We Discuss New Ways of Building and Testing With WordPress For Developers and Digital Agencies.

Instawp now has over 2,000 new websites hosted on it per month, and we discuss with its founder Vikas Singhal some of the key challenges he faced in building this great business and WordPress solution.

Are you tired of using traditional methods to build websites with WordPress?

This week’s show presents a fresh approach that will revolutionize your web design process. Learn how to leverage cutting-edge tools and technologies to deliver exceptional client results.

#1 – Vikas, can you give the background story to Instawp.com what made you decide to try and develop something new in the WordPress hosting space?

#2 – What have been a couple of the biggest challenges connected to growing Instawp.com, and how have you managed to overcome them?

#3 – What were some of the most surprising things on your journey with Instawp.com that you didn’t anticipate?

#4 – Where would you like Instawp.com to be in 18 months’ time in technology and business terms?

#5 – What are some of the business tools and services that you use to run your business on daily that you could recommend to the audience?

#6 – If you return to a time machine at the beginning of your career, what essential advice would you give yourself?

This Week Show’s Sponsors

LifterLMS: LifterLMS

Sensei LMS: Sensei LMS

BlogVault: BlogVault

The Show Main Notes

[00:00:00.000] – Jonathan Denwood

Welcome back, folks, to WP-Tonic This Week in WordPress and SaaS. This is Episode 880. We’ve got a great guest. We’ve got Vikas Singhal
, the Founder of Insta, WP. He’s been making some waves. It’s an interesting product, and I’m sure it’s an interesting story about how Vecas got into this particular area of WordPress. I’m going to let him quickly introduce himself. Vikus, would you like to introduce yourself to the WP Tonic tribe?

[00:00:52.190] – Vikas Singhal

Yeah, 100%. First of all, thanks for having me, Jonathan. It’s an absolute pleasure to be here. So a little bit about myself. Basically, I started working on systems, networks, and security long back around 2007. Started my career with Cisco, and after, I guess, 10-12 years of corporate experience, I always had a knack of creating projects in the side and some entrepreneurship. Eventually, I entered into WordPress, stumbled across WordPress due to treatment, as we all would do by creating a website for a friend or family. Since I was a programmer as well, I figured out there is a plugin. There’s something called plugins. I started coding, acquiring more plugins. Fast forward to two years ago, so 2021. I now have a company. We do plug-ins and themes. We have over10 projects and we have a team of 35 people. Now in this 2021, I was still thinking that there is not still a great way to or easier.

[00:02:12.920] – Jonathan Denwood

Way to- How can we interrupt? Let’s go for a break there because I want the I like you to go into the background of Insta WP after we go for our initial break. Shall we leave it there? I’d like to introduce, Kurt, would you like to introduce yourself to the listeners of you?

[00:02:38.230] – Kurt von Ahnen

Absolutely, Jonathan. My name is Kurt von Ahnen. I own an agency called Manana No Mas. We focus primarily on membership and learning sites. I work directly with WP Tonic, Jonathan, and the folks at Lifter L. M.

[00:02:49.830] – Jonathan Denwood

That’s great. Before we go into the real meat and potato for this great interview, I had to cutel Vica enthusiasm to tell us about how we got Insta WP started, but we have that when we go for a break. We’re going for our initial break now. I’ve got a couple of messages from our major sponsors. We’ll be back in a few moments, folks.

[00:05:27.010] – Vikas Singhal

No, I’ve been trying to do that for some time, and I’m still trying to figure that out. Because when we started, we said it makes it easier to launch a WordPress site. It is that. You can just click on a button and get a WordPress site right away. But then people started thinking that this is a test site service where you can create a temp site for testing something and then just dispose it. You don’t need to care about it further, which is obviously not good for the model. Nobody wants to pay for that. That’s the honest truth of it. Then we started rebranding ourselves and also repositioning the product. Right now, the version of the definition is that it makes easier to build a WordPress project. That’s where we target the agencies and freelancers of the world so that they can go on Instagram, create a website, and deliver it to the client because we have in-built migration, so on and so forth. Hopefully, that answers the question.

[00:06:36.160] – Jonathan Denwood

Well, yeah, I think you’ve done a good job there. I think the confusion is that people could think it’s full-time hosting and it isn’t, is it? It’s a mechanism to build a prototype, have it available to a team and to the client, and then have in-built functionality that makes the migration a lot easier, I think I’m on the right path.

[00:07:02.750] – Vikas Singhal

There, haven’t I? That is correct. It’s like a prototyping tool. It’s somewhere between local WP or a hosting panel, somewhere in between.

[00:07:14.940] – Jonathan Denwood

That’s fantastic. You can send me the check after the show, actually. There we go. I’m sorry, British there. Gets me into so much trouble, but I still get such pleasure in getting into that trouble. There we go. That’s the duality of my personality. Kurt, would you like to answer the next question?

[00:07:38.200] – Kurt von Ahnen

Yeah, I think we’ll just let Vegas go with a continuation. Give us the background story on InstaWP and what made you decide to bring something new into that WordPress hosting space?

[00:07:51.580] – Vikas Singhal

Hundred %. As I was saying earlier is that when we started, theres not—at least to my knowledge, there was not an easier way to launch a WordPress site still in 2021. Then you need to download something, some file in your local, set up something, and then figured it out. Eventually, people will either have to buy a hosting account to test it or download a software. There has to be a better way. That’s what came in. Instead of the idea came into fruition after that. Within two months of prototyping, we launched the initial product into Twitter and post status channels, and people started really liking us. The thing which was really liked was instant launching part. I think that was the biggest sell. That was the USP.

[00:08:53.320] – Kurt von Ahnen

Nice. Then just to bounce off of that, I look at your homepage and there’s almost a half a million sites created in there already. There’s a certain amount of success found in your launch. I just wanted to point that out and be like, This isn’t a brand new thing. I mean, this is pretty cool stuff.

[00:09:12.550] – Vikas Singhal

Yeah, this is not exactly brand new anymore. At the moment it was. Then eventually, as I said, it makes it easier for people to create a WordPress website. That’s what people did. They created almost half a million websites, and we create about 2,000 websites per day now. That is where we went. Who knew that people wanted to create so many WordPress sites so quickly?

[00:09:44.320] – Kurt von Ahnen

Yeah. That’s part of the question. The first question is like, what drove you to make that WordPress hosting product? It’s that product market fit. I mean, to me, it’s just really cool that you had a vision, you made it, and then boom, a half million sites are created through it. Obviously, you identified that niche and nailed it right out of the start. That’s pretty cool. Jonathan, on to you.


[00:10:09.960] – Jonathan Denwood

Yeah. What have been one or two of the biggest challenges in your own Insta WP? And how have you overcome these challenges in your own mind? There must have been one or two challenges that have been the major ones. So maybe you can give some insight. So other people can learn from your insights and mistakes.

[00:10:35.680] – Vikas Singhal

Yeah, sure. Why not? I’m always open to vulnerabilities and challenges faced by generally operating a business and also specific to the business, in this case, InstaWP. So when we started, we did not build our cloud. We used a third-party cloud to build the service, and then we build a wrapper around it. Quickly we realized that this is not the way to go because we want to have end-to-end control over the process of creation of WordPress or provisioning of WordPress sites. So that was one of the challenge we had to rewrite once we got funding from Automatic. That was also a turning point for the business. Maybe we can talk about that later. Then we wrote the entire thing. Now we can create as many sites as we want through a scalable architecture. That was one of the challenge. Other challenges include general business challenges, how to scale the team, and finding the right people for the job because this involved a lot of moving parts. We had to create our own cloud, the server side has to be robust, the queue system has to be robust, so those technical people are not that easy to find.

[00:12:03.980] – Jonathan Denwood

No, but to be fair to you, you said classifying, utilizing a third-party service initially, you see that as a mistake. As I was listening to that, I thought you’re being a bit harsh on yourself to prove concepts, to prove that there’s a market, because here is a little bit unique what you were doing, wasn’t it? It is. You’re not… Wasn’t that really the quickest route to prove concept, really, to utilize a third-party system? Then when you prove the concept, you can then build your own infrastructure. I’m just reflecting back. I think you’ve been a little bit harsh on yourself there.

[00:12:48.150] – Vikas Singhal

Yeah, I guess you’re right because when you start, you don’t have six months of runway to build something. You want to quickly prototype something and just get feedback from users and then do product-led growth of some kind. In hindsight, that was not a bad decision. But in terms of facing challenges for scaling up, that was one of them. That was something bound to happen. If we started using our own solution from day one, that would have been a huge mistake because we would have never gotten the product out, the MVP out, and then the product just dies. I think this has happened to a lot of founders in the past where they just build it for one year or maybe more and then the product never see the light of the day and there’s a completely lose interest. End of theWell.


[00:13:45.410] – Jonathan Denwood

I don’t want to overstress it because it can be over-emphasized, but if you don’t get that minimum viable product out, there’s always the chance that somebody else will have the same. Normally, most really creative ideas, there’s quite a few people thinking along the same path as what you’re having the same problem. If not, that could be quite worrying because that could mean that you’re self-deluded. But normally, you have conversations and you find people are having the same problem. There’s probably people working on the same problem. If you leave it too long, there’s always the risk that you’re not going to be first to market, isn’t it? It’s a balance, isn’t it?


[00:14:36.510] – Vikas Singhal

Yeah, it depends on what you’re building. But definitely that is one of the factors when you are considering go-to-market and time-to-market. It’s always there.


[00:14:47.810] – Jonathan Denwood

We specialize in membership and community websites and we always encourage the people that are working with us that they should try and get their first course out to reduce the size of it to get a minimum viable course because they’re going to learn so much from getting their first batch of students interacting with their customer base. It’s quite crucial in moving the course or the startup. I think there’s quite a bit of over that. Over to you, Kurt.


[00:15:26.840] – Kurt von Ahnen

Thanks, Jonathan. I was just thinking while you were talking about that course creators getting that first 10, that first 25, that first 50 users, and I was as an extension of two thinking of challenges, what was it like to come out of the gate and get the adoption rate up with users for your product?


[00:15:46.620] – Vikas Singhal

That’s an interesting question. When you build a product, you never actually think about how successful it’s going to be. It’s always up to chance. So having built product in past, I have a bit of a knowledge about user psychology. And this was something I was solving my own itch, which I think people relate to very, very much. So if you let’s say, as a course creator, came up with something which is faced by a lot of other creators as well, that option becomes like least of your problem. That product has to be really good and solve that problem which you are trying to solve. I think that’s the key to this overall… That’s the key to, I think some part of your question can be answered with that is find a problem which you are facing and which enough amount of people are also facing and then just reach out to them. I think that’s the hustle you need to do initially. Post on socials, post on various other channels where these people are like you facing the same challenges. I think that will get people excited. So initial option and the second thing which we did is launch an apps remote.


[00:17:13.820] – Vikas Singhal

I think that is also a very viable thing that we did. We did not on purpose choose LTD, which is lifetime deals. We just chose its yearly plan, but with a less, like a huge discount on yearly plan. That also helped us with driving the initial traction. Then there are other methods like product hand. We were number two product-on-product hand. That was also very helpful.


[00:17:42.980] – Kurt von Ahnen

Perfect. And the extension of that question is, what are some of the most surprising things on your journey with InstaWP that maybe you didn’t anticipate?


[00:17:53.470] – Vikas Singhal

The funding. That was the first part. We never expected this product to actually go for this long and create half a million websites. We thought this is just a side project. I am king of side projects. I have built over 20 side projects, and I think two of them have seen light of the day, and this has been one of them. As I said, the funding was surprising. As soon as we saw adoption, I started applying or sending emails to VCs just to try my luck. I was lucky enough or fortunate enough that we got the funding. This is a discussion for another time, but funding has its pros and cons in our writing. Funding has definitely worked in our favor so far.


[00:18:49.720] – Kurt von Ahnen

Yeah, it reminds me of the show we did with Rob Walling. He talked about building with bootstrapping versus funding. It’s an interesting subject.


[00:18:56.870] – Vikas Singhal

I have bootstrap my last company. I’m a big fan of Rob Walling. I’m following MicroConf and all those things. I’m part of Slack community. I’ve gained so much knowledge from there. I have bootstrap before. The first plugin company, theme company, was a bootstrap up to 35 people. About 50K MRR or something. That was complete bootstrap. I know how hard it is to do that. You have to have three successes in a row to get that bootstrap company to a point where you have to solve a problem, you have to get the adoption, and then you have a Timer running on your back, and then you can’t hire the best of the best because you can’t pay the best of the best salary. Soyou have to do, you have to wear multiple hats. It’s just a stressful journey. As I said, funding, bootstrapping and getting funded both has and I’ve seen both, so I have been fortunate enough to see both side of things. Excellent.


[00:19:59.330] – Kurt von Ahnen

Jonathan, I’ll pass it back to you.


[00:20:01.170] – Jonathan Denwood

I think what you’re saying about bootstrapping or taking investment, I think it really depends on the investment, doesn’t it? It really depends on what… If you’re getting really pure VC, the success and returns they’re looking for, you really got to have consequences in the way that you run the company. Where I think with Rob, through his tiny seed or I think, because you took investment from Automatic, didn’t you? I think I get the sense they got a bit of a more long-term attitude around things. Would you agree with that?


[00:20:49.260] – Vikas Singhal

Yeah. It’s automatic. As an investment firm has a long-term view, they’re pretty laid back. They don’t have crazy targets. Besides, it was a pre-seed round. So generally investors don’t have high hopes at this stage of the company. But as soon as you start to drive growth even a little bit, they get very optimistic and that puts pressure on you. So as a boost driver, you don’t have that pressure. And when I was boost driving, I was also doing full-time job initially. So I routed funds to my business and I had a pretty laid-back lifestyle. I don’t have to work 12 hours a day. And now I don’t even know when is Saturday, when is Sunday, and.


[00:21:44.680] – Jonathan Denwood

My wife’s- It all merges, doesn’t it? People say to me, Do you work from Monday to Friday? Just look at them and I think you’re mad. Most of the time I don’t even know what bloody day it is. It’s all merged together.


[00:22:09.380] – Vikas Singhal

My family is almost ready to kill me. They’re just waiting for me to come out of the home office. Fortunately enough, I don’t even come out of this room. I’m just kidding, obviously.


[00:22:28.110] – Jonathan Denwood

I never leave this room either. But I think the good point is… I think we just described some of the negativity of running your own business. But I think the good thing is you can be very flexible to some degree about if you want to do something a particular day, as long as you’ve got no prior commitments, you can.


[00:22:53.280] – Vikas Singhal

Take that time.


[00:22:54.700] – Jonathan Denwood

You need to plan ahead. Yes.


[00:22:55.470] – Vikas Singhal

Hundred %, yes.


[00:22:57.100] – Jonathan Denwood

Of course, emergency will come up exactly on that period. But you need some people in your team that can handle that.


[00:23:05.170] – Vikas Singhal

Yeah, that’s the beauty of having funds as well. You can hire people and then delegate to the best of the best people. So generally, bootstrappers have a neck to hire freshers or people with less experience and then train them on the job. Whereas when you have funds, you can actually hire the experts and then delegate and then have your hands-free on more strategic role.


[00:23:35.590] – Jonathan Denwood

Because that’s what I plan with WPT on it, is that I’ve got it to a reasonable level and hopefully we can increase it, but then I’m going to go to Rob and take some money from Rob, hopefully. Because I totally agree with your decision that you made. It’s timing, isn’t it? But I think proving the concept and then getting the right investor so you haven’t got that constant pressure. Then you can then focus on the technical and the things that really improve the product to its end users. I totally agree with your logic and what you did. I think it was the right thing to do. I think we go for our middle break. It’s been a fascinating conversation so far. We’ll be back in a few moments, folks.


[00:24:27.880] – Vikas Singhal

This podcast episode is brought to you by Lifter LMS, the leading learning management system solution for WordPress. If you or your client are creating any online course, training-based, membership website, or any type of eLearning project, Lifter LMS is the most secure, stable.


[00:24:51.380] – Jonathan Denwood



[00:24:52.270] – Vikas Singhal

Solution on the market. Go to LifterLMS. Com and save 20 % at checkout with coupon code, podcast 20. That’s podcast two zero. Enjoy the rest of your show.


[00:25:06.340] – Jonathan Denwood

We’re coming back, folks. We’ve had a good old chat. I think we got some decent insights, some value we offered you. I had some complaints about last week’s interview. I thought we were saying, No, not last week, the week before that. I thought it was fabulous. But there we go. You can’t please everybody or certain people. But there we go. They just don’t get my English wet. There we go. That’s what I call it. I don’t know what you call it, Trial, but there we go. Before we go into the next question, I want to point out that if you’re looking for a great hosting partner, why don’t you have a look at WPtonic? We’ve got over 15 years experience in working with WordPress. We are much more than a hosting provider. We are your backup partner. That’s what we are. If you got stuck with a technical issue and you can’t deal with it and you got a really painful client, we’re your backup. As part of our hosting plans, we will sort your problem out. What more could you ask for? That’s the dream for a WordPress freelancer. To find out more about our special partner plans, all you have to do is go over to w-hyphen-tonic.


[00:26:21.070] – Jonathan Denwood

Com/partners, w-hyphen-tonic. Com/partners, and you find out what we are offering. You’d be blown away. Please become a partner with W. P. Tonic. That was better, wasn’t it, Kurt? I think I’m getting better on this one. Getting better, man. There we go. Oh, God. Oh, dear. On to the next question. Where would you like the business to be in a year to 18 months’ time? We’ve got the reality check. You seem a pretty stable, down-to-earth type of guy. That’s the vibe I’m getting from you. But where would you really like it in 18 months’ time if everything pans out the way. We don’t know, do we? But we all have these dreams, don’t we?


[00:27:21.800] – Vikas Singhal

And in case of VC, you have to have dreams, right? You have to project that dream so that they also can dream with you and invest in you. And the dream which we have is to make WordPress as de facto everywhere. It already is. But with the rise of not to name platforms and the rise of not so good hosting providers, there are a lot of people who come to WordPress and then they just go away because of how hard it is to get onboarded into platform. We aim to solve that in some way. We want to empower agencies, hosting providers, product companies to solve all of these onboarding-related problem for their businesses. Eventually, if any agency can launch their own SaaS, let’s say, a membership or LMS SaaS, why not? Everywhere there will be a pockets of these SaaS companies built on WordPress. We want to enable that infrastructure. We want to become a platform.


[00:28:37.790] – Jonathan Denwood

I see where you’re coming from, but I just put this, I’m not saying no to what you’ve just outlined, but there’s alsoit’s finding the right balance. I just put this to you because there’s something what I call the WordPress Wall Garden solution. What I mean by that is that there’s a couple of solutions out there, and I know the founders and they’re great people, but I’ve been honest with my statements in the past, is that there’s the walled garden, WordPress solution that mimics a SaaS, but has all the other additional problems of WordPress, of hosting, of plugging, conflict of extra loops, but those extra loops gives you ownership power. They try and wrap it as a SaaS solution, but WordPress can never be totally a SaaS solution. It’s finding a middle way, and that’s tricky. It’s been tricky at WPtonic. How much flexibility do we give to our hosting clientele and how much we have to put our foot down because they’re not doing them a favor themselves? So it’s a tricky area. Can you see where I’m coming from? Or be honest, or do you think I’m just talking dead-rish?


[00:30:12.050] – Vikas Singhal

No, I totally see it. I totally because WordPress is a very different platform. It is not built for SaaS certification of WordPress. You have to be very careful of your stack or the walled garden you are speaking about. People have different expectations from a SaaS company. If you offer the same thing, it’s going to be very, very difficult. What we mean by was a SaaS, website-as-a-service, you actually present a ready-made templated website to somebody with a specific use case. And of course, there are always niches and flavors of that. But to some degree, you can enable that without any issues, especially with the modern plugins and themes which are now available, which are not so heavy on the platform. And if there is a scalable architecture beneath which can solve some of the scaling issues of WordPress, I think it can be achievable to some degree. I’ll not say 100%, but I agree with you totally. WordPress is not something which can be like is a lot of an application which is built for scale. It is not that… It is not built for that scale which we are talking about.


[00:31:33.900] – Jonathan Denwood

Yeah, but I do agree with you. I think there’s a middle ground. I think there definitely is a middle ground, but I think everybody’s on the same journey and nobody’s really finiteed, really clarified where that’s precisely where that sweet spot is. I think that’s still up in the air to some degree. But that’s based on my own journey with WP Tonic, because I have struggled with this ever the three years I’ve been running WP Tonic. As a more product service entity rather than just a traditional agency. Over to you, Kurt. I think he’s just killed something.


[00:32:27.060] – Kurt von Ahnen

I threw something at my son that was making a weird noise on the other side of the room. Let’s just get to what business tools and services are you using on a daily basis to keep things going, or what would you recommend to your audience?


[00:32:45.110] – Vikas Singhal

Yeah. For different different tools for different purposes. We use ClickUp on daily task management, team task distribution.


[00:32:54.140] – Jonathan Denwood

You’re not usually that ancient. What’s the matter with you? I’m having kids in… That was a bit of English humor there. I apologize for that.


[00:33:04.460] – Vikas Singhal

Definitely, G Suite, Slack. We generally do meetings on Google Meet, and then GitHub and BitBucket for code tracking, things like that. I guess we definitely use StreamYard for streaming because we are now going online with some of our partnerships. And not so surprising, use WordPress for our main marketing site and a lot of other projects.


[00:33:45.240] – Jonathan Denwood

What do you mean? You’re not using Squarespace for your own?


[00:33:50.190] – Vikas Singhal

That’s funny because when I started at WP, one of our team members suggested, Why don’t we use VIX for.


[00:33:58.920] – Jonathan Denwood

Our marketing site? Is he still working for you?


[00:34:02.260] – Vikas Singhal

He is, unfortunately.


[00:34:04.520] – Jonathan Denwood

Oh, that’s not very nice. He’s not listening to this. That’s not very nice, is it? Oh, man, my poor soul.


[00:34:12.170] – Vikas Singhal

And his reasoning was that it’s so much easier to build on VIX. And I was just almost so angry about it. And then I started working in the page builder and I said to him, Yes, I see your point. Definitely, I see your point. But obviously, as I said, things have improved so much in the last couple of years in terms of… I used to call… There is a lot of legacy components is still in WordPress. We, as a community moving towards a modern tooling. Instead of we want to be part of that tooling where you just don’t have to think about launching a WordPress site. You just launch it, you walk on it, deliver it, that’s it.


[00:35:03.180] – Jonathan Denwood

I want to throw a ball in here. I don’t want to place you in a difficult position at all. But there’s been a lot of controversial discussion over the last couple of weeks about where WordPress. Org or WordPress. Com and their relationship together. And being that you’ve got a key and a fantastic product, I just wondered if you’ve been thinking about this at all. And I just want to put this to you. There seems to be, from certain elements, this argument that there’s a real conflict between WordPress. Com and WordPress. Org. And I personally don’t follow it. I just don’t agree with that at all. I actually think that WordPress. Com should be a viable, really effective and real ambassador product that really competes with Squarespace and Wix to the highest level. I am a little bit sad about where wordpress. Com is at the present moment because I can’t say to people it’s the equivalent or much better than Wix or Squarespace. I can’t honestly say that to people. I don’t really see that in the medium to long term as a real problem for wordpress. Org because I think the type of people that want a quick, flexible solution that would look at Squarespace or Wix are really the people that are going to be looking at utilizing something like wordpress.


[00:37:06.080] – Jonathan Denwood

Org. Can you see, first of all, where I’m coming from? Do you personally agree? Is there anything in what I’m saying? Or have you got a different attitude towards it?


[00:37:19.190] – Vikas Singhal

Some of the parts I totally agree. WordPress. Com and. Org, when I started, confused me with what is these things do? These two things are and then you have to spend about like 30 minutes or so to actually understand this as a developer. For a new person or a non-tech person, it is even more difficult. Then there’s WordPress. Com, or talk has the problem of downloading a zip file, setting it up, it’s going to a hosting company. That’s what we are trying to solve in a way because we are WordPress. Org in a hosted setting where you don’t have to worry about hosting. But now coming back to your point, when we talk about wordpress. Com, we have to talk about Wittenberg as a project too. Because I think the reason or as far as I believe is the reason for it to exist is to make WordPress. Com as a whole to provide better designing experience than VIX or Squarespace. Unless we have a good page builder, it will be very, very difficult to compete with these services. Recommending an external or a third-party page builder, I don’t know whether WordPress. Com will be comfortable with that.


[00:38:45.520] – Vikas Singhal

Having a very good page builder in the core goes a long, long way, and people have different opinion about it. I am very positive on the project as a whole. That drives WordPress growth even further. That drives WordPress. Com adoption even further. This is something I really like what you said is wordpress. Com should be the forefront of what WordPress can achieve and then show to the world that we are even better than Vix or Squarespace. By the way, if you want your own version of WordPress, you can also host it or something like that. I think the differentiation has to be really clear wherever it needs to be. I think they can do a better job of placing themselves as one of the viable competitor, as you said. On the long run, I think hosting companies also have to do a better job. If you go to a hosting company website right now, they are targeting hosting clients. They are not targeting business owners. It doesn’t matter which hosting company you go.


[00:39:53.410] – Jonathan Denwood

Almost every- Oh, yeah. You need to go to the WP Toddie website. I saw that coming. We’re very focused about who our users are.


[00:40:06.360] – Vikas Singhal

I literally saw that coming. So except WP Tonic, if you go to a hosting company, you are completely lost as a non-tech business founder where you are trying to launch a website and then you get those shitty page builders which these proprietary page builders which eventually just doesn’t work. So as I said, Ms. WordPress, there is a huge disconnect. I think to summarize, there’s a huge disconnect of what WordPress can do and what it is perceived as what it can do.


[00:40:42.180] – Jonathan Denwood

Well, I’m not going to go because I don’t want this conversation to go there, nor do you. But obviously, this ongoing discussion, drama over the past couple of weeks, there are much other elements to it. But the initial where this discussion went was around the relationship between WordPress. Com and WordPress. Org, which is confusing to some of it and always has been, but also seeing WordPress. Com as this massive threat. In the short term, it might diminish the need for certain types of websites that a freelancer might produce. But those people, those type oftype of websites were increasingly looking at Squarespace or Wix anyway, in my opinion. So having them on WordPress. Com and having an easy migration system, when that individual needs a more customized solution is a win-win for everybody. Are you following my logic at all?


[00:42:09.420] – Vikas Singhal

Yeah, 100 %. To add to that means when we started blogging long back, I think you guys can agree on that, is either blogSpot or WordPress. Com, where you hosted your own blog. It was a free hosting with a full-blown blog, which you can share with people, Hey, Mom, by the way, this is my blog. That was just an amazing feeling. If you can do that same for websites too, for business owners, how amazing that will be.


[00:42:42.710] – Jonathan Denwood

Well, see, if you’ve ever been involved in somebody that’s always reached that barrier of a SaaS-hosted solution. Whenever they’ve reached a certain level of success, they’ve always wanted a more individual look or a more individual internal process that adds extra value to their product, to their membership, whatever, there’s always that moment where they want to build something extra and then they hit a wall with a SaaS solution and then they have to migrate to something that gives them more flexibility. If they’ve got a certain size business or website, that is always a nightmare, isn’t it? It is not something to be taken lightly. People pull back for years until they just can’t tolerate it anymore and then they do it, don’t they? Because it’s like having a toofake that’s just getting worse and worse and they’re driven to the dentist, aren’t they? Would you agree with that?


[00:44:04.390] – Vikas Singhal

Yeah. Sorry. Yeah, totally agree on that.


[00:44:09.040] – Jonathan Denwood

Right, over to you, Kurt.


[00:44:11.180] – Kurt von Ahnen

Well, I get to bring the likeness back to the conversation. We get to the last question, and that is thinking about Dr. Who and that wonderful series from the UK that makes Jonathan feel at home. If you were to return to a time in a time machine at the beginning of your career, Vikus, what advice or what essential wisdom would you give to yourself at the beginning of your career?


[00:44:35.520] – Jonathan Denwood

Don’t come on this podcast.


[00:44:40.290] – Vikas Singhal

Come to this podcast on day one of your business. So that would be my recommendation. But seriously, I say this to myself every day. Why did I wait for 10 years to start a business? So if you have even one % of certainty, even if you don’t have certainty, try it. Give it a shot. Give it a real shot. I’m talking about founding a business, that is. And don’t let fear of failure drive you towards something, and then you waste a bunch of your golden years. You could have that like… Youcould have done better when you are… Obviously, when you are younger, you can think faster. You have just lost a bunch of years is what that is. I recommend everybody to not do that. Start early as possible. As early as possible.


[00:45:46.740] – Kurt von Ahnen

I absolutely love that. When I was in third grade, someone said to me, they said, Kurt, what do you want to do when you get older? I said, Well, I want to be a writer. My friends laughed at me and they said, You don’t even like English class, bro. You can’t write a book. In my mind, I always wanted to be a writer or a speaker, a writer or a speaker. I didn’t write my book until 2007, and that book changed the entire trajectory of my career. Immediately, I thought the same thing you just said was, Why in the world did I put that off? I could have done that 10, 15 years ago. Then where would I be now? Now I’m 56 years old and I’m going, What if I got my start 15, 20 years earlier?


[00:46:24.780] – Vikas Singhal

Right. They also say to convince you that it’s never late to start. But obviously that’s the time has already passed. But as a suggestion, as a recommendation to younger self would be to start early and don’t be fearful.

[00:46:42.830] – Kurt von Ahnen

Yeah. If not you, who, and if not now, when, right? Right. Perfect, man. I love that. That’s excellent.

[00:46:50.730] – Vikas Singhal


[00:46:51.640] – Jonathan Denwood

Thanks for coming to show you. I think it’s been a blast of a discussion. What’s the best way for people to find more about yourself and about InstaWB?

[00:47:02.080] – Vikas Singhal

Yeah. So you can follow me on Twitter. I’m @VicassProgrammer. That’s the story for now and the day. And you can reach out to me @Vicass@instraWP. Com, and just try our shortcut if you want to ever get a WordPress site, w. You.

[00:47:22.000] – Jonathan Denwood

That’s fantastic. Kurt, what’s the best way for people to find out more about you and what you’re up to?

[00:47:28.690] – Kurt von Ahnen

If they want to make a connection, the best place to connect is on LinkedIn. I’m the only Kurt fan on and on LinkedIn, so I’m easy to find. And then ManyanaNomas is the agency. So manyanaNomas. Com or anything Manyana No Mass online.

[00:47:41.090] – Jonathan Denwood

Right. And if you want to be an increasing part of the community tribe, why don’t you join the WP for membership machine Facebook group? It’s free. I try and post almost every day. I don’t always achieve it, but I want more people to join us on there. Please consider that and be more part of the tribe. We got some fantastic upcoming interviews. We’ve got the monthly roundtable show next week. Then we’ve got some great guests all booked up for October, which I cannot believe that it will be October soon. God help us. We will be back soon, folks. See you soon. Bye. Hey, thanks for listening. We really do appreciate it. Why not visit the Mastermind Facebook group and also to keep up with the latest news, click w-tonic. Com/news letter. We’ll see you next time.

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#880 WP-Tonic This Week in WordPress & SaaS With Special Guest Vikas Singhal, Founder of Instawp.com was last modified: by