A WordPress hosting company that gets it (traffic, that is)
Evolving from a one-man blog in 2006 to a network of content and product sites generating 2.5 million monthly page views by 2011, Copyblogger Media has serious hosting requirements.
Copyblogger founder Brian Clark always invested heavily in web hosting. Even back during the early days when he was unknown.
That’s because the blog (and the company) grew by demonstrating the power of content, which means large and unpredictable traffic spikes from blog and website links, social media news sites, and social network sharing.
Hosting was always a sore spot, no matter which high-end solution Brian sought.
Struggling to keep the site up during traffic success is a distraction from the real business of any company, plain and simple.
For example, even though StudioPress.com was on a dedicated server with a well-known hosting company, every link from Copyblogger.com would bring the site down.
Meanwhile, across town …
Another group of Internet entrepreneurs were blazing trails in the sports blogging scene. Their sites quickly ramped up to 1.5 million monthly page views, bringing similar server issues.
Except with this group, there was a difference.
Orangecast was headed by Derick Shaefer, a 10-year-veteran from Microsoft with a deep background in large-system scalability. He and the team had fallen in love with WordPress thanks to the flexibility and publishing ease it provided their growing network of sports sites.
This meant Orangecast needed to quickly figure out how to configure servers to get optimal performance from WordPress. And they did, out of pure necessity.
Brian and Derick met in 2009. By late 2010, Derick convinced Brian that Copyblogger Media’s network of sites needed to be on his custom server stack solution.
By early 2011, it was so.
But then, the conversation got really interesting …
Derick kept mentioning that beyond optimizing specifically for WordPress, the biggest problems with server performance and security came from shoddy theme code.
The Internet is littered with sites that were hacked, sites that went down from a major link, sites that crumbled from a single tweet. Clearly, this was sad … and yet completely avoidable with a uniform theme framework.
All of Orangecast’s sites ran on Genesis. All of Copyblogger Media’s sites (obviously) ran on Genesis.
Standardizing the theme code allowed further enhancements in performance and security to our own sites, thanks to eliminating rogue variables at the design level.
This caused Brian to get that familiar gleam in his eye.
A unique idea is born
“What if we offered specialized WordPress hosting to businesses and entrepreneurs … people who must have their sites up and secure?” Brian asked.
“We’ll focus on people who have great design code (whether because of Genesis or something else that won’t cripple performance and security),” he added, strangely continuing to speak of himself in the third person, with parentheticals, even.
Soon, Brian Gardner and Tony Clark from Copyblogger Media got involved in the conversation. Jerod Morris and Matt Lawrence from Orangecast, too.
Next thing you know, Synthesis is born.
It’s not for anyone and everyone … but it may be perfect for you.