Industry: Media company
Company Size: 5 – 20
Open Plan Media is a UK-based digital publisher that specializes in delivering quality content and sharing news through their brands: The Sport Review, Human Window, and helloBARK!
The company serves hundreds of thousands of monthly pageviews to readers interested in sports, health and wellness, and pets by creating a compelling content-mix of news, reviews, interviews, and in-depth guides on its sites.
Check out our interview with Open Plan Media co-founder Martin Caparrotta.
“After more than 10 years running The Sport Review, a UK-based sports news website, my business partner Kieran Beckles and I decided we wanted to run a media company and expand our reach in different niches. That’s why we launched two new sites: helloBARK!, a pet information site, and Human Window, a wellness and personal development brand.
“Unlike The Sport Review, which is a news outlet publishing lots of shorter articles every day, helloBARK! and Human Window are specifically focused on delivering longer-form, quality content with a view to attracting organic traffic from search.
“As an example, the latest entry helloBARK! has experienced steady organic growth since its launch, now attracting around 65,000 unique users per month, with almost 90% of that traffic coming from organic search.”
“Before being able to reach these results, though, we had to go through (and overcome) some issues with the hosting solution we used to have for The Sport Review site.
The worst experience I remember was with our Virtual Private Server (VPS), back in 2011. The hosting company’s machines experienced a malfunction that corrupted all of the data on our server and, without a working backup, we ended up losing six months’ worth of articles.
That was painful.
On top of this, we were also having countless problems with things like the server crashing for no reason, poor caching system, and some terrible customer service along the way.
That’s why we knew it was time to upgrade our hosting infrastructure and we were on a quest to find a new, better-performing, hosting provider for The Sport Review site.
In hindsight, the main reason why we didn’t upgrade our hosting earlier was because of costs. The VPS was generally a headache but it was also pretty cheap.
However, we’ve since learned (the hard way!) that if you run an online business with websites at its core, making sure you have reliable hosting and technical support is absolutely critical and really should come before everything else.”
“After doing a lot of research into potential new hosting setups, we came across Kinsta and were impressed by the fact that they’re the first WordPress hosting service entirely powered by Google Cloud Platform.
That was just half the story.
In fact, we were also looking for a hosting provider that provided a managed hosting solution with excellent customer service because we had just about enough of having to try and solve all the issues on our own.
We were facing a huge business decision: on one hand, we needed to change our hosting because of all the issues and lack of support. On the other, the pricing options looked higher than what we had budgeted.
Given all the information we gathered about Kinsta’s stack and having experienced first-hand their support, we decided to move our sites to Kinsta.
And to these days, I’m 100% positive that was the right call for our company.
After having been with Kinsta for more than three years now, I can hand-on-heart say that moving all of our sites to Kinsta has been one of the best business decisions we have ever made. I just wish we had made it sooner!”
“Having a reliable hosting set up with Kinsta means that we can focus on the things we’re good at, like writing content and improving our sites, instead of worrying about server issues!
Moving The Sport Review site to Kinsta was an excellent experience. Their migration team took care of the migration to the new platform and we were up and running in just a few hours. The ease and speed were despite the fact that The Sport Review is a huge site with more than 80,000 posts!”
“We were particularly impressed by Kinsta’s built-in caching system, which helps us to serve thousands of visitors that flock to The Sport Review after big football games.
Simply put, since moving to Kinsta, we have had almost flawless performance across all of our websites. Kinsta has helped The Sport Review serve more than 178 million pageviews from almost 40 million users since 2017! With a record of 720k pageviews in a single day, all without a glitch.
helloBARK’s steady growth has also been supported by Kinsta’s platform. The site has served more than 650k page views and more than 480k users since its launch in January 2019.
Many of the traffic spikes have come as a result of our interviews with the account owners of some of the biggest pet influencers on social media being shared around.”
“What’s also impressed me is the fact that the hosting infrastructure is always maintained to the highest standards, with software and hardware upgraded frequently.
For instance, Kinsta was one of the first WordPress hosting providers to roll out PHP 7.4 for all of its users, something which provided us with a significant performance boost on all of our sites.
We’re now excited to move our sites onto the new Google Cloud Platform Compute-Optimized VMs (C2) machines, for even more of a performance boost!”
“As well as the all-important server performance, there are a few other reasons why we rate Kinsta so high.
For example, the ability to create staging sites for development at the click of a button has really helped us to easily add features to all three of our sites in a simple and secure way.
Another thing that has been very useful for us is the way Kinsta handles backups. All of our sites are backed up once per day, and we also have the ability to back up our sites instantly with one click before performing upgrades or making any code changes.
When we made the decision to launch helloBARK!, everything was made a lot easier because of the fact that we were already with Kinsta. As our plan already included the option for multiple websites, all we had to do was clicking a button to create a new server… and get to work!
Again, having the option of a quickly-deployed staging site made the design and development process very straightforward.
After having been with Kinsta for 3+ years, it’s become clear that one thing that makes them stand out from other WordPress hosting providers is their brilliant customer service.
There has never been an issue that they have not been able to help us with, and it really gives us peace of mind knowing that they are always on hand to help.
All in all, moving to Kinsta has been a joy and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for the best WordPress hosting around!”
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