Co-founded in 2010 by Piers Tincknell and David Darke, Atomic Smash stands out in the web development industry for its unique and progressive approach called Always Evolving®.

Unlike traditional agencies, they focus on refining and optimizing existing websites. This involves delivering tailor-made continual updates to improve their client sites in every way—a method that has been proven to deliver up to 2300% ROI in as little as two years.

The Atomic Smash team are committed WordPress, WooCommerce and Shopify specialists.
The Atomic Smash team of WordPress, WooCommerce, and Shopify experts.

Their journey is marked by several important milestones fueled by curiosity and passion for learning. In 2015, Atomic Smash decided to try a new methodology for a client: a continuous delivery model, defined as “the ability to get changes of all types – including new features, configuration changes, bug fixes and experiments – into production, or into the hands of users, safely and quickly in a sustainable way.”

This method became so effective that in 2021, Atomic Smash formally named and trademarked it as Always Evolving®. The following year, in 2022, they were officially endorsed by WooCommerce and recognized as WooExperts, making them one of just three agencies in the UK to hold this accreditation at that time. Their innovative work did not go unnoticed, as they received awards such as Tech For Good and Best Digital Design. In 2023, Atomic Smash achieved B Corp certification, which demonstrates its commitment to societal and environmental responsibilities.

The Always Evolving® approach of Atomic Smash keeps their client sites moving forward.
Atomic Smash’s Always Evolving® approach keeps their client sites moving forward.

By 2024, they fully embraced their Always Evolving® model, ceasing to develop new sites and focusing entirely on improving existing ones.

Now our mission is to make existing websites exceptional. We are doubling down on the effectiveness of our Always Evolving® model. We take existing websites, including those built by other agencies, and enhance them over time.

In our conversation with Tess Coughlan-Allen, Marketing Lead at Atomic Smash, she emphasized how Kinsta’s hosting solutions have improved their development workflow, reduced technical overhead,  and improved site performance. Here’s how Kinsta has freed Atomic Smash to focus on what they do best: refining and elevating their clients’ websites.

Snapshot

  • Industry: Agency
  • Business size: 20 team members

The problem

Managing servers internally can be more trouble than it’s worth, especially for agencies like Atomic Smash, which focuses on client services rather than IT management.

It sounds easy and cheap, but managing web servers requires deep technical expertise. And if you decide to do it internally, you’ll probably end up spending a lot more time and money than you think. Hidden costs like emergency repairs, security breaches, and hardware upgrades can add up quickly.

Atomic Smash experienced all of these firsthand. When self-hosting years and years ago, their team had to handle everything from monitoring, updating, and configuring to securing their servers.

Maintenance eats up time

Atomic Smash knows from experience just how demanding self-hosting could be.

Servers need regular updates and maintenance to run smoothly. This isn’t just a once-in-a-while task—it’s recurring and can eat up valuable time that the team could spend on client work.

Performance and scalability issues

We wanted our clients to benefit from higher levels of server resources. It’s because websites with high levels of traffic need servers that can withstand this traffic while performing to a high standard.

Without adequate resources and scalable servers, these websites could perform poorly and cost Atomic Smash a lot. This is particularly crucial for their ecommerce client sites where reliability and speed directly impact business outcomes.

When it comes to recruiting people, they need team members who can handle complex server issues. These skills are harder to find and more expensive to bring on board.

With all these combined, managing their servers internally took away a lot of time, energy, and resources from their core business, especially with things their clients really care about–service quality and project delivery.

Eventually, Atomic Smash decided they had enough and started looking for an ideal solution. Then, they found Kinsta:

“Initially, we came across Kinsta through one of Kinsta’s WordPress developer guides. After shortlisting and testing several suppliers, the ease of use of the platform won us over.

The solution

Kinsta’s Managed WordPress Hosting provides a range of features and tools tailored to meet the challenges faced by agencies like Atomic Smash. This service not only takes the technical load off their shoulders but also boosts their site performance, security, and reliability.

Kinsta’s Managed WordPress hosting

Switching to Kinsta means Atomic Smash no longer has to worry about server management, including tasks like setting up, monitoring, updating, and securing servers. This is unobtrusive, and it allows the Atomic Smash team to focus on their core business activities without needing deep technical skills.

Kinsta’s sysadmin team maintains sites and monitors each one every 3 minutes. That’s 480 uptime checks per day. With this proactive approach, Atomic Smash doesn’t have to worry about its websites.

Plus, Atomic Smash doesn’t have to install anything since no matter what development stack they use, Kinsta always has the latest framework versions installed and up to date. For example, our team typically releases the latest version of PHP within weeks of its official release.

MyKinsta and Kinsta’s free staging environment

At Kinsta, each site comes with its own staging environment. This makes it easier for Atomic Smash to test new changes, ideas, or updates without affecting their live site. They can roll out new features or content without worries. All they have to do is click “Create a Staging Environment,” and they instantly have a copy of their production site.

A Kinsta hosting interface offering options to create a standard environment. The 'Clone an existing environment' option is highlighted, with fields for environment name and selection of the environment to clone.
Choosing a staging environment within MyKinsta.

Once done, their team can push the changes back to live with a push of a button. They can even restore backups of their production site to staging.

Use Selective Push to push files from staging to live.
Use Selective Push to push files from staging to live.
Isolated container technology with powerful tech

Hardware resources (RAM/CPU) are automatically allocated to each site container by our virtual machines on an as-needed basis. With our isolated container technology, these resources are 100% private and are not shared between anyone else—even between their own sites.

A diagram of Kinsta’s Managed WordPress Hosting infrastructure.
A diagram of Kinsta’s Managed WordPress Hosting infrastructure.

Every site is housed in its own Linux container (LXC) and LXD, which has all the software resources needed to run it. Each site is powered by Google’s state-of-the-art cloud infrastructure—the fastest and most reliable available in the market. These containers run on a generously sized virtual machine in one of GCP’s 35+ global data centers, secured by our free Cloudflare integration.

Edge caching and CDN solutions

Kinsta implements server-level caching and offers optional CDN services to speed up WordPress site load times dramatically. Thus, Kinsta sites don’t need to rely on WordPress plugins for caching, better site performance, and stability.

Kinsta's built-in page caching solution.
Kinsta’s built-in page caching solution.

​​While it’s not technically a caching plugin, our must-use (MU) plugin is installed on every site, which gives Atomic Smash more granular control over its caching. They can easily clear the client site’s cache from the WordPress admin toolbar or add custom paths to purge whenever their site is updated.

24/7/365 support

With Kinsta’s round-the-clock support, Atomic Smash no longer needs to hire or train staff for complex and costly server management skills. Kinsta’s entire support team is made up of WordPress developers and Linux hosting engineers, many of whom have managed their own servers, created themes and plugins, and contributed back to the core.

Kinsta Support by the numbers.
Kinsta Support by the numbers.
Automatic backups and security scans

When Atomic Smash managed its own server, it also had to devise its own backup solution. However, this is no longer necessary with Kinsta.

Backups in MyKinsta.
Backups in MyKinsta.

Kinsta provides comprehensive backup services for all sites on Atomic Smash’s account, including automatic daily WordPress backups, downloadable backups, manual backup restore points, and system-generated backups. These features ensure the security of client sites.

The result

Atomic Smash has saved time and resources by migrating to Kinsta’s Managed WordPress Hosting for powerful, secure, and reliable web hosting.

 

Now, they can focus on what they do best — creating outstanding websites for their clients — while growing their business and maintaining high service standards.

 

Up to 91% faster client sites and near-perfect site uptime

Atomic Smash ensures client sites get 99.97% uptime when hosted on Kinsta. A reliable site is crucial for keeping customers’ trust and ensuring that their websites, especially the ecommerce ones, are always available to make the most of every sales opportunity.

The impact of Atomic Smash.
The impact of Atomic Smash.

Client Site Focus: After switching to Kinsta, a large law firm client of Atomic Smash experienced a 91% improvement in website performance. This is because Kinsta is powered by Google Cloud Platform’s fastest infrastructure and Cloudflare’s CDN, which together increase speed and reliability. How? GCP has 35+ global data centers that reduce latency, while edge caching ensures faster content delivery.

Cost-effective scaling and 99.9% uptime, even during traffic spikes

Atomic Smash shared that one of their ultimate goals was to provide their clients with higher levels of server resources. Tess shared, “This is because high-traffic websites need servers that can handle that traffic while still performing at a high-performance level.”

Atomic Smash in numbers
Atomic Smash in numbers

Kinsta’s isolated container technology ensures that each client site operates in its own secure and scalable environment, allowing for both vertical and horizontal scaling. This not only optimizes the use of hardware resources such as RAM and CPU but also eliminates the “noisy neighbor” problem, where a surge of activity on one site could potentially impact the performance of others on the same server.

Our clients get three times the level of resources usually offered, and that’s because our Managed WordPress Hosting offering is with Kinsta.

As a result, Atomic Smash can guarantee consistently high performance across all client sites, which is critical in high-traffic scenarios. Kinsta’s scalable infrastructure prevents the need for costly server upgrades and complex CDN setups. All of this is important to support customer sites as they grow and their traffic increases.

With more PHP workers powering our sites, we can ensure that all our client sites are optimized to be faster, more reliable, and able to manage more traffic without slowing down. This is particularly important for our clients who use eCommerce sites and news publishing websites.

Proactive site monitoring and 24/7/365 support

Kinsta’s proactive site monitoring, which includes uptime checks every three minutes, ensures that any potential issues are identified and addressed right away, often before the client is even aware of them.

Atomic Smash benefits greatly from 24/7/365 support by expert WordPress and Linux engineers. This round-the-clock assistance offers expert guidance and troubleshooting resources whenever needed.

High-value hosting that saves time and money
Atomic Smash team in action.
Atomic Smash team in action.

Kinsta simplifies Atomic Smash’s website maintenance tasks by automating routine tasks like daily backups, security monitoring, and SSL renewals. This allows their team to divert their focus from tedious maintenance to evolving their client sites, free from the burdens of regular site upkeep.

Moving away from running our own servers and relying on Kinsta to host almost all our clients’ sites has allowed us to focus on what clients care about and not waste time creating processes for managing or maintaining infrastructure.

Kinsta’s services have improved the daily operations at Atomic Smash and made a big difference in their hiring process. Atomic Smash can now hire more broadly and focus solely on finding the best web developers without worrying about their server skills. As Tess Coughlan-Allen pointed out, “It’s much easier to find great WordPress developers than those who also have system administration skills.” This shift allows Atomic Smash to prioritize its clients and streamline its hiring strategy.

The conclusion

By switching to Kinsta’s Managed WordPress Hosting, Atomic Smash has reduced its daily workload and stepped up its service quality and growth potential. This has allowed the Atomic Smash team to offer better, more reliable, and more efficient web services. Now, their clients see up to three times the server resources, a 91% improvement in site performance, and 99.9% uptime.

Atomic Smash is done with the days of manually managing servers, which used to take a ton of time and resources. With Kinsta, its team can now fully focus on a results-driven approach to enhance its WordPress, WooCommerce, and Shopify sites.

“Kinsta has consistently provided a great, flexible service. Their platform is feature-rich and constantly being improved. Site speed is consistently fantastic, and their support is the best we’ve worked with.”