Ten years ago this month, we launched Pagely and kicked off what has grown into the $2-3 Billion dollar channel known commonly as Managed WordPress Hosting. At the time, people questioned the need for the services they now take for granted, and which are increasingly becoming commoditized.
Over the last decade, the wider WordPress ecosystem has clearly benefited from faster and more secure websites, better deployment workflows, and knowledgeable, WordPress-specific technical support. I’d wager to say the wider hosting market, in general, has also taken notice and adapted to serve a more discerning clientele that has come to expect more than Level 1 call center upsells when interacting with their host.
It’s been an exciting and, at times, terrifying journey for Sally and I as we’ve put our efforts towards building a product and then building a company. We’ve become parents during this time and watched as our employees started or expanded their own families. We’ve seen competitors enter, grow, and dominate wide segments of the market.
We’ve also stayed true to our simple philosophy of “business is personal” and have endeavored to interact with every employee and every customer with integrity and empathy. Thank you to all our customers past and present for joining us on this journey.
As the Managed WordPress Hosting channel expanded, and the service offerings coalesced around similar feature sets and positioning, we remained laser-focused on moving up the value stack.
Our approach was driven in dual parts by instinct and survival.
For the type of company we wanted to be a part of, one that put our employees and customers first, we had to seek out and serve the top-tier customer base that would support and value that ethos. It’s not a stretch to say we, a revenue-funded company, were also being squeezed by the venture-funded companies with massive war chests and the overseas players that enjoyed lower expenses on labor.
If a company does not adapt, it does not live.
I would be remiss to not recognize WP Engine, SiteGround, Pantheon, GoDaddy, and the rest of the now saturated mid-market and B2C WordPress hosting field that have played a significant role in this channel Pagely created. They most definitely have done more than we ever could alone to expand and broaden the landscape… as they continue to bludgeon each other for mass-market supremacy.
It’s near impossible to forecast what the next 10 years may bring.
At Pagely, we are investing heavily into a new product we feel is the logical next iteration of managed application hosting, NorthStack.
As technology changes at a quickened pace inline with the evolving tastes of consumers, we are exploring additional application ecosystems beyond WordPress such as Node.js, Laravel, and Gatsby, while leveraging and building the next generation hosting infrastructure to support it.
Hi, I’m Joshua Strebel, CEO and Co-founder of Pagely, a 10yr old profitable “startup” and the innovator of Managed WordPress Hosting.
Thank you for attending my TED Talk.