Hello! Who are you, and what business did you start?
Hi! My Name is Armen Saghatelian and I’m a co-founder of 10Web, the all-in-one platform for building, hosting, and managing WordPress websites.
Thousands of web developers, as well as development and marketing agencies regularly use 10Web as their main toolset to build, host, and manage WordPress websites. 10Web allows them to save a lot of time and resources on every website, so that they can focus on multiplying their capacities and growing their business.
10Web is also the company behind hugely popular WordPress plugins with more than 20 million downloads. Our platform includes managed hosting on Google Cloud; beautiful ready-made website templates; a drag-and-drop website builder; 50+ premium plugins; backup, security, speed optimization, and SEO services; reports, and of course, customer care.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I’ve been in the world of building websites for over 10 years now. For years, WordPress has been my favorite platform for building websites: it’s open-source, everything is customizable, there are tens of thousands of themes and plugins available, and there is a community of millions of developers and designers around WordPress.
That said, while making websites on WordPress, we were constantly facing different issues: slow and unreliable hostings, theme and plugin incompatibilities, sub-optimal themes and plugins affecting website speed, you name it.
One of the main pain-points we were facing was optimizing the website speed. It’s a proven fact that the visitors are not willing to wait for your website to load, and are likely to leave if it takes more than 3 secs. Following the best practices of website performance optimization would make a difference not only in user satisfaction, but also in your website SEO, and as a result, it can boost your conversion rates.
The solution was to create an all-in-one platform for building, hosting, and managing WordPress websites, with all components of the websites optimized by default and working together smoothly without any issue.
Right now, every website created on the 10Web platform automatically has a Google PageSpeed score of 95+.
This means that developers and agencies can build their websites using our beautiful ready-made website templates, website builder, and premium plugins; then host on our managed hosting on Google Cloud, while getting all the necessary services like backup, security, SEO, image optimization — all from a single dashboard, saving lots of time and resources and getting a Google PageSpeed score of 95+ which is, as I’ve already mentioned, crucial for user experience and SEO.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and developing the first version of 10Web.
Having in mind the goal of making website creation easier and faster, we started creating premium plugins for WordPress. After years of constantly getting feedback from users and developing the plugins and features the users wanted, we arrived at a solid number of loyal paying customers. The knowledge we were getting from our customers helped us to design the all-in-one platform we have now, and the revenue from the premium plugins allowed us to build the next components of the platform without external investments.
The next big step was the unified dashboard for WordPress website management, with a growing list of integrated services: plugin and theme management, image optimization, security, SEO. And finally, the pinnacle of our platform — the managed hosting with the ready-made templates and the drag-and-drop website builder.
Describe the process of launching the business.
As soon as the first version of the whole platform was ready, we launched in on ProductHunt and other similar platforms, with the intention of getting even more feedback from early adopters. As expected, we got a large list of missing features 🙂 and went back to working on them. It was about 6 months ago.
Since then, we’ve added 6 more data centers in 5 countries, significantly sped up the hosted websites by improving the hosting infrastructure, by adding more layers of caching, and by introducing our new speed optimization plugin. We’ve also added 20+ new ready-made website templates, WooCommerce integration, and many other features that our customers needed.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Our main channels for attracting new users are the 7-day trial period for the platform, free plugins, and services. All our plugins have free versions that millions of users download from wordpress.org. We also provide backup, image optimization, security, and SEO services via our unified dashboard.
As for retaining customers, the secret is the quality of our builder, hosting, plugins, and services.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Today we have more than 10K websites built and hosted on 10Web, and the number grows rapidly. We never stop adding new features and improving the overall product and services, based on the valuable feedback we are getting from our customers every day.
The overarching goal of 10Web is to change the way websites are created, automating all aspects of WordPress website creation, solving speed and scaling issues for website developers and dev agencies.
As for the future, we are working on the next step in making website creation even easier: automating website creation with AI and Machine Learning. We hope to have the first version released during the first half of 2020.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Running a tech company in 2019 means learning new things every day. The startup will fail as soon as the founding team and other essential employees stop learning.
As for one particularly helpful thing: I learned to not trust my (or anybody else’s) intuition too much and to always be as reasonable, objective and emotionless as possible while evaluating the effectiveness of ideas and projects. Always test every idea before spending too much time on it. And no matter how deeply you believe it is the right thing to do and how emotionally attached you are to the project, if the data shows the users don’t like it, emotions must give way to reason.
What platform/tools do you use for your business and why?
- Slack for internal communication,
- Jira for task management,
- Gitlab for versioning, deployment and continuous integration
- Stripe and PayPal for getting payments,
- Zendesk for customer support and communication with customers,
- Google Analytics and Google Data Studio for reporting.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
- The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses By Eric Ries
- Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success By Sean Ellis, Morgan Brown
- Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen
by Donald Miller
- Mixergy podcast by Andrew Warner
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Recently I came across an article in Forbes with a title: “Think Big, Start Small and Learn Fast”. I couldn’t agree more. This would be the best way to summarize my advice for startup founders.
The overarching goal of a tech startup should be disrupting the field, but nobody can build the best products and services based on intuition. The only way is by testing ideas as fast as possible. I won’t dig into this topic further, as there are many great books, podcasts, and articles explaining this much better. My advice would be to start with the book “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Our team is always open for creative, talented and experienced people in development, engineering, marketing niche and newbies with passion for WP, growth hacking or programming. Just send us an email