For over 10 years, WordPress agency Red Factory has been helping companies tell their story through ecommerce, intranets, and fundraising websites. They have specialized in WordPress web design and development since 2010.
In recent years, Red Factory has developed various derived products and services around WordPress, including WordPress themes. These are sold worldwide in a marketplace where they serve more than 14,000 customers.
Through their WordPress themes, their customers get the foundation to help them tell their story. Their customers include big names such as the Dutch State Lottery, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Westland Infra, and Tacx (part of Garmin, an internationally operating manufacturer of cycling-related products, known from bottles in the Tour de France). They have also built a ticket application system for ATPI, the official ticket partner of the Olympic Games.
They also offer integration with payment providers such as Adyen and (login) links such as Microsoft Azure for intranets and other custom cloud login tools. In short, Red Factory has been able to use WordPress for fairly specialised purposes. With their rapidly increasing specialist knowledge, the demand for serious partners, such as a good hosting company, also increased.
Read our interview with co-founders Patrick Cohen and Lars Wienbelt below.
“For years we had been using various standard hosting solutions from both the Netherlands and abroad. Occasionally we received recommendations from fellow WordPress colleagues to take a look at the hosting solutions they used. Being our stubborn selves, we had never really thought that there would be anything better than the hosting party we were with at the time. Often enough, a good friend pointed out the existence of Kinsta to us, but we never really responded.
However, as our projects grew in size, we saw loading times increase exponentially. There is always room for technical optimization, but there are limits. At a certain point, the hours spent no longer outweigh the marginal gain in speed that can be achieved with them. We believed that our customers deserved better.
Our main concern was a large e-commerce site with one million page views per month. The webshop had eight languages, nine currencies, and a lot of very heavy custom solutions. At the old hosting company, some complex pages sometimes took up to 20 seconds to load due to the number of visitors. That was unacceptable to us. After several attempts to find a solution with the old hosting party, and getting tips such as “Have you already tried to disable WPML”, we were done with it.
It was time for something new. When our hosting no longer met the power and speed that our customers needed, we reluctantly knocked on that good friend’s door anyway. Coincidentally, that good friend is the CTO of Kinsta!”
“Because we were still quite skeptical, we transferred the largest and heaviest website to Kinsta by way of a test. The expectation was that the website might be a little less slow. The first time we loaded the fully transferred website was a very strange experience. We didn’t know exactly what we were looking at.
At first, we thought that something had gone wrong and that there were still parts left. The loading time for the whole page, which was 20 seconds at the other hosting company, was 1.5 seconds at Kinsta! Somewhat worried we checked the entire installation, just to confirm that everything was okay. Had we really gone from 20 to 1.5 seconds?!
After this had sunk in, we found out that Kinsta also applies great caching, so the loading times dropped even further when we weren’t logged in. We felt like fools when realizing we could have done this before. Our friend, the CTO of Kinsta, had been trying to persuade us for quite some time.
Without a doubt, we transferred about 45 sites to Kinsta in a week’s time. The improvements were so essential that we received phone calls and e-mails from customers who asked us what we had done to make their website so fast. The answer was simple: Kinsta!”
“The switch was supported by the Kinsta support team because a number of custom settings were needed to ensure that everything ran smoothly. This went very well and I was amazed at the level of involvement and speed with which the responses came via the chat.
Since we made the switch a year ago, we are still very satisfied with Kinsta. We regularly have questions that are handled very well via the support chat (which is now also available in Dutch). They often respond within a few minutes and really sort it out for you.
No superficial answers in the line of “have you tried turning it off and on again?” No, real answers that are useful. If they didn’t have an answer right away, it was escalated internally and we got a detailed answer back a few moments later. We were already used to great support from our old hosting company, but this went a step further.”
“Kinsta makes a point of not competing on the basis of price, but based on features. I can certainly confirm that. You do pay more than with a shared hosting package, but what you get in return is priceless. When our customers say they think it’s rather expensive, we always make sure that we have an exact copy of their website running on Kinsta first, after which they can make their own choice. So far, they have all switched over!
What also helps are the tools that are available for developers. With these, we can set up a staging environment in one click and use it to test or to review a new feature together with a customer before we implement it live (which, by the way, is also done in one click).
The backup possibilities are a real lifesaver. You can restore backups for up to 30 days for both a live and a staging environment. You can also make backups yourself and download backups. These features are also present at some other hosting parties, but I’ve rarely seen it go so smoothly.
The bottom line is that we can focus on our core business again: making good solutions and helping our customers to tell their stories online. In the past, we were always concerned about whether the hosting could handle it. Now we can start a project without any worries and assume that the website will be fast thanks to our own best practices and a reliable super-fast server.”