TL; DR: When Pressable began operations in 2010, its budding team knew WordPress could be used for more than just blogging. If hosted the right way, organizations of any size — from startups to global enterprises — could leverage WordPress sites as high-performing business platforms from which to broadcast their brands. Since its inception, Pressable has been delivering world-class managed WordPress hosting solutions that zero in on the needs of site owners. We recently sat down with Jeff Mulholland, Pressable’s Interim CEO, and Rob Villarreal, the company’s Director of Support, and chatted about the host’s dedication to customer support, the future of managed WordPress hosting, and how Pressable is helping modern businesses positively impact bottom lines in the competitive online business space.
To most in San Antonio, May in South Texas means hot days, cool nights, and the beginning of tourist season. Visitors flock to the city in droves to snap shots in front of the Alamo and mill around the River Walk shops.
But, in 2010, the month ushered in more than the sunshine of summer. Indoors, the newly formed team at Pressable was hard at work developing a better approach to managed WordPress hosting — one that would deliver security, scalability, and performance to emerging and established businesses online.
The goal was to create a platform to empower entrepreneurs and organizations to easily market their brands and build presence on the web without having to worry about the technical aspects involved in managing the updates and security patches of the WordPress software. This way, site owners could zero in on what mattered most — their core business missions.
“We did that early on by creating toolsets that made it easy for these groups to create WordPress websites, deploy them, and focus on their content,” said Rob Villarreal, Pressable’s Director of Support. “We took care of the management, security, and things that you generally don’t want to be focused on.”
According to Rob, this customer-friendly approach proved wildly successful. Today, the company’s managed WordPress hosting solutions are helping businesses of all sizes — from startups to Fortune 1000 companies — reach millions of consumers around the globe.
“Pressable’s ballooned into a full-blown suite of tools focused on helping agencies and developers launch sites and build them as quickly and as effectively as they can,” Rob said. “And, most importantly, we provide them with expertise and support to make it possible.”
A Dedication to On-Demand Support Cooked Into the Company Ethos
According to Rob, when it comes to customer support, Pressable tries to prevent potential complications before they even start. The Pressable team found many site owners were having problems with WordPress that were difficult to overcome and needed the assistance of experts.
Rob told us even Pressable’s more tech-savvy client base, including agencies and developers, wanted a solution to ease the burden of site management.
“They have the knowledge and the expertise, but, for them, the pain points are having to go through the long drawn out steps of actually laying down WordPress installations, figuring out how to implement SSL, and the process of having to install plugins to be able to do things like caching and backup,” Rob said.
To counter these difficulties, Rob noted Pressable delivers solutions to get them away from the process-driven work of security and day-to-day backups and updates.
“They can literally focus on building sites and becoming successful, and not worry about some of the time-wasters you find,” he said.
And, when issues do arise, Pressable prides itself on offering support with representatives available around the clock to field questions.
“We’ve got it fully online for our customers, so now we offer live chat as an immediate, on-demand channel for support,” said Jeff Mulholland, Pressable’s Interim CEO. “What’s great about that is anyone who uses live chat gets the same expert support. No escalations or anything like that. No waiting. Now they can get it on-demand through live chat or direct through email.”
Once signed up with the host, site owners also have full access to the company’s omnichannel support portal that includes an extensive self-help knowledgebase. This support network epitomizes the philosophy Pressable was founded on that aims to empower its customers to work on what they’re passionate about without having to deal with the complexities of web hosting.
Managed Hosting Designed With Developers and Marketers in Mind
Pressable’s focus is creating tools specifically designed with developers and more technically savvy marketers in mind. Though many companies have this same goal, according to Rob, Pressable differentiates itself through ease of use and hands-on support.
“What we want to do is help technical users implement our tools in a way that makes sense for how they work, doesn’t provide big roadblocks, and is also difficult to mess up.” Rob laughed. “What that means is that we end up building features in a way that takes heavy consideration of that and helps give even technical developers a kind of features-on-rails approach.”
Rob told us the Pressable team is able to continually meet this goal because of its background in web and software development. The team uses the same types of workflows it wants its customers to implement, which helps dictate effective product development strategies.
However, a main factor in maintaining great customer experience is Pressable’s open stance on taking feedback directly from its users.
“We listen to a lot of people in the community,” Rob said. “We hear from a lot of developers about the things they’re looking for. And, most importantly, we see the mistakes as they get made and as we roll out features, and we just do our best to keep them from happening.”
Rob used the WordPress Core as an example. He told us there is no good reason to modify it. Therefore, Pressable doesn’t allow users to change the software’s core, which reduces the frequency of user-created mistakes.
“We go a little bit further by not allowing them to see those files or interact with those files,” Rob said. “It’s just not necessary.”
When asked about security for the WordPress sites Pressable manages, Rob said the team makes implementing SSL simple.
“We have SSL certificates freely available to customers through Let’s Encrypt,” he said. “Instead of requiring all sorts of things from them, we make it available by default. If they decide to disable it or need to re-enable it, it all happens with the click of a button.”
Scalable, Customizable eCommerce Solutions for SMBs and Enterprises
Pressable allows users to create new or clone existing WordPress sites with one click, invite collaborators and build without sharing passwords, and build via staging before full deployment. All performance settings are optimized to make sites run three times faster with security upgrades and WordPress Core auto-updates in correlation with new releases.
For small- and medium-sized businesses in need of eCommerce solutions, Pressable offers the WooCommerce platform, which delivers fast, scalable, and secure online storefronts and checkouts. Pressable also provides robust marketing and SEO tools that work to ensure customer sites will rank high in search results and reach target audiences. The goal is to provide an online shopping experience that encourages conversions, and Pressable delivers.
For enterprise-level organizations, Pressable offers fully customizable solutions with dedicated resources, so Pressable is prepared to help any client whether they need to spin sites up quickly or handle massive traffic.
Clients also have room to scale up to 20 times their normal traffic rates with daily backups, a CDN, and pricing plans that don’t penalize for traffic spikes. For client data protection, Pressable uses its own physical hardware separation and jailed user environments.
Evolving Solutions With the Demands of Modern Digital Marketing
When Pressable hit the scene in 2010, the company aimed to change the face of managed WordPress hosting through its client-centered approach and technical expertise. Today, Pressable shows no signs of slowing its efforts to drive innovation in the hosting space in tandem with client demand. And, according to Jeff, the company’s future product development trajectory is set to do just that.
“It comes from feedback from partners — because that really has been a big part of how we decide to do things as a business,” Jeff said. “But we lean heavily on the people who are using Pressable to do things that are important to them every single day, because we know better than anyone that they know what is needed.”
In terms of value for its customers, Pressable works under the philosophy that more is better. Jeff said Pressable’s dev team is busy adding new features to the control panel and additional options that make it easier for customers to move sites around and stage them.
“We recently added JetPack premium for free for every customer,” Jeff said. “That gets any customer automatic offsite backups, restores, and migrations; an ad-buy network; off-site video hosting; and additional CDN. We are going to try to work on more things like that without raising prices,” Jeff said.
However, Pressable’s main goal remains to be closely engaged with its customers. This helps the company know how to best serve their needs and enables the team to learn what businesses in today’s market need to succeed.
“We want our partners to know they will always have people who will listen, who will help, who are willing to be flexible, and who will accommodate them,” Jeff said.
“Our success is through our partners’ success,” Rob agreed.