"A hosting service is more than installing WordPress or themes" Interview with José Ramón Padrón

Today I bring you an intense and interesting interview to José Ramón Padrón Country Manager of SiteGround Spain more a director of a hosting company, since he is actively participating in the WordPress community.

In this interview he tells us about the beginnings of SiteGround how they were implemented in Spain, what they have contributed to the WordPress community, how they are affected by the latest news from Automattic and WordPress.com and much more.

Past, present and future from SiteGround

Tell us something about you, how did you come to to be Country Manager of SiteGround Spain? Did you have experience in hosting?

When I started being part of the SiteGround family I had 14 years of experience in the world of hosting it was nothing new to me.

I have been privileged to have had colleagues and friends in this profession that has taught me a lot. And it is thanks to them that I had the opportunity to meet Ivo Tzenov and Tenko Nikolov, founder and CEO of the company respectively.

Now, almost 3 years later, I can say that learning has grown on a geometric scale. This company is special in many ways .

SiteGround is a special company in many ways @monchomad @SiteGround_ES Click to Tweet

I was lucky to meet Ivo Tzenov, Tenko Nikolov and finally Reneta Tzankova through some friends, and practically from the beginning we saw that we shared many values ​​and the magic arose.

When did SiteGround start its activity in Spain? And in the rest of the world?

SiteGround officially began its journey in Spain in September 2015 until then the official language of SiteGround was English and Spanish was incorporated, both on the web, as in support language, also opening our beautiful offices in Madrid located in the neighborhood of Salamanca.

At the beginning of 2016 we have added web and support in Italian, where we also had an excellent entry.

SiteGround born in 2004 in 2015 we had already grown to 300K customers around the world. 13 years of history, marked from 2007 by turning our main activity and becoming a provider of managed hosting specialized in CMS .

In this time, what surprised you the most, what did not Did you wait?

I knew there was a good atmosphere, that they were a different company but I did not expect it to be that much.

Any description I make will be short, but I can say that SiteGround completes me as a person and as a professional and all this is possible thanks to the work and perseverance of management in maintaining a philosophy that equals the treatment of employees and customers and this is not a marketing phrase.

Could you give me figures of your current level of implementation, of your growth?

At the moment we are around 300K customers, 800K web pages hosted in our 5 Data Centers, 430 employees of which 220 are technical support and Customer Care .

More than half of our employees are dedicated to serving the customer @monchomad @SiteGround_ES Click to Tweet

We grow in around 12% per year . More or less these are the figures.

What does SiteGround contribute to hosting and WordPress?

And what do you think SiteGround has contributed to the world of hosting in Spain? What differentiates you from other companies in the sector?

Our entry into the country has turned out to be a revulsive within the hosting sector in Spain .

We have arrived at a time when the WordPress hosting was being done by 2 or 3 small companies (and very well by the way), but our technology, our customer service, and our relationship with the Open Source communities has placed us in front and creating trend.

SiteGround has been a revulsive in hosting in Spain. We differentiate technology and human team @monchomad Click to tweet

If I had to explain to someone what sets us apart from other hosting providers, I would say our technology and our human team, to be exact our customer service team .

We are specialized in CMS since 2007 and that 10-year advantage is noticeable against most providers offering more general services.

And entering into WordPress what has SiteGround contributed?

We have contributed to WordPress in several directions, from having a payroll developer working on the WordPress core to writing our own security and speed plugins integrating them in our control panel; to sponsor, participate and give talks in more than 100 specific WordPress events worldwide .

We help and participate in over 100 WordPress events @monchomad Click to Tweet

We start from fact that WordPress gives us a lot and we have to contribute so that the chain continues .

What is your relationship with the WordPress community? What brings you and what do you contribute?

For me it was one of the most authentic discoveries when I came to SiteGround, thanks to the community I now know a lot of people with whom I share excellent moments.

community gives us values ​​to share and cultivate within our organization . The community brings us their knowledge, experience and trust.

We contributed sponsoring WordCamps around the world, as well as many Meetups in Spain .

So much so that I myself am the organizer of a WordPress Meetup in Gran Canaria and I am starting the preparations for the first WordCamp in Gran Canaria .

Technologies, services and problems with WordPress

I suppose you will see many problems of all kinds daily with websites created with WordPress, but which ones would you say are the most common and how do you solve them?

The most common incidents are not related to WordPress there are many people who call because they do not have or can not recover your access data, email, etc …

The most common incidents are updates and errors 404 @monchomad @SiteGround_Es Click to tweet

But being concrete in t orno to WordPress, we could say that doubts and incidents related to updates are the most common as well as errors 404 .

And what advice would you give to someone who is going to create your website with WordPress so that do not have problems?

That person would say that, if he is able to maintain his design with a number of balanced and functional plugins, with minimum standards of optimization of code, images and server, as well as using the latest versions of all the software that encompasses your project and be hosted in a specialized WordPress hosting provider you will have a successful, fast and secure Internet project.

Demystifying the hosting

A question that I always ask they do about the shared hosting, and I transfer you, is how many webs are there in each web server? How does this affect performance?

On a shared server there can be from a few dozen webs to several thousand it depends on the knowledge and use of technology that the hosting provider has at its disposal. scope

In SiteGround we build our shared services using very powerful hardware, together with our own version of Linux Containers and the latest stable versions of proprietary and third-party software, as well as cache plugins and CDN services so that our clients' websites are the fastest in the entire market.

On the other hand, the perception is that you are specialized in shared hosting, with your Startup, Growbig and GoGeek packages, but You also offer Cloud services, and another question that they always ask me is: how is a shared from a cloud different? Does not a cloud come to be a mix between shared and dedicated hosting? Give us some light on this subject.

A shared product or a dedicated product is a product of fixed features do not change before a peak of traffic or an increase in the number of users of your project.

A Cloud product, however, can adapt instantly to the needs of your website or your business absorbing peak traffic above what was initially planned. It is a pay-per-use concept based on scalability.

The auto-escalation is a feature you can not find in other products, only Cloud servers.

Our Cloud product range has that feature, they are capable of provisioning in five seconds and escalate without having to restart the service thanks to our own version of Linux Containers.

Of SiteGround I have always been struck by the fact that you offer 24/7 support, So, can I call your toll-free number for a problem at 4 AM on January 1 and attend to me?

Of course, and you can be answered in Spanish, English or Italian, without distinction.

] It is perhaps one of our strongest points, we make available to our customers toll-free telephone numbers live chat and a ticketing system attended by people who aben of WordPress and are specially trained to assist you quickly and effectively.

@SiteGround's support team KNOWS of #WordPress @monchomad @SiteGround_ES Click to tweet

Hosting and security

Changing topic, something that worries us all, security, what does SiteGround do to protect your customers in the different service packages?

Only with this topic would we have several hours, but I will try to simplify it.

security measures in our five Data Centers with the presence of hardware and software elements prepared for avoid denial-of-service attacks globally .

We take measures from server-level security with our account isolation technology.

and we take measures at the application level with proprietary solutions that shield your WordPress ante, for example, brute force attacks

We have our own protection systems, account isolation and alliance with Sucuri @monchomad Click to tweet

To all this we must add our own system of automatic updates of core, plugins and themes and our system of daily backup that will allow you to recover your content before any type of event.

On the other hand, we have a team dedicated to these tasks and in addition we have an alliance with partners like Sucuri specialists in this field.

As far as you can see it is a topic that we take very seriously, it could not be otherwise.

Hosting and optimization

Another star of the moment is web optimization, WPO. How do you approach this challenge in SiteGround?

For those who do not know what it is, WPO ( Website Performance Optimization ) are a set of optimization strategies that allow your web project not only to be faster , but can make much better use of the resources at its disposal, obtaining immediate benefits such as a better user experience, better Internet positioning, and lower production costs.

SiteGround customers have at their disposal ] cache tools specially designed for WordPress. PHP7 one-click, CDN services that allow you to speed up static content and distribute it around the globe, as well as HTTP / 2 available by default in all its servers.

To this we must add the above, a technology platform based on incredible performance servers, as well as a version of Linux Containers that allows us to scale the projects of our clients up to what your business and needs allow you .

To us talk about WPO allows us to highlight the main benefits that result from using the technology that we make available to our customers as a hosting provider specialized in WordPress. [19659004] It's a topic that we like a lot and that sets us apart from the rest of our competitors.

WordPress Challenges

Looking to the future, could you guess what the next ones will be? imos challenges with which, from your perspective, we will have to face the WordPress users?

I think that we are fortunate in that and we have some of the simplest and most powerful CMS market .

WordPress will grow towards the part Enterprise and expert becoming a Framework that brings together more technologies thanks to the REST-API and for the less ambitious user the solutions of layout directly on the front-end will take prominence to compete in all sectors of the market.

WordPress will grow in the company as a Technology Framework thanks to the REST-API @monchomad @SiteGround_ES Click to Tweet

To us as suppliers any of these changes obliges us to improve without truce our technology internal processes, new formations, etc …

But it does not take us by surprise, what We have been doing for our WordPress products since 2007 uninterruptedly.

On the other hand, the end user will continue to ask us the same thing: advice on SEO, what plugin goes better, what template do you recommend …

In short, the environment will change, but we and our customers will remain the same, better prepared, perhaps with new forms of consumption, but basically the concerns will remain identical.

Automattic and hosting companies

How does SiteGround affect Automattic? decided to include in its premium payment product the possibility of installing plugins and third party themes? Do you think that with this decision you are practically playing in the field of hosting companies? And, with this in mind, how can a hosting company like SiteGround counter such an offer? What is the added value of the WordPress specialized hosting companies such as SiteGround with this type of services offered by Automattic?

It affects us as all other specialized WordPress hosting providers, we have a new competitor in the market, neither more nor less .

Automattic is now also a hosting provider, with limited functions but playing on the same board as the other providers.

Automattic is already a limited hosting provider, who plays on the same board as the others @monchomad Click to tweet

Like any other company on the market has its pros and cons, its advantages and disadvantages.

Fortunately , the fact of being specialized in WordPress since 2007 gives us a very advanced experience and knowledge in front of practically all suppliers.

You just have to see the amount of tools Specialized companies that we have integrated in our control panel, and our results in performance, security, speed and support .

SiteGround has gone through a very complete tour before reaching this point where we are , hence we provide a very important value in this specialized sector .

Our knowledge and experience goes beyond the WordPress layer we talk about software and applications that they surround it, of the hardware that houses it, of the Data Centers and its situation, and of the incredible department of support 24 × 7 multi language .

The services of a provider of WordPress specialized hosting are much more than allowing to install applications and themes that were previously not allowed.

We will take it as a new and serious rival, has reached the sector [19459-9].

The future of the hosting [19659118] And in regards to SiteGround, can you tell me what you have in mind to improve the hosting service, and in particular to WordPress users in the near future?

Better with two examples than a thousand words:

We just created a system based on artificial intelligence that fights against malicious bots allowing our clients to know that the resources of their WordPress are not wasted in traffic that does not produce nor does it read information or purchase in their stores.

We have just improved SG Optimizer our plugin that formerly was dedicated exclusively to content caching tasks. Now you can change your website to PHP7, and incorporate SSL to your project at a click .

These are projects that are not being done in any other hosting provider, what would be the future for other hosting providers, is present for us .

The future for other hosting providers is the present for us @monchomad @SiteGround_ES Click to tweet

The future for SiteGround It is just around the corner. The following steps will be oriented towards the improvement of the customer experience with respect to the control panel so that they can manage all their WordPress and CMS projects in general in a very simple way.

And on the other hand the incorporation of new services and collaborations increasing the value of the SiteGround offer in its hosting products.

We will continue supporting the WordPress community tirelessly and continue to soak up its ethical values and professionals, how well they make us as people and that ultimately positively affect the relationship with our clients.

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The most powerful reason why you should not use WordPress.com • WordPress Help

Since Automattic's latest move to allow installation and plugins in the WordPress.com business service have been reduced some differences between WordPress (.org) and WordPress.com, but not all .

Comparing WordPress and WordPress.com

If you do nothing we compared WordPress with WordPress.com (business) we would have, roughly, this table:

But since the change in WordPress.com Business would look like this:

As you can see, the most noticeable difference is the incorporation of SEO tools, limited but there are, and especially the possibility of installing plugins and themes so the difference between WordPress and this Automattic service is greatly reduced.

This, of course, will make comparisons are increasingly difficult

Because it is true that there are more companies that offer hosting plans with WordPress included in various modalities and freedoms but what makes differences, grievances as you know, is that Automattic is the only company that has permission, self-assigned, to use WordPress in its domain which is what most confuses users and companies.

But if you look closely, there's still 4 main parameters that differentiate WordPress from the Automattic service :

  • Custom support : In favor of Automattic, as it has employees to give it, while in WordPress support is given by volunteers.
  • Personalization of code : In the Automattic services you can not modify the code, you do not have access.
  • FTP access and files : Related to the above. Because yes, in reality what Automattic sells is a hosting service, but lapsed, without physical access to your own files.
  • Freedom of content : The mother of the lamb.

Freedom is the difference [19659005]

Why do I say that the freedom of contents is the mother of the lamb ? Why is the difference fundamental?

So simple, because any day Automattic can expand its hosting plans and grant access, limited or not, to files, which would break these differences in access to your files and even modification of codes.

But what will never be able to change will be its conditions of service to a point where it allows you to have total freedom over your contents .

The terms of the WordPress.com service are the powerful reason

You just have to read the terms of the WordPress.com service to clearly see that it suffers from the main virtue of WordPress hosted by your account with total freedom, access and control over your code and contents, and I quote …

Automattic can change or delete your content

You should not describe or assign keywords to your blog in an illegal, misleading or devised way or to exploit the name or reputation of third parties; likewise, Automattic may change or delete any description or keyword that it deems inappropriate, illegal or otherwise be liable to Automattic

As you see, you do not own your content , because Automattic can change or delete any text that considers inappropriate, illegal, etc.

Which? They will know, but they are a US company, and their laws are not the same as those of other countries, which contents that are legal in your country, can eliminate them by legal peculiarities of the USA

You are governed by the laws of the State of California (USA)

(…) access or use of the website will be governed by the laws of the State of California (United States) with the exception of conflicts with legislative provisions; likewise, the proper place to resolve disputes arising from this contract or related to it will be the state or federal courts of San Francisco County, California

Related to the previous point, in case it remains any questions. And further …

(…) any litigation arising out of this agreement must be resolved according to the guidelines of the General Arbitration Rules of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service, Inc. ("JAMS") by three arbitrators appointed in accordance with said rules. The arbitration will take place in English in San Francisco (California) ; likewise, the arbitration decision may be enforced in any court

Automattic may share your content with third parties

By submitting content to Automattic for inclusion in your website, you grant Automattic a non-exclusive, royalty-free license. International to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the content for the sole purpose of showing, distributing and promoting your blog. This license allows Automattic to make the published content available to third parties selected by Automattic (using the Automattic Firehose, for example) so that these third parties can analyze and distribute (but not show publicly) this content through its services .

I think it is not necessary to add a comma. Who are these "third parties"? Can we choose who will share them? No right?

Anyone can republish part of your content

You also grant permission to other WordPress.com users to share your content on other WordPress.com sites and to add their own content on he (that is, so they can reblogue your content), as long as the aforementioned users use only part of your entry and they cite you as the original author through a link to your site (the function to rebloguear from WordPress.com it does it automatically.)

The system of reblog integrated into the services of Automattic, allows, and in its conditions you expressly accept it.

It is not really bad practice at all, it is quote part of your content and attributing to the original source, but not all content licenses allow it, and you can choose for your content any license in a free world, but not if you have your website or blog in the services Automattic you agree that it is not so.

Automattic can delete your content at your discretion

Automattic is entitled (but not obligation), to the entire the discretion of Automattic to (i) reject or delete any content that, in its reasoned opinion infringes the policies of Automattic or that, in any way, be disruptive or objectionable or (ii) cancel or deny access and use of the website to any person or entity for any reason according to the exclusive criteria of Automattic . Automattic will not have the obligation to reimburse any amount previously paid.

As you can read, you can reject or delete your content, or even deny access to your website, according to your own criteria, opinion reasoned in its sole discretion .

And yes, it alludes to if you violate its policies, but not only to it, but to any other criterion (which?) That you consider. Are you going to leave your website to these in some way criteria reasoned discretional objectionable .

Automattic decides on copyright rights

Automattic will cancel a visitor's access to the website (and use of the website on their part) if, in appropriate circumstances, such visitor is determined to become a continuing infringer of the rights of copyright or other intellectual property rights of Automattic or third parties .

Yes, it does not matter if the justice or the security forces of your country have not determined if you infringe a right of copyright from others, Automattic can prevent you from accessing the web even if you are determined to become an infringer .

Come on, they already have the Minority Report to determine a pre-crime .

In any case no company should appropriate or prevent you from accessing your content if there is no prior judicial resolution . It is called legal guarantee .

You can not remove links to WordPress.com

Automattic reserves the right to display attribution links as is the case with "Blog in WordPress.com ", the author of the theme and attribution of the source, in the footer or in the toolbar of your blog. Regardless of the improvements acquired, the credits of the footer and the toolbar of WordPress.com can not be modified or deleted .

Come on, that you do not own your SEO at least not in the footer of your website.

If conditions change or you run out of website

We are always updating our services, which means that, sometimes, we have to change the conditions legal services that govern the services we offer. If we make material changes, we will communicate them through a publication in one of our blogs, or through the sending of an email message or through another form of communication before these changes take effect. This notice will indicate a reasonable period for the new conditions to take effect. If you do not agree with the changes, you must stop using WordPress.com before the end of the period indicated in the notice

Nothing to add.

Automattic may close your website without motive or notice

Automattic may cancel your access to the entire website or part of it at any time, with or without cause and with or without prior notice; such cancellation shall be effective immediately . If you wish to cancel this agreement or your WordPress.com account (if you have one), you just have to stop using the website. All the provisions of this agreement that, due to their nature, must remain effective after the cancellation, will continue to be so, including, among others, the property provisions, the exemptions of guarantees, the indemnifications and the limitations of liability.

Had you been worried about any of the above? do not? yes? It does not matter, it is the same thin or thick that is the stroke of all the previous points, in the end they make it clear in their point 16 and I return to quote the paragraph:

Automattic may cancel your access to the entire website or part of it at any time, with or without reason and with or without prior notice; said cancellation will be effective immediately.

Does not the same thing happen if I have WordPress in other hosting company?

Well, not hosting companies only host your website , your content, and of course are not responsible for it, but in addition, can only close the website or cancel the service under your country's judicial resolution .

Automattic has entered fully into the world of hosting with the change of benefits of its Business plan, but still not because:

  • It claims rights to your content.
  • It is not subject to the laws of you and your country accept it in its terms of service.
  • It does not offer you full access to your files.
  • You can not host your emails.
  • You do not have access to your databases.
  • No is a hosting company, resells third-party hosting services.

What h Aug if I already have my website on WordPress.com and I want to be free?

You can / should migrate to your own accommodation, with the legislation of your country, installing a full WordPress, free and free available in WordPress. org .

Is it bad Automattic?

No, that goes if you look carefully any company that hosts services will have similar conditions.

What we are talking about here is the difference between WordPress (free) and a WordPress product service offered by Automattic, but with the peculiarity that is called wordpress.com and therefore requires differentiation, explanations .

There would not even be a debate if the service was called blogswpgratis.com tusuperwebwp.com jetpack.com , wpautomattic.com or whatever.

Well, you're right, I'm pesadito, and no, I have nothing against Automattic, less of its people, quite the contrary, its people I love, even the products of the company.

Myself I am practically an ambassador of many of its products, I have even organized a meetup on WooCommerce to promote its use for what it supposes of competitive advantage of WordPress over other ecommerce systems.

But Automattic is doing something wrong against the same thing that he proclaims, and is the use of WordPress in the domain of his payment plan service of his company, and is a comparative grievance, it is an abuse, and it is not good .

And that abuse, that bull that Matt himself self-assigned to his company to be able to use WordPress in his domain we do not have the rest of the common of mortals, and is unfair .

But above all is that confuses users .

Because is that use of WordPress in the domain in which they offer their services which causes all these confusions and for that reason I try to clarify the differences , because there are people who think it's the same, and it's not that Automattic puts much effort into clarifying the matter.

In fact, on the same conditions page that I'm talking about there are references to WordPress, without surnames in generic, that refer to their service exclusively, as if WordPress were them or was theirs . And yes, this enlarges the confusion.

You have an example in point 7:

Automattic does not have any control over websites and non-WordPress web pages and is not responsible for its content or use. When linking to a website or web page other than WordPress Automattic does not represent or imply endorsement of such website or web page. It will be your responsibility to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your computer systems against viruses, worms, Trojans or other harmful or harmful content. Automattic disclaims any liability for possible damages resulting from the use you make of websites and pages other than WordPress .

Clearly you should change it to " … other than WordPress. .com "which is what it refers to. But come on, that there are many examples, as we saw the other day .

Is there a solution to this confusion?

The day that the domain wordpresss.com ceded to the WordPress Foundation and call at your service, for example, jetpack.com or whatever you like, the discussion is over .

They will be another company that offers services related to WordPress, and also good, and also that he collaborates more than anyone else with the WordPress code.

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