why solutions, like cloudways exists to make the cloud accessible.

Josh 46:14
And I guess, and I say scary, because to me, in a lot of web designers who don’t have an interest in this area, it is scary, mainly because we just don’t know, anything you don’t know is generally a little more frightening. Now, I remember when I used to manually transfer websites in the beginning, that was terrifying for me, because I broke websites and I broke email because I didn’t understand. Now I know enough, when it comes to transferring a website that I can transfer a website literally lickety split, no emails goes down, because I understand cPanel or PHP myadmin. The records, which I do have a basic beginners course on that if anyone’s interested, it’s my cPanel course that goes through although I actually want to talk about cPanel, too.

Josh 47:00
That course actually really isn’t even around cPanel is about all those different tools within all hosting platforms. But maybe we’ll go there next. But I say that to say this stuff is scary if you don’t know it, or at least know the basics of it. But this already, honestly Robert is making. This is really like visualizing how all this fits together now for me, so I hope it is for everyone else too, because I still up to this conversation didn’t quite understand the difference between shared cloud VPS, manage the container, all that stuff. This is definitely provide me some clarity.

Josh 47:34
While we’re on the cPanel topic, what is cPanel? And I know like I use SiteGround, still, unless you convince me otherwise, by the end of this call here. They recently have a new back end. So it’s not actually cPanel. Can you tell us about that? What have you seen what what is cPanel versus these other site builder tool or these other, you know, hosting tools.

Robert 47:56
So for the longest time, and and it’s funny that there’s sort of a quick brief history of web host paneling, panels. Very, very similar times, products, called cPanel was created in North America as well as a product in Europe called Plesk. There were both just giant bits of software that facilitated management of hardware and software on that hardware. So there are ways to make some of your life easier. Because way back in the 90s and aughts, when you wanted to update email records, or DNS records or you know, Apache parameters, you would have to shell into your box type while and this will this will be a high geek factor.

Robert 49:00
My preferred Linux editors have them. So you know, type in VI Apache dot conf, and go in start tweaking things about you know, resources and utilization and then processes and cycles. So you really had to be comfortable dealing with the operating system at its base level and knowing how to reboot services, like Apache, like MySQL, like Postgres, which now we have nginx and Lightspeed and, you know, Maria DB and all this stuff, but going in there and just, you know, putting on your helmet and messing around directly with the code. cPanel plus the the two biggest ones that came out in the last 15 years. were built to abstract, all that scary stuff.

Josh 49:52

Robert 49:52
So now it would say, you know, turn on web server turn off web server you didn’t have to worry about you know, dot slash a, you know, PD space, slash restart or something I don’t know, done some of that.

Josh 50:09
I was just imagining like Nigerian Jurassic Park, just seeing code and then just typing in the functions and stuff. That’s basically

Robert 50:17
That’s what that does. And so cPanel and Plesk came on board to abstract that stuff and make it user friendly, like, gotcha. All tools eventually lead to, and then added other things like, Okay, you want email on there, you can kind of one click Email and type in some stuff, but you don’t need to know about the coding and you know, the IT aspects of it. So those web hosting panels were created, and a lot of hosting companies took advantage and because it made their clients lives easier.

Josh 50:50

Robert 50:52
Look, you know, there are pros and cons to Oh, and both those companies now are owned by the same parent company, make that short. So cPanel and Plesk are owned by the same parent company. And they kind of run that world now.

Josh 51:06
What’s that company by the way?

Robert 51:08
Oh, my, you know, I really, web pros. I think it’s weird.

Josh 51:12
Okay. I just see, I wasn’t sure

Robert 51:13
I it’s gone through a couple of rounds of changing lead investors and all that.

Josh 51:19
I was never on the cPanel newsletter. So I don’t keep

Robert 51:23
Conferences, though. I love the cPanel conferences.

Josh 51:27
Oh, did they really?

Robert 51:28

Josh 51:29
Oh, wow.

Robert 51:32
Tons of great people there tons of great people. I mean, what’s what’s fun? This is a total tangent. But you know, you said we have time to go on tangents. So I will Oh, yeah, it’s good time. So many cool, awesome geeky people at all these companies. And you know, there’s there’s business stuff that happens. But you know, I don’t got a bad I don’t have a bad thing to say about the people working at these companies. They were really invested still are invested in, you know, making cool technology that makes people’s lives easier.

Josh 52:00
People want it’s the same thing. It’s the same thing, like with word camps, and I’m not sure if Joomla had a community. But yeah, the the online web design community as a whole and further into development communities. It’s awesome when everyone gets together because you got a word camp. Like, if you talk about WordPress, around your family, they’re like, so you can fix my computer. You’re like, No, you gotta word camp, you can talk about, you know, PHP myadmin problems, and people are like, Oh, dude, I totally understand. So that’s fine.

Robert 52:29
Oh, yeah, yeah. Great. I forgot about PHP myadmin. I haven’t actually used that in forever. Because all stuffs keeps getting abstracted. It’s like, Well, why do I need to dig in there? You know, if I screwed up something big.

Josh 52:45
Right? Right. So I would do that with a manual migration of a of a WordPress website. But here’s my question on that. PHP myadmin. For example, just like file manager, or, you know, any of these entry points to all this WordPress website stuff. Those are still in the new back end of like, SiteGround. So SiteGround is not using cPanel anymore, but they still have these categories of things you can drill into that were in cPanel. So can you explain that to me? Or it was I guess you already did. cPanel was the way to just kind of wrap all that up together and make it more user friendly to adjust and access. Right.

Robert 53:23
So there are a couple of things that have happened. And this is kind of like, what’s the something baseball? What’s the phrase?

Josh 53:32
I don’t know. Do you have? Do you have a hockey analogy? I can. I’m more of a hockey guy. Oh, boy.

Robert 53:37
Now we’re both really in trouble. I don’t even know baseball that well. So I’m trying.

Josh 53:41
Okay. Well, I mean, I thought being in Chicago, you had to know hockey, baseball and football pretty well. But maybe maybe that’s not the case.

Robert 53:52
You need to spell all those are

Josh 53:55

Robert 53:57
But so one of the there are both technological and business issues around sort of cPanel Plesk web panels, and that’s, you know, they’re built to be as generic as possible. So as many hosts can take advantage of them.

Josh 54:18

Robert 54:19
So, you know, there’s stuff that hosts may not want, there’s, you know, how do we tweak this? How do we make this more, you know, how do we white label it more, you know, for a long time, having cPanel meant something now, people are like, well, no one cares whether you have cPanel, they care whether XYZ is happening and to new users. cPanel Plesk mean, I feel less than they did you know, 15 years ago, I was like, Oh my God, you have to have this because it solves so many problems.

Josh 54:48
Even the past couple years, that narrative has changed dramatically. I feel like well,

Robert 54:53
And then the other reason is because certainly on the cPanel side, I will speak for Plesk on this. A lot of price increases and the way the price pricing model has changed for cPanel. In regards to the hosting companies. So, on the whole, a lot of hosting companies have had to pay more, we have to pay more. And a lot of this, you know, we know what solutions our customers want, we don’t need to give them everything, because they only want these three, four or five things, you know, we can invest in that over the course of a year or two. And, you know, get rid stop licensing, you know, cPanel, or Plesk. And we’ll be better off, you know.

Robert 55:37
They’ve taken a multi year approach to it and being like, okay, you know, our customers need XYZ, we can build that out, you know, over the course of 12 to 18 months. And then we can control the entire architecture. Yeah. cloudways is a perfect example. We don’t, there is no cPanel or Plesk, we have our own web hosting platform, there was a number of reasons for that one, because we want that platform to be accessible, usable, and scalable across our five infrastructure partners.

Robert 56:08
So we needed to have a consistent way to look at, you know, whether you’re on AWS or DigitalOcean. But also have tools that connected specifically with those. So if I wanted to migrate my DigitalOcean WordPress website to an AWS instance, I could do that. Easily. And, you know, once we had some very specific technical reasons for building our platform, but also, you know, it’s the cloudways experience to for traditional cPanel, Plesk. Users, you know, they want to be known as SiteGround, or Bluehost, not Bluehost, with cPanel.

Josh 56:45
or gotcha panel. Yeah, yeah. Gotcha. That makes a lot of sense. Yeah. And I do I have a question. I’ll save a little bit, because I want to get your thoughts on because I want to rename that course, because it’s what I teach in my cPanel course, is much more than just cPanel. It’s all the most important aspects of records and file manager and how databases work with WordPress, the site, all that stuff, all that kind of stuff. Before that, though, I want to give you an opportunity, Robert, to challenge me on SiteGround, I’ve been using SiteGround, since 2015, and I am a ain’t broke, don’t fix it kind of guy, my site’s never been down, and never have any issues. knocking on wood, I never have any issues I’ve never had clay, I never had students say there’s issues with the sites.

Josh 57:29
But I want to give you the chance to tell me and you can speak completely freely on this. I don’t, I’m an affiliate for SiteGround. But I don’t have any personal friends there. So I’m not my feelings aren’t gonna be heard. It may be even if it’s SiteGround, or just other hosts in general, what is the what is the difference between cloudways and SiteGround, or some of the other companies that are similar?

Robert 57:52
So unlike you, I do have personal friends there. I know the founder of SiteGround have shared at least one or 200 drinks with him. And, you know, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, that that is a good rule. And I’m not gonna sit here and tell anyone that if you are completely satisfied with a solution that you should move to anywhere else, if it’s working for you, and you’re happy with the price point on performance, and support goes good. I mean, that’s the beauty of you know, a lot of the internet stuff is you do have a lot of choices. And, you know, if you found one that totally works, that’s awesome. You know, off the bat, you know, really the biggest differentiator we’re going to have, just from the start is you can deploy pretty much anywhere in the world with cloudways. You can’t do without SiteGround they have dedicated data centers. And I mean, last I checked, I think they have three.

Josh 58:49
I mean, we I think it’s it should have ones in Chicago. So Chicago, there’s Europe, yeah, somewhere

Robert 58:57
In Europe, it might be one or two in Europe, I don’t know, there’s definitely one obviously

Josh 59:01
Like Singapore, or something, maybe or something like that. So

Robert 59:05
I mean, but if I add up all the data centers, we have, you know, just off top my head where you know, 20 3040 data centers. Gotcha. So he there might be very specific regional reasons why you want to take advantage of a specific platform without all the headaches and that’s what cloudways provides. We do have fantastic support. We do focus on WordPress a lot. And we’re innovating in a lot of the tools and technologies around that, I think faster than a Siteground. Does that matter for you today? You know, maybe maybe not, you know, if you’re happy, I don’t know what you’re paying, If you’re happy and that’s doing that and good. I you know, my job isn’t to twist arms. It’s to get people to at least take a look at cloud ways to see if that’s a better solution for them and and then innovate faster and better than any other hosting company. Yeah,

Josh 1:00:00
That’s a good answer. I was just kind of curious. Yeah. And I found that everyone I’ve talked to in the hosting world is just like the WordPress world we all I like this term called coopetition. We’re all competitors. But we’re all friends do like every like one of my, one of my closest colleagues now is Chris the founder of lifter LMS. And I actually use lert. Yeah, Chris Patrick is awesome. Love Chris. He, I actually use LearnDash. I have since I started my courses. But I always

Robert 1:00:32
Another Chris right?

Josh 1:00:33
So yeah, so Chris now yeah, there was a previous owner who saw it and and now there’s another Chris. But we talked about that often. And he’s friends with those guys, too. Like, there’s a great spirit of coopetition in the WordPress and web design realm. But yeah, I was just, I just wanted to get your thoughts on, you know, some of the differences. And I’m sure will, I want to wrap up by talking a little more about what you foresee and what you guys are doing. I do want to take this opportunity, though, to ask you as a professional in this industry.

Josh 1:01:01
If I were because I definitely am going to rename my cPanel course. What should I call it? It’s basically a beginner’s guide to all this stuff, the basic of domains and security and file manager for WordPress, WordPress related, but what would you call it? If I if you would give me some ideas? What do you think, because I’m really just, I just have no idea what to rename this course. Because it’s not just cPanel. And cPanel is on its way out. And a lot of cases, I’m just having a dandy of a time man trying to figure out what we’re gonna rename this course.

Robert 1:01:33
I mean, it’s, it’s what you could go with a really fun, like, ugly title, like, ugly is going to be in the Word. So you know, the ugly parts of your website, you know, underneath, you know, under the hood. mean, it’s that kind of stuff that you’re not necessarily thinking about. And frankly, you know, as the hosting industry matures, hour by hour, you’ll care less. I am not a car guy. This is my favorite. My wife can can do anything with a car, she knows she can change oil she can do. I have no idea. I have one very important thing for my car. Did it turn on? Saying here? All I need to know, that’s literally no, it’s great. I can go done.

Robert 1:02:23
Now there’s fun stuff like okay, oh, does it have CarPlay. So I can put my phone. At the end of the day, I don’t care. I just needed to go. And you know, one of our cars is over 20 years old. You know why we keep it because it still goes. And so you have a lot of ways to your initial hosting question. If your website still goes, and it’s satisfying those requirements, that’s great. If you have seasonality in your website, you need to be able to scale up and down in weird ways. Does your hosting provider provide to its infrastructure? Do you know do you have to deal with, you know, customers and regions that are not your traditional local region? You know, those are the questions that you want to start thinking about and asking, you know, are those real needs? Have you been looked at until those as needs? Are you missing out on opportunities? Because you’re tied to a more traditional host?

Josh 1:03:16
Gotcha. And you gave me a good idea with the course question under the hood. I liked that. I liked that idea a lot. Because that is kind of what it is. It’s like, what’s under the what’s the foundation, the website? What’s behind, you know, what’s under it? What’s what’s under the hood? That’s a great idea. Yeah, cuz I’m just trying to think of what I could possibly call that to articulate all these little aspects of it. So I appreciate that. Robert, that’s great. That gives me a good option to throw in the mix to see that resonates. And then yeah, as we

Robert 1:03:44
Licensing will have to go through,

Josh 1:03:47
I’ll give you 10%. I’ll give you 10% The first way. Now, this is great. And I was kind of I do want to talk about the trends here. As we wrap up here moving forward, and what you’re seeing with innovation and where you think hosting is gonna go before we get to that, though, where would you like everyone to go? Do you have a special link or a service that you’d like? Everyone listening to watching to go to? Or just go to cloudways? Where would you like your one to go?

Robert 1:04:12
Just hit the you know, obviously, just going to cloudways is one of the easier routes. You can also sort of hit the cloudways Let me just make sure that i i should memorize some of these URLs to make my life easier. But yeah, you really since it’s a WordPress audience, cloudways.com/wordpress

Josh 1:04:33
Okay, cool. Yeah, we’ll have that link in the show notes. And then you have a personal blog as well. That is pretty value packed. It looks like is it just Robert jacobi.com.

Robert 1:04:44
Yep, yep. And it took a little hiatus at the end of our second half of last year, just because I started working at cloudways in April and boy did I not have time to keep up to date on that but back in the groove and it I’m actually looking forward to some of the content that’s planned to be released as well as, as a slight redesign really a re architecture of it. Okay, way too many plugins on this version of WordPress site.

Josh 1:05:15
Gotcha. Yeah. So yeah, now so let’s wrap this up with where do you think? What do you think hosting is gonna go over maybe the next like five years do you first see just more innovation with the the DI wires and folks like me who just want to know the kind of like you would the car and say I’m the same way with a car, I just want to make sure it runs, I want to have a decent amount of cupholders and I want to make sure my phone integrates with it. And that’s those are my three biggies. So like, is that kind of where you see hosting go? What what do you think about that in the next five years or so?

Robert 1:05:50
So what’s what’s the great quote, we underestimate the short term future and overestimate long term future? I think there’s going to be a boat ton of software innovation on the in the short term and everything from you know, again, abstracting the details, even more so from what you’re getting, you know, even a cloud always, we still talk about RAM and CPU and all that, but finding out ways to make that knowledge more friendly. The performance more valuable, and more relevant. In human terms. Yes, there are plenty of geeks who understand all that stuff. But that’s not what we really care about, you know.

Robert 1:06:39
I, I care about how fast I can go from zero to 60. I don’t care whether it’s diesel, traditional or diesel, unleaded or electric, right? I mean, you know, if I want to go fast, I want to know that I can do that in two seconds versus 10 seconds. And I and I may not care about what’s, you know, let’s ignore all the ecology, eco stuff around that, but environmental stuff, right. But, you know, in that sense, you know, how do we continue to abstract that make that meaningful, and valuable, with software software is going to drive all this, you know, we’re commoditize, at the hardware level, across all these platforms, you know, even your, your data center in your closet, is going to have the same great equipment that, you know, Google or Amazon or DigitalOcean has.

Robert 1:07:30
So, you know, how do we make that experience of accessing that hardware, valuable, useful? You know, there are going to be sets of tools and software that target specific verticals, you know, if you’re a financial services company, you’re gonna want to have, you know, maybe more high frequency access to such and such databases and whatnot. And then you see things like vulture, who’s part of our pool of resources, you know, looking to do more lag, free kind of things. So and then how do you get software? Take advantage of that? You know, how do you make you know, how do you have more dynamic, dynamic scalability so that I don’t necessarily have to think about the fact that black Friday’s coming in, I should kind of like, bump up my services?

Robert 1:08:23
And oh, wait, it’s not just black Friday in North America? It’s a What’s that day in? China? I know Japan has one of them. China, there’s these days that many countries have that are just like super shopping days? And how do you take advantage of that? And how do you automatically you know, scale up your Asian servers versus your North American servers. You know, those kinds of things that people are just going to want to have happen automatically. And, you know, people will pay for them. And but all this stuff keeps getting commoditized it’s software, it’s fast, you have to continue innovating, how do we make the WordPress experience better?

Robert 1:08:59
You know, how do we make sure that maintenance and backups is just something you don’t think about? Do you have consultative services at the hosting company to find performance gaps within your applications? You know, again, offload let creatives be creatives, you know, build the best websites, you can, you know, fill it with as much awesome media. Let let the aspects of you know, running the car, you know, fixing you know, changing the oil, fixing the engine, blah, blah, whatever car people do. Spark plugs, do those still exist? I don’t know.

Josh 1:09:36
Oh, yeah. I don’t know. Probably. Sure.

Robert 1:09:40
But, you know, offload the stuff that you’re not good at, and, you know, get more value from the stuff you’re really good at. I mean, that’s just what we do. I’m not running a coal power plant to you know, turn the lights on in my house because there’s someone who can do that better. Yeah.

Josh 1:09:57
So a couple of last questions here. For somebody who is a freelancer who’s got, say, 10, web design clients, and they’re hosting all of them, if they were to go to cloud ways, what would you recommend? What would you suggest for them? Would they go with the like, I know, you’ve got quite a few different tiers, obviously, you can choose. And actually, maybe a two part question, since I’m hitting me with like two or three questions at a time. Do you recommend digital Osen versus low Linode? or AWS in certain situations? How do you know what data center to choose from when you’re choosing your plans?

Robert 1:10:32
This is great. Of course, this will come out in the future. But I was just speaking to this topic, at Groundhog Day. Groundhog with two G’s is a WordPress CRM plugin. And the topic was, you know, the questions you need to ask about hosting, you know, you know, your customers? I mean, are they, you know, one of the easy things is, are they regionally constrained? You know, are they smaller businesses on the west coast or East Coast in Europe or Asia? Well, then you’re gonna want to make sure that you can find the service that can support that locally, because that’ll include increased performance, which increases Google juice, and that kind of stuff.

Robert 1:11:14
So you know, some of these platforms are just have different geographies that can be more successful for your customers. You know, I recommend, you know, one of the great things about cloudways is, hey, you know, pick the 1220 $50, Digital Ocean account, throw everything on there, see what that performance is looking at, like, you can easily migrate single applications or multiple applications off to different VPS. Or if you just want everything on the same stack, because you have some kind of shared code and resources, move up to a different box. I mean, that’s, that’s the beauty of napping, specifically locked into AWS or Google Cloud is that, you know, we really have a lot of flexibility in how to move your sites around.

Josh 1:11:58
Gotcha. Because I mean, Amazon and Google Cloud, those plans are significantly more than DigitalOcean. Is that just what why is that per se,

Robert 1:12:07
That’s just the hardware specifications. I mean, that’s, you know, as we slowly try to abstract that out, we’re still telling you what you get. So you know, you’re getting, you know, different types of CPUs with, you know, faster clock cycles, you know, all SSD drives, so file access is, you know, where is quicker? Right, CPUs, oh, and RAM.

Josh 1:12:33
Yeah. And for for, for the layman out even those terms, is that more about amount of site traffic? Even like, if you have any con obviously, if you have an ecommerce store, like you said, sales, you have to be aware of when you’re going to get sales periods. And when you’re going to do launches? I mean, those are all things. Where do you guys consult? Like, if somebody is curious about well, they don’t even know what RAM is or how much bandwidth they would need? Do they just let you know, kind of where traffic is on average? And then you kind of let them know where they should go as far as what tier?

Robert 1:13:07
We typically appeal to a slightly geekier set at the moment. Yeah, folks generally have an idea of what that means. And so we’re trying to strike that out. You know, one, good rule of thumb is how much user generated content is coming in. Because if, you know, if you’re you have a static site, that’s just sort of, when I say static, I’ll even be a little flexible with that, you know, say it’s a static site, but it’s connected up to pay pal for actual purchasing of something. Well, for all intents and purposes, that’s a static site, you’re not going to need to worry about all the CPU and RAM utilization as much, because you’re not really hitting your database as much.

Robert 1:13:49
You know, we have we have caching at cloudways, and a CDN at cloudways. That will offload a lot of that work anyway. So that’s why you can actually start out on a much lower server. Because a lot of that’s going to be cashed out and CDN out. Anyway. Now, if you’re running, you know, like lifter and groundhog or some very database intensive application, you’re gonna need more RAM and CPU just to handle all the processing of the data that goes back and forth internally to the application. And depending on utilization.

Josh 1:14:18
Gotcha. And what about what about I would view like my site as kind of maybe an enemy intermediary, excuse me, like a talk today intermediary? Post a lot of blogs, course pages, a lot of different post types. A lot of comments got like, 500 comments I need to deal with and clear right now. Go through an approval. Yeah, yeah. Is that kind of a I know, there’s way it was a lot of different tiers. But is that where I would just, you know, and I’m just playing devil’s advocate here. Like when How to know what to choose. I would view I would think I would be probably on like the middle tier or maybe like a $50 a month or 96 depending on, you know, what data center? Is that kind of how you base that? Will you advise I base?

Robert 1:15:04
I bet you could start at 50. And and, you know, that may be overperforming for you because, you know, we make sure our WordPress is hyper tweaked to the platforms as well. So we’re doing optimization on how the databases are spun up and how the web server actually works with WordPress. So that’s an important factor as well. But yeah, you’re offloading a ton of content to YouTube, and CDN. So that’s, you know, not a big issue. You have 500 comments in the background, how you know, is that over the course of, you know, five minutes or over the course of five days?

Josh 1:15:43
Those are just the ones I have not those are just the ones that are sitting that I either need to approve, deny or spam. I’m actually about to get one of my probably had my VA. So Kam get ready. My VA is like, oh, no, Josh is gonna have to do the comments. Need some help with that? But I get probably comments wise, I’d say I probably get a dozen a week, on average, maybe two or three a day.

Robert 1:16:06
So that’s like, no database work. Really? Okay. I’ll see your stuff is static, you have minimal comments. And that’s actually I’m going to make sure the audience knows that has nothing to do with Josh’s website or anything.

Josh 1:16:20
No, it’s well, it’s fine.

Robert 1:16:23
I think people are moving off the idea of comments in general, heck, my ad blockers prevent seeing comments, because I just don’t care most

Josh 1:16:31
Oh my gosh, we have Yeah, we’re using clean talk right now. I mean, the amount of spam that is currently being blocked is insane. And, and I should say too, that’s kind of by design. What because I so I have a Facebook group for I use the Divi theme. I have a Facebook group, that’s a support group for Divi. So a lot of questions funnel there for Divi specific stuff. I have a student center for all my web design students that is on circle, which is outside of my WordPress site. I don’t have comments on my course pages,

Josh 1:17:02
I have a membership that I coach people on that circle as well. So it’s not on my WordPress site. So my WordPress site is essentially just my hub. But all the videos are on YouTube, or on Vimeo, depending on public or private. So it’s a good point, I guess I honestly sometimes think that there’s probably way more going on my site than there actually is because it is the everything’s kind of pointed from there. And it kicks out elsewhere. So it actually it’s it’s an interesting distinction as far as what my site is actually doing. Because there’s not as much user generated content as I thought.

Robert 1:17:37
And that’s, that’s the big factor. I mean, that’s where that, you know, that’s where you start really thinking about, you know, what should my infrastructure be ready to support. But, yeah, your site’s not much different than mine. Well, except you, your site has, I’m talking about my personal site, but you probably have 100,000x, more people visiting. So that’s the difference. But it’s, at the end of the day, you’ll be surprised at how much good caching can, you know, speed up your site, and you don’t really have to, you don’t have to be spending $1,000 a month on a host, you really can be spending 20 to $50 a month and just take advantage of good caching and CDN. That probably makes like, I mean, again, YouTube. Yeah, that’s, that’s in my head, that’s free video hosting somewhere else. And you don’t have to worry about any of that infrastructure.

Josh 1:18:29
Yeah, no, that’s exactly why I post all my videos on YouTube and then just embed them on my post type. So yeah, you’ve actually made me feel a lot better and also explains why I probably have been with the same plan upgraded on site ground three years ago, maybe like 18 or 19 when I started doing courses, but that explains why I haven’t any issues or even though my traffic has gone up. I haven’t had any sort of issues with downtime or any any sort of like CPU issues or storage issues or anything like that just because of what my site is actually putting out there. So that makes a lot of sense.

Josh 1:19:08
So yeah, that gosh, this has made me feel better. Robert all around. I really thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to to fill us in on all this I really has. I mean, we’ve we got a little little nerdy on some of this stuff. But for anyone who found it boring again, I just want to reiterate that point. It is super important. I mean everything we’re doing online is on top of your hosting so you this is so important at least to understand the basics of it and and be real well represented. So yeah, I love what you’re up to man, love what you’re up to with cloudways Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. Any parting thoughts or final thoughts as we wrap this up here, man?

Robert 1:19:45
Well, sure, check out cloudways.com But also I can’t wait to read know what’s under the hood.

Josh 1:19:53
I love that term. Man. I’m really excited about revamping that course that’s definitely going to be a front runner for the name of it. That’s great. was a great analogy. So that was worth it for me just talking with you just to get that idea. So, thanks so much, man. I really enjoyed talking with you, Robert, thanks for your time and looking forward to keeping in touch and and you guys are going to be at WordCamp in Europe, is that right?

Robert 1:20:13
We’ll be at WordCamp Europe where it can’t be us as many work camps as they allow the university have. We’ve been cooped up for way too long. So I know there’s a lot of there’s really a lot of pent up energy to just be out there and and, you know, talk WordPress talk life in person. So are looking forward to it. Yeah,

Josh 1:20:34
I was talking with James Farmer, the CEO of WPM you dev a couple months back, and he we were joking about how word camps are going to be even more awkward than ever, because everyone’s been at home. Like web designers are awkward enough often. So. Now everyone’s awkward, you know, working from home, it’s going to be extra awkward meeting meeting in person, although maybe it’ll just be all that pent up energy that we’re extra excited.

Robert 1:20:54
Yeah, but see, that’s not I mean, you’re talking to James James doesn’t actually get out that much. I mean, he’s all the way in Australia, so he’s not even. He’s not even at all these work.

Josh 1:21:03
Yeah, that’s true. That was my comment. That was my comment. Yeah. That’s good, man. Well, awesome, Robert. Thanks again, for your time. This was really, I have to be honest, I wasn’t sure how the combo would go talk and hosting. But I really enjoyed this. This was fun, man. Thanks. Thanks for your time.

Robert 1:21:19
Appreciate it.

Josh 1:21:21
Awesome, and talk soon.


Web Design Business

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