EasyWP turns 5: Journey to the Clouds and Above
We’re celebrating a special milestone in EasyWP’s journey to the clouds and above: it’s our 5th birthday!
To celebrate, we’ll be sharing fascinating insights from three people who dreamed, conceptualized, and crafted their way to lightning-fast and super affordable managed WordPress hosting.
EasyWP was the brainchild of Namecheap’s former Chief Cloud Officer Matt Russell, who has since stepped away from the “frontline” but is enjoying watching its ongoing story from the sidelines.
Nicola Ballotta (Director of Namecheap Cloud), Domonkos Cinke (Head of Namecheap Cloud Infrastructure), and John Fazioli (Frontend Lead) were all there from the beginning. And although today’s vision of EasyWP is in the hands of the EasyWP product team, you can’t deny the influence these cloud innovators had on democratizing WordPress by making it affordable and accessible to all.
It’s hard to believe it’s already been five years since we first launched EasyWP. And it wasn’t long before our pricing structure was the first thing to hit the headlines:
- Why is Managed WordPress so cheap?
- What’s wrong with it?
- Is it really Managed WordPress Hosting?
We responded by explaining that we’d done the hard work already. By opting to build our own cloud platform in-house, we containerized WordPress. By using commodity hardware and open-source software, we were able to deliver true Managed WordPress at a fraction of our competitors’ costs. By democratizing WordPress, we gave everyone the right to express their ideas online — and make it affordable.
And we’ve never wavered on this mission. EasyWP now powers over 116,000 websites and is growing fast. Namecheap has always stood for a free and open Internet, and this is reflected in our approach to making WordPress more accessible to all.
The idea behind EasyWP hosting
The original team behind EasyWP had the vision to make managed WordPress hosting accessible and affordable to all. Fazioli explains a different type of hosting, where “most of the complicated stuff is completely hidden from the end-user.” The goal was to create a solution where people could create a WordPress website literally in just a few clicks.
In the beginning, the ideas behind EasyWP were just that: ideas. But after working with WordPress for a long time, the intuition soon translated into actionable plans.
“We knew a lot of agencies and freelancers that were working on WordPress, but most of them were not technicians,” Fazioli said.
These real-world insights provided the stepping stones to gathering more tangible user feedback through forms, social media, and customer support. Fazioli goes on to say,
“We started to tailor our infrastructure in a better way and learned a lot from our customers, focusing on what the customers really need, instead of working solely on features.”
Key Features of EasyWP hosting
One of the key benefits of EasyWP is in the name: it’s easy. But does the simplistic nature of EasyWP mean a lack of features?
“This is something we’ve been continuously working on over the past few years,” Fazioli emphasizes. “In the beginning, you could only do the basics, but now you can change the domain, set your SSL, update descriptions, back up your files, and much more.”
Based on our own proprietary hardware on the Namecheap Cloud, EasyWP doesn’t need to rely on services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud. This results in significant cost savings, which are passed on to our customers in the form of affordable WordPress hosting. With an uptime of 99.9% and speeds 3x faster than WordPress on traditional shared hosting, users can expect an ‘always live’ experience with lightning-fast performance.
Another significant milestone was when the team started to use the new EasyWP infrastructure. Although this wasn’t visible to the end-user, it was a huge step forward.
Surreal moments in the EasyWP journey
A particularly memorable night for Fazioli in the EasyWP journey was when they flicked the switch and opened EasyWP to the rest of the world:
“Ballotta was calling me in the middle of the night to resolve an issue — and that’s when we realized we needed to set up customer support, fast.”
Another surreal moment for Fazioli was the anticipation of meeting his team members in person:
“We were all working remotely, so there was a quiet fear among us before we all met up. But that fear quickly disappeared when we realized the people we’d loved working with remotely every day were just as incredible in person!”
Using the customer as a guide
Although EasyWP has come a long way, the platform is continuously being worked on to improve the customer experience. Fazioli notes,
“I think we need to improve the interaction between the current dashboard and the website. Although customers can do a lot from the dashboard, they still need to complete a few backend tasks.”
The team can’t wait to improve the user experience, add new tools, and enhance product stability from a product perspective.
“I don’t think we should change the foundations around EasyWP — but we like to let the customer guide us,” says Fazioli.
Building with leading-edge technology
Ballotta, who was initially the Product Owner of EasyWP and now Director of Namecheap Cloud, recognizes his team’s role in today’s vision of EasyWP:
“We support the platform from a technology standpoint, but the EasyWP product pod makes all the product decisions and designs.”
“Basically, the idea behind EasyWP was to build a product that was very reliable, easy to use, with leading-edge technology.” It wasn’t an exact science, but instead, a mixture of experience and gut instinct. We worked on building a good technology stack with affordable hardware – which would result in lower prices for our customers.”
Reflecting on the success of EasyWP, Ballotta says:
“In just five years, EasyWP is already competing with major products on the market and becoming a recognized brand. Once we start adding even more features, such as a staging environment and automatic backups, I think EasyWP will really stand out.”
Looking back and reaching forward
Cinke gives his perspective on what EasyWP is achieving for our customers and what to expect next:
“We’ve always wanted to provide security, protection, reliability, and speed to our customers, Cinke explains. “Setting up and operating EasyWP, and working on this scale, we’ve learned a lot when it comes to speed and reliability.”
“We’re working on the third generation of EasyWP, which will improve the background services even further, provide faster speeds for end-users, and enable us to develop new features faster.”
Landmark EasyWP moments
A particularly fond moment for Cinke was seeing the first customers subscribing and creating their dream website. And another landmark was when the team started the second generation of EasyWP hosting.
Reflecting on what makes EasyWP stand out over similar platforms, Cinke highlights that EasyWP doesn’t rely on an external cloud provider, resulting in lower prices for the customers.
Cinke goes on to say:
“We’re now equipped with a lot of experience and design principles that we didn’t know at the beginning. We started with something, and through several iterations, we achieved our goals in terms of speed and stability — something that’s really important for our customers.”
Realizing we’ve made it!
When asked if the team succeeded in its mission to “democratize WordPress” and make it accessible and affordable to all without compromising on performance, Cinke promptly responds: “I do, and we will continue to follow this approach.”
As we mark the occasion of EasyWP’s 5th birthday, it’s clear the story has been one of passion, commitment, and ambition. We’ve heard valuable insights from the people behind the super-fast web hosting service — from their original visions to landmark moments — to where they envisage EasyWP heading in the future.
At this point, it feels apt to end with a message from Matt Russell, former Chief Cloud Officer at Namecheap and EasyWP’s Founder:
“Before EasyWP, Managed WordPress was expensive and out-of-reach for many web pros and webmasters who wanted the benefit of a holistic WordPress experience — but without the high price tag. As a result, we set about democratizing Managed WordPress, and our revolutionary approach to building our own Cloud Tech allowed us to build an incredible WordPress experience at a fraction of the cost of those around us. I am proud of what we accomplished with EasyWP, and on its 5th birthday, I’m excited to see it grow and power more and more of the WordPress hosting ecosystem.”
Has the EasyWP story inspired you? Learn more about EasyWP and start setting up your WordPress website, or hop over to LinkedIn to read our full Q&A for even more insights.