"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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Cache strategies in WordPress (free webinar)

Tomorrow On September 20, 2017, at from at 6:00 PM, ] will have a new new free SiteGround webinar . This time the subject we will deal with will be will be were the caching strategies to be applied to any WordPress project.

In this webinar we will review we review definitions, keys, techniques, strategies and recommendations related to the implementation and use of caching systems for your web project, and in particular, for your WordPress project.

The cache is one of the most important strategy within WPO that is, improving the performance of our project and optimizing it for better resource management .

] We will tell we have from the basics of start-up, so that you lose your fear, until the most advanced or complex strategies for large projects.

Fernando Pue nte CTO of Chapman's Strategy where manages millions of visits per month, worldwide and in five languages ​​with sites such as SPORTYOU or BASKET4US, who will initially expose tips and tricks to improve the speed and optimization of our web using caching systems .

Later we will open open debate, in which you will be able to make us, Fernando Puente and myself , the questions or doubts that you arise arose for your own WordPress.

Do not delay in signing up you can do it right now in this link , it's totally free.

Here you have the video of the webinar …

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How to change the PHP version for your WordPress • WordPress Help

As you probably already know, to install WordPress, like almost any other CMS, your server needs a series of pre-installed software. [19659003] The list is simple:

  • Apache or Nginx server.
  • PHP.
  • MySQL or MariaDB.

What is never so obvious is that this software, like any other, also has versions and, like in any other software, the versions matter for many reasons.

Why should I update PHP?

I think no one is missing that is better to have the latest versions of all software, like WordPress, for optimization and security mainly but also for functionalities, but above all for performance and security.

And one of the most important softwares, in which the core of WordPress is programmed, is PHP, of which your hosting should ner installed the latest stable version .

If you need arguments to claim your hosting that has the latest versions of PHP here are a few …

That's what WordPress recommends

If you're up to date with the news about WordPress has long since changed the hosting requirements page to install WordPress, going from requirements (at the moment) to recommendations.

In particular, what is recommended is:

  • PHP version 7 or higher
  • MySQL version 5.6 or higher, or MariaDB version 10.0 or higher
  • HTTPS

So that should be the basis you should consider before hiring a ] WordPress specialized hosting .

Your website will be faster

The change from the previous version (PHP 5.6.x) to PHP 7.0 was brutal, and involves significant improvements in speed, performance and optimization .

It suppose that you will consume less resources of hosting in particular RAM, but above all that your web applications, WordPress in our case, will work much faster, to work on much more optimized code

As a quick glance here you have a graph of the impressive performance improvement of PHP 7.0 versus version 5.6.16 in different CMS, WordPress included .

The improvement is over double in all systems.

And in the following graph, you have the comparison also against HHVM the special "PHP" used by Facebook , for example. Compared with HHVM, the improvement is lower than in previous versions of PHP, but already breaks the karma that HHVM is faster than PHP .

Your website will be more secure

In each software version unsafe and obsolete codes are deleted .

Specifically, in PHP 7 ASP tags were removed as well as label compatibility

How to get the most out of your hosting

Tomorrow, September 19, from 18:00 (Spanish time) we have another Free Webinar from the hand of SiteGround . On this occasion we will reveal secrets of the hosting panels something that is almost never treated.

And when we hire a hosting plan no matter how simple the companies think accommodation that are its user panels, the reality is that we are faced with a lot of tools that many times, or do not know how to use, or do not know how to take advantage of them 100% .

This time I will try show a series of fundamental tricks and utilities of cPanel the most used standard, and we will learn to change the PHP version, protect our website and many other things, do not miss it!

If you have questions or want to ask questions you can do it in the same tool (Crowdcast.io), on Twitter citing @SiteGround_ES with the hashtag #SGwebinarHosting or, previously, sending them a webinar@siteground.e s .